BECOME AN EVENT MASTER We have the insider tips!
Ship in a bottle.
Pehr Hante is Assistant Project Manager of the Home & Villa Fair at Stockholm International Fairs. He has a lot of experience in putting together exhibitions and presentation stands, and we met to learn more out about the foundation for successful trade fair participation
What is your advice for those who are currently looking to participate in a trade exhibition?

"The most important thing is to formulate the goal for taking part in the event. This lays the foundation for everything. The goal can be to make people buy, to book appointments or you may want to provide information about a new product or service. Only when the objective is clear can you proceed to the planning stage. You wouldn't create stage decor and backdrops before the play is written."

Let's imagine that the goal is set, and now it is time to create a stand. What is important to think about?

"Many people are not aware of the incredibly short amount of time you have to capture the visitor's interest. All you have is about three seconds in total. That is the time it takes for people to see the stand from a distance until they have passed, or hopefully stopped. Therefore, it is crucial to convey a simple and clear message, and that the booth stands out from the others."
How do you create a booth that stands out?
"Work with the stand's colour, shape, height and width, and keep to a theme or a general thought that will help to get the message across. Often, the actual event itself has a theme that you can exploit, otherwise you can create a theme for yourself. It is important to always keep in mind the message you want to convey."
Do you know of any tricks when it comes to driving traffic to one's stand?

"It's a good idea to invest in marketing in various channels before the event. Invite customers to your stand, send giveaways, and advertise your participation on social media, on the web, via e-mail, mailings and with flyers. We have exhibition publications where one can put an advertisement, or attempt to interest the editorial department behind the exhibition magazine to write an article about your company if you have something extra interesting to say."

Many have activities and giveaways at their stand. What's your experience with that?

"Activities I think is a good way to draw people to the stand. Activities draw people, and people in turn attract more people. I'm a little more hesitant when it comes to giveaways. I mean, all these shoehorns and reflectors, it shows that exhibitors sometimes lack imagination. A giveaway needs to be something of greater value to the customer, such as a discount offer or something like that. A good giveaway will add value for the recipients and tell them something about your company."
How should one think about the message one wishes to convey at the fair?
"Often exhibitors have way too many messages. The main message becomes unclear. Start by going back to square one, in other words, what is the purpose of your participation at the event? Consider everything you want to say, and when you think you have been clear, try to be even clearer. That also goes for the graphic material."
You work a lot with events, do you see any recurring mistakes that exhibitors make?

"It's a really common mistake not to work with the lighting. It makes such an incredible difference if you use more than just standard spotlights. Few exhibitors think about this, and just through good lighting, your stand will get noticed. Put lights on billboards and use light to create an atmosphere, and a certain mood in the stand."

"Another common mistake is the personal conduct of people working the stand. I have seen many examples where staff are deeply absorbed in their mobile phone or a laptop instead of being inviting and active. Reach out and invite people to your booth!"

When the event is over, what does one need to think about?

"After the event, it's all about two things; evaluation and follow-up. What happened and why? Did you make the objective of the event? What can you do better?"

"The follow-up of leads and e-mail addresses is another chance to stand out and make a lasting impression. It's really important for rapid feedback with neat mailings or similar. Take care of those who have shown interest!"

So in conclusion, to sum up, which are your three top tips for participation in an event?

"First decide on the objective. Use clear messages and focus on the lighting in the booth!"
"The Grandma trick"
Bring someone to your booth who is not familiar with your business, like your Grandma. Ask the person to look at the booth for about three seconds. Afterwards, ask these questions:

• What company is behind the booth?

• What does the company sell, or what message do they want to convey?

• Why should you visit the booth?

If the person cannot answer any one of these questions, then it is a clear sign that there are things in the booth's design that can be improved in order to communicate more effectively.
How to design the booth
Your objective for the event and the message you want to convey should be at the foundation of the design of the booth and of the exhibition material. Work with all the senses, move the visitors emotionally. Dare to flaunt, strut your stuff!

Use height, build the walls to 3-4 metres instead of the standard dimension of 2.5 metres. That's an easy way to stand out. Do not forget to work on the lighting.

The graphic material in the stand should be clear and with few messages. Consider the readability of the text and do not place signs where visitors can obscure the text.

Currently, many use photo wallpaper. It's important to have a calm picture if you want text on the walls in the picture. Consider having pictures speak for themselves and omit text.

Have nothing physical in the way that prevents the visitor from entering the booth.

If the booth has walls, leave the roll-ups at home. Rather use signs that you attach to the walls instead.

Leverage the floor space! Use a different mat or photo stickers, for example.
THIS IS WHAT WE DID The task is to create an enticing event stand for Johnér
Copywriter Maria Lindberg Howard and Art Director Michael Wall talk about the creative process behind creating a reusable and inviting event stand for Johnér
What was the assignment, and what was the brief?
During this year, the customer will be attending a number of events that are all trade fairs, each one with a little different focus. The stand must fit into different types of exhibition environments (exhibition halls, congress halls, etc.) and it must appeal to people in different industries. In addition, the stand must be easily adaptable regarding size.
What message did you want to convey with the stand? What were your ideas when working on the concept?

At trade shows a company has very little time to get visitors to stop and become curious about the stand. Since the customer sells something as abstract as images, and most trade show visitors are unaccustomed image buyers, we immediately knew that we wanted to convey a feeling, and not a potential message to buy. Emotions are more direct and often you remember them long afterwards.
What does the stand look like? And why?
The stand consists of three roll-ups, a table and two chairs and a green mat. Two roll-ups shows show close-ups of lilac bushes in full bloom, and the third one shows a table in a lilac arbour where a summer meal has been set. The idea is that the furniture is to be supplemented with blankets, pillows, lemonade, pastries and other summery props that will fit the type of visitors to the current exhibition. Birdsong, refreshing raspberry lemonade and the smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns are other ways to create a cozy feeling and a positive link to the exhibitor.
What were your thoughts regarding the imagery, and the selection of the pictures?

The idea is to make the booth a soothing element in an environment where the pace is otherwise stressful. It will get visitors to slow down and entice them to settle down in the arbour. We all have fond memories of our childhood summers so for booth staff the stand's appearance in itself is a "conversation piece" that makes it easy to start a conversation with visitors. The appearance is closely linked with what Johnér sells and stands for.
What do you think are the three most important things to consider before participation in an event?
Consider the booth space in the exhibition hall and adapt accordingly. And think carefully about what you want your visitors to think, feel and do when they visit the stand. Make sure they bring with them something that will make them remember you. Simply handing out brochures or other printed material is rarely good enough. Rather use a giveaway that is linked to something the visitors have seen in the stand - something that makes the follow-up feel easy and natural.
Tip - Shop online for lower prices!
Right up to the end of May you will receive a 25% discount if ordering your photos via the online shop.
Use the promotion code FAIR when you add images to the cart, and 25% of the price will be taken off. Of course, the discount applies to all sorts of applications, not only fairs!

PS. Note that the discount cannot be combined with other agreements or offers.
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