Ways to get noticed at your upcoming exhibition

From visibility to credibility, exhibiting at a trade show can have hundreds of advantages and benefits for your business. Making the most of your space and establishing a presence gives you a powerful platform for meeting new customers and reaching out to existing clientele.

Understandably, a lot of businesses are put off exhibiting at a trade show because of the cost. It’s true, developing a great trade show stand, training your staff members and travelling to the event itself isn’t a very cheap process. However, like most forms of marketing, with the right strategy, a trade show can be a very profitable choice.

Trade shows and exhibitions are a great opportunity to learn what’s working and what isn’t for you and your business. You can do a lot of competitor research at events like these; for example, you can see which booths are attracting the most attendees and learn from their tactics. As the famous saying goes “keep your friends close but your enemies closer”.

You can also pose as a customer and see how other salespeople interact with you and what their objectives are. Finding out information about the needs and wants of your customers is very important when it comes to staying competitive in the market. The low response rate of email surveys means that they are only really beneficial to companies with large email lists to increase the rate of response, but exhibiting at a trade show is a great way to tell your industry that your company is serious, reliable and large enough to afford its own presence at leading events and conferences.

87% of marketers say face-to-face marketing is important, as 80% of trade show visitors are personally involved in buying the products or services on show.

A business exhibition helps you in four key areas of B2B marketing:

  • It enables potential buyers to notice you, to discover you and then get to know you as a credible partner.
  • Trade events account for 9% of marketing budgets, but return 23% of business.
  • Satisfied trade show participants are also supporters of participating exhibitors and partners. Positive recall can more quickly lead to sales conversions.
  • With proper research and planning, trade shows are one of the most cost-effective sources of leads and sales possible.

Don’t let visitors guess what your business is all about – tell them with your literature, using the power of the written word alongside print. Also, you probably have one business card that you hand to everyone with the basic need-to-know information: do not underestimate the power of a generic business card, as it allows for a plethora of possibilities; for example, why not have a QR code on one side that, once scanned, says “We met at X exhibition on X date and time”? This type of printed material could provide the vital information needed to encourage a profitable future connection/lead.

Market Research

Exhibiting at trade shows means you can conduct a short survey on your exhibition stand to gather vital feedback. This can help you discover whether the needs and wants of your customers are the same, or if they have changed and if you need to adapt to meet these needs. Other ways to incentivise customers to participate in surveys is to offer a free gift or entry into a competition.

In order to create that great first impression, your exhibition stand should represent your brand identity in its entirety: from your logo, exhibition banners (including style and material type), to the employees manning the stand. It is essential that crew in particular are all in accordance with your brand’s personality and values – it may be a good idea, therefore, to brief them prior to the exhibition on your goals and objectives, if not already clear.

Exhibition banners have improved exponentially in recent years. They used to be very expensive, heavy and, quite frankly, a pain to assemble quickly. Nowadays, you can find lots of variations of banners which are cost-efficient, lightweight and portable, meaning you can – and should – consider bespoke banners for each event. Ideally, content for banners should include up-to-the-minute information, imagery that complements your current pitch, and maintain your established branding to allow your company to be instantly recognised.

Even if an exhibition-goer doesn’t talk to you, roller banners should provide them with the valuable information they need to get in contact with you later. Useful information such as contact numbers and postal addresses can be included on banners; however, social media links such as @ names, social media logos and your website remain the best way to address the modern customer.

If you have high-quality images that really exemplify your product, then roller banners are where to display them.

Alongside the roller or pop-up banners, sturdy PVC banners can be used for signposting and signage. These signs need to be kept clear and simple, and at most include your company name, website and logo. Don’t clutter what should be an easy to read sign.

Finally, think of your booth as a shop window: it should feel welcoming and draw people to come and take a peek ‘inside’.

What you need to make the most of your exhibition

If you have a brand identity to be proud of, you want to display it at its best in every instance. One of the largest formats it will be used in is at events and exhibitions, where passers-by will automatically form a perception of your company based on your visual identity. It may be the difference between whether they decide to stop and talk to you or not.

It is important to make sure that your stand sticks out, attendees stop and notice your brand and offer you an interaction which could be the chance you need to close a deal.

 

Why exhibit and attend trade shows?

Quite simply, if people don’t know who you are and what you can do, they’re never going to call you. Yes, you can advertise, but that doesn’t give you the chance to find out about your customers, build long-term relationships and have a good chat.

You can approach key people in the industry one on one that you may never be able to reach on the phone or even by email. You can connect with key customers and take the relationship to a deeper, more personal level. You can meet with key suppliers from your industry or other areas within that market.

Seize the opportunity to learn from your competition and network with professionals. Walk the floor to observe product displays, engagement tactics and sales pitches to take note of how you can improve at the next event. For example, if you observe that many companies are offering a new service, consider pitching the service during your next team meeting.

Five reasons to exhibit or attend trade shows

  1. Lead Capture

Initially, the whole point of attending exhibitions and trade shows is to create leads for future potential business. Luckily, they are quite a few, easy and cost-effective methods of capturing leads from exhibition events.

Firstly, just by having a paper form on your exhibition stand, you can ask visitors to leave their details in hope of making future connections after the event.

However, a business card draw at an event always goes down well with all guests, especially when there is a prize at stake to win because everybody loves a freebie! As a result of this competition, you can capture a vast amount of leads with the potential of contacting to offer your services to in the future.

But always remember to have a well-designed business card, which is tailored to that event to exchange every time a visitor takes part in your competition.

Top tip – Get a business card designed and personalised for this event, this will stand out from the crowd and remind other businesses of how you met.

However, do not be disheartened if a passer-by at the trade show doesn’t seem immediately drawn to your services or want to offer their business card. Handing them a freebie, something of value with your branding on may just be the reminder they need for a future conversation.

2. Check up on competitors

You may sell the same product but a trade show offers you an ideal opportunity to see not only who your competitors are, but also who they are they are targeting the most for your own research. This information gathered from the event can be used to help predict your competitor’s future plans. In terms of your own business, this may help you put forward a strategy to be one step ahead of your competitors.

Competitor research is a key part of any marketing plan however this can be sometimes hard to achieve. For example, competitors may hide their prices online or say `contact us for prices and more information`. Without having the time to pretend to be an interested customer, this information may be hard to attain. Therefore, being located in the same room as a number of your competitors may allow you to find out the fine details you need.

Sneaky, but trade shows have a lot of potential for the future of your business.

3. Engage with existing customers

A trade show is an ideal place for a quick touchpoint for a loyal customer and addressing their needs and thanking them for their business. It’s always good to see a familiar face or put a face to a name after recent communication via telephone or email.

Customers value you spending your time, recognising them and working towards a relationship with them. Therefore, a trade show can be the perfect place to engage with existing customers and give them promotional material to take away as a reminder of you and your business. These vital connections hopefully may lead to future recommendations and purchases.

4. Introduce your exisiting customers to other product lines

Customers, who love your brand and as a result are satisfied with the products they purchase, may be easily converted to buy other products you offer. A trade show is a great opportunity to showcase what else you do to your existing customers. These customers may just come to you because they want one service but when discovered you do more they may be enticed.

Top tip – Make sure your services are clear and communicated in an engaging way so it is easy to notice for passers-by. This can be done by using a roller banner, leaflets, and even an exhibition stand which is designed to communicate clearly everything you do.

5. Gather valuable research for the future

Why do your existing customers buy and what do they love most about your brand? You may already send out questionnaires via email asking for customer feedback; however these may get deleted or ignored. Therefore being at a trade show with the customer stood in front of you face to face could be the perfect chance to gain your market research.

For example, just asking simple questions like what do you like best about us as a company? What was the customer service like you received from us? This information can help for the future marketing and customer service element of your business.

Get in touch today and let’s get your business noticed!

Email- info@media-village.co.uk

New year, New goals

5 top tips to make sure your business starts on the right foot this year.

1.Refocus your brand

January is a popular time for companies to reflect on their current position, review their performance and take a look at their company image; however, we can get carried away in January and want to take on everything at once. Although this may be tempting to try, you should always invest in support when it comes to unfamiliar areas. Whether you are considering a refresh or a whole new rebrand, the new year is the best time to start focusing your time on new goals.

First of all, we advise conducting a brand health check before confirming how you would like to move forward. This will help you think about all the elements behind your brand image and reflect on their success in the previous year. These results can then help you decide whether a refresh or a rebrand is the right decision for you. Booking a free consultation with one of our graphic designers will allow you to sit and chat casually (over a cup of coffee) about your brand’s future. We can conduct a brand health check for you and, with our branding expertise and knowledge, advise you on the best way to move forward and work together to achieve your success. Additionally, we can start to think about how to give your brand substance and enhance the added value behind it. This can be done by designing printed material, producing marketing collateral that addresses your brand values, and working on a consistent brand image. All of the services mentioned are, of course, something that we offer and can help you achieve this year.

 

Last year saw several rebrands: from the extreme, which included name changes and unrecognisable logos, to more subtle facelifts that help breathe new life into a brand.Firstly, Uber announced a full rebrand in September last year, shifting to a new, simpler logo, just “Uber” in a custom sans-serif font.

Secondly, Weight Watchers, or as it is known now WW, also debuted its new logo, branding and name in September last year. The brand’s new tagline, “Wellness that Works” is intended to represent the brand’s renewed focus: health, fitness and feeling your best, rather than losing weight.

Finally, Debenhams the department store revealed a brand new identity – this was one of 2018’s biggest rebrands. Debenhams had used its previous identity since 1999 but the dynamic new look aims to show how much it has progressed since then.

To learn more about where to start with your branding, you could take a peek at our ‘10 Brand Elements and What They Mean’ blog HERE or ‘Brand Guidelines: What Are They and Why Do I Need Them?’ blog HERE.

brand focus

2.Tell your story this year

Storytelling is an effective and powerful technique that builds relationships – it doesn’t matter if you’re a small business or a huge enterprise, a brand story gives volume to your voice. From a scientific perspective, stories are designed to create emotions. We love them because they prompt chemical reactions in our minds that help us to feel pleasure, empathy and interest. For example, a story about a small business that made it to the top makes you naturally want to root for them.

However, we understand that every business is different; some companies are naturally more entertaining and interesting than others. But, if there is a market for your business, then storytelling to your targeted audience is always a way to make your content more engaging, whether it’s the content on your website that shows the background of your company or the content that you post on your social media channels. We can help make your branding consistent, engaging, and tell your story through effective platforms that suit your target audience’s needs.

For example, if your target audience prefer to engage with printed material, we can design and print leaflets, business cards and brochures that tell your story consistently. Our website details a list of print and creative marketing services we offer. Click HERE to view them all.

To further support how important we believe brand storytelling is, we published a blog on our website titled, ‘Your Story Starts Here’. Click HERE to read more and discover the advantages an effective brand story could have for your company.

brand storytelling

3.Promote and build new connections

New year, new faces, and new connections – networking can be an effective key to business growth and success. Attending networking events in 2019 may seem to be a daunting challenge, but consumers buy from brands that build relationships with them – we can provide you with all the essential tools you need to be prepared and organised for networking, such as; printed brochures, business cards, and leaflets to hand out to your new connections.

Our sales reps would encourage people to start networking to expand their reach, get recognised and enjoy the benefits of growing your business through recommendations. We all know that in business it is a great feeling being recommended by somebody, or even just receiving a positive review. These two things give us a sense of pride and achievement that our hard work is paying off – comparing this to networking; you are surrounded by a group of people that make it their mission to recommend you. Additionally, by regularly attending networking events, this helps get your face known in the community, providing you with a great source of connections that can really open the door to talking to highly influential people in the future.

If you would like to learn more about networking click HERE, to read our ‘Power of Networking’ blog.

networking

4.Focus on updating your online presence.

If you are not making the most of your social media, you’re missing out on a fast, inexpensive and effective way of reaching almost half the world’s population. Furthermore, social media can help you humanise your brand and build real life connections with your customers. This adds value and trust to your company image and highlights how your customers are benefitting from your brand. As well as building connections with customers and potential customers, social media can also be a great platform for sharing your knowledge and expertise. For example, if you specialise in ‘education branding’, then you can share statistics, insights, articles and much more that show your expertise in this area and attract attention.

Additionally, social media posts and ads are key ways to drive traffic to your website. Sharing great content from your blog or website to your social channels is a great way to get readers as soon as you publish a new post.

Take a look at our social media accounts here:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Linkedin

If you are interested in focusing on your social media presence this year, then please do get in touch using the contact form HERE

5. Plan and choose realistic goals

Did you accomplish all the goals you set for 2018? Did you underperform in some key areas? Are you hoping to do better in 2019?

Everyone wants to set big goals for their business and a new year is a great time to reflect and create new goals. Everybody wants to double their revenue over the next six months, hire 10+ new employees to help them reach new heights. It’s ok to set aspiring goals, but in return you need to be realistic when doing so.

Therefore, if one of your goals this year is to focus on your branding and marketing more, then we can help you set and achieve realistic goals that help you succeed. Following a brand health check, free design consultation, and basically a good old chat, we can offer our solutions and services for you to meet your 2019 goals.

To get started, download our free design guide HERE

And finally: what are you waiting for?

Let’s start today to achieve your business goals.

Fill in our contact form by clicking HERE, use the ref: BLOG in the subject title

networking | blog

And finally, what are you waiting for?

Let’s start today to achieve your business goals.

Your story starts here

 

Storytelling through branding is more important today than ever before; with the average person viewing 100,000 digital words every single day, a refreshing narrative behind a brand can really stand out. Famous brands like Coca Cola and Marks & Spencer have been using the art and science of storytelling to their advantage for years now.

Before we explain how we have helped numerous brands tell their story through creative design and marketing, let’s begin by figuring out why this technique is so effective in the first place.

Firstly, studies reveal that ‘telling a tale’ to somebody is more effective than being bombarded with a collection of cold, hard facts – that information involving sensory association, and personalisation, has a far greater impact in the quality of its reach on an audience.

For example, when viewing a painting you can without a doubt appreciate it, but once you are told a memorable story about how it was created, or the backstory of its creator, the perceived value of the painting is said to increase. From a young age many of us have ingrained experiences with meaningful stories from our childhood, and although we may not remember every detail of a bedtime story, the meanings have lasting impressions. In short, our brain holds narrative more easily than facts – fact.

Storytelling is all about letting people in. In allowing people to get to know the personality behind your brand, the positive outcomes will flourish for you! We spend half of our lives searching for stories, storing memories and updating ourselves on the latest news around us. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to target your audience with a good old story.

If you are not sure what your brand story is, it’s your identity, your background: the voice behind your brand. We guarantee that there is something individual about your brand or service that makes you stand out from the rest; you may not have a clear USP, but we can tell your unique story through strategic branding and design. When, together, we figure out what makes your brand special, you’ll stumble on a story that’s worth telling through branding.

Take a look at your logo, for example. Your choices in typography and colour highlight just a chapter of your brand story – but to tell the whole tale, you need consistent, strategically thought out branding. In today’s digital-obsessed world, we have content coming out of our ears: every second is filled with new content popping up on our social media.

We agree that visuals have a strong and undeniable impact…but in the marketing world, it is storytelling that can be the key to the trust and engagement of a digitally absorbed audience.

But what makes you stop and grabs your attention?

Storytelling through branding makes you memorable

There are various ways that you can stand out in the world of marketing (such as viral videos and professional photography) but one thing that can make you memorable is a great brand story. By telling the world your story, you are able to make an emotional connection with the reader, which gives them a sense of belonging with your product/service and makes you more remarkable.

As naturally social animals, we have developed language as the ultimate way of communicating ourselves, our emotions and perceptions of the world around us. Storytelling is our oldest form of passing knowledge, and in turn, much of this knowledge we consider to be facts is influenced by our exposure to stories we are told over the years.

Storytelling in marketing makes your content more exciting

Even if you are part of what you consider a ‘boring’ industry, the best thing about storytelling is that you can use it regardless of how ‘boring’ you may consider it to be. Together, we can find the right angle for your content and with a great narrative you can transform even the blandest topics into tales that leave your customers wanting more.

It’s the start of your brand voice… you’ve been warming it up over the years, and now it is ready to speak to the world!

Storytelling through branding can help build strong relationships

By adding a story to your brand, you are increasing the amount of value the customer takes away from it. This way, consumers can relate to your story and feel a part of your brand. This aspect of humanity encourages loyalty, ensuring your customers revisit you down the line (and that they may also recommend your business to others in their network). See? Telling your story creatively can be one of the easiest ways for you to captivate your audience.

A shocking figure shows that 54% of people don’t trust brands, which is why your brand must be your promise: what you say you will do, how you say you will do it, and how it is done. Your company should therefore deliver on this promise. Additionally, 45% of your brand image links back to this, which is why it makes sense that storytelling should be an integral part of any marketing strategy. Your story can inspire customers, put life into your brand and attract new leads for your business year in, year out.

How we helped Westholme tell their story

We have worked closely with Westholme School for many years now and the relationship we have built together helps us to deliver and tell their story in exactly the right way, to exactly the right audience. Our cohesive relationship with Westholme guarantees that we are working together and remain united in the pursuit of a common goal.

 

One of the main aims at Westholme School is to support each child in fulfilling their full, individual potential; the journey of a Westholme pupil, from 3 months old to age 18, is a unique story in itself… and one in which the School has invested its all. Therefore, we have created marketing material in various forms that inspire and motivate pupils to succeed, with choice wording such as ‘flourish, cherish’.

Secondly, the Westholme ethos has a firm foundation on personal relationships, on respectful informality, and on the belief that every individual is at the heart of all we do. So it is our promise as a team to reflect this in the branding, creative design and print that we provide for Westholme School. The School places great importance upon personal and character development, so we develop imagery, graphics and campaigns that centre the importance on their pupils and encourage them to develop and succeed. Our relationship with Westholme stems from clear communication and an effective customer journey. Once briefed on the latest campaign, we work with Westholme’s criteria and adapt/alter anything they may require in order to deliver high quality marketing material that always meets their deadline.

 

The promotional material we create also helps to raise awareness in local areas, by advertising upcoming events such as Open Days, Taster Days, and so on. These have so much impact and memorability because we keep Westholme’s branding consistent by adhering to developed brand guidelines and consistent pantone colours. Lastly, our material allows Westholme to guide pupils around the School on their unique Westholme journey, and also allows creative ways to have the great pleasure of congratulating students on their achievements.

Secondly, the Westholme ethos has a firm foundation on personal relationships, on respectful informality, and on the belief that every individual is at the heart of all we do. So it is our promise as a team to reflect this in the branding, creative design and print that we provide for Westholme School. The School places great importance upon personal and character development, so we develop imagery, graphics and campaigns that centre the importance on their pupils and encourage them to develop and succeed. Our relationship with Westholme stems from clear communication and an effective customer journey. Once briefed on the latest campaign, we work with Westholme’s criteria and adapt/alter anything they may require in order to deliver high quality marketing material that always meets their deadline.

The promotional material we create also helps to raise awareness in local areas, by advertising upcoming events such as Open Days, Taster Days, and so on. These have so much impact and memorability because we keep Westholme’s branding consistent by adhering to developed brand guidelines and consistent pantone colours. Lastly, our material allows Westholme to guide pupils around the School on their unique Westholme journey, and also allows creative ways to have the great pleasure of congratulating students on their achievements.