By the end of this year, PleaseTech will have exhibited at 13 conferences across the US and UK. The eternal question we ask ourselves is, “is our booth working as well as possible? Are the messages still correct, is the stand eye catching, is there anything we can improve?”
Budget is always a key factor, and making changes to a perfectly good stand is hard to justify, but recently the decision was made for us when the x-banner started to look faded and the panels on the table top started to break.
So it was with great excitement (well for the marketing department) that we embarked on a project to research new ideas for our stand. We looked at everything from booths with in-built TV monitors, projectors to ping images of live demos, and other clever gizmos.
And there are so many options out there; most of them costing way more than their anticipated ROI. However, what these sales promotion companies fail to consider time and time again, is how the average business is supposed to ship these exhibition booths and all the equipment that goes with them, from both a cost and logistics point of view?
Go to any show, and you’ll generally find one or two people manning a booth. Unless they work for a really big company, those manning the booth are responsible for the set up and break down of all the kit.
Big organizations employ companies to take care of this for them, but for businesses such as ourselves, once the conference is over, you’ll find our colleagues dragging the booth kit to the nearest UPS store for shipping back to our US storage facility. And there’s a limit to how much you can drag or carry, not to mention how much you want to spend on shipping costs…
So where did we end up? We’re currently re-doing our table top display to reflect new messaging and we’ve bought some nifty iPad stands to enable us to conduct surveys when we’re at shows (a brilliant way to collect data, which we then turn into content and distribute across our social media sites). A new 22” TV has been purchased, which sits on a round cocktail table and enables us to run our new sales demo movie (if you haven’t seen it, please watch it here).
But the booth is only part of the story. A major factor for us is our use of cartoons. We use these to bring to life what PleaseReview does, why people might use it and what it can do for them. Our experience shows that the people who visit our stand genuinely resonate with the scenarios our cartoons depict (email chaos sound familiar, multiple copies of marked up documents?!). We give away postcards of our cartoons and they are hugely successful in drawing interest and questions about what we do. We also have a cartoon website, have a look at it here.
So all of this combined, along with pre-show mailings to conference attendees, cross partner promotions and a great attitude from our booth staff means we’re pretty pleased with how well our booth now functions. You can see it in operation at the next show, APMP in Chicago, followed by ABA in New Orleans and DIA in San Diego.
Of course, we’re always looking for new ideas…