The beauty of trade events and exhibitions is that they give businesses a chance to meet face-to-face with potential new clients and customers, in a vibrant and bustling atmosphere. In reaction to the global COVID pandemic, such events have been put on hold; but as we move out of restrictions, larger-scale business and marketing events are firmly on the horizon!
So, it’s time to start preparing. But will your existing equipment deliver everything you need to run a successful exhibit at your first post-pandemic event? While we are firmly on the road back to ‘normality’, it’s inevitable that some restrictions and adaptations will remain; and we as businesses need to be prepared for that. The real question is, how can you work with the current situation to create an eye-catching, interactive and, most importantly, safe display stand for your visitors?
We’ve put together our 5 top tips for planning a successful exhibit or display at your next post-pandemic event.
- Layout & Planning
Ensuring a smooth movement of footfall in and around your exhibition stand has always been important; but maintaining a socially distanced flow with adequate space between visitors is now more crucial than ever. One-way systems created using floor stickers and queue barriers can help to keep customer traffic streamlined and organised. Planning the layout of your location in advance means you can be sure you’ve left adequate space for people to move around your stand.
You can also be creative with the layout of your stand itself to draw interest to your display. Using a modular display such as a Pop Up Stand gives you opportunities to structure your stand both professionally and safely. Not only does this help you to maintain proper social distancing for your staff and customers, but it gives visitors plenty of things to look at, from all angles, as they make their way past your display.
Similarly, if you would traditionally have seating or meeting areas as part of your display setup, these will now also need to follow a different layout in order to remain socially distanced. Using a series of Perspex screens can help you make the most of your space if seating people 2m apart is not an option.
During the pandemic, there has been a clear acknowledgment that certain materials are more effective at minimising the spread of the virus. The key to this is to choose materials that are either non-porous and therefore easy to wipe clean and sanitise (such as Perspex®, acrylic, glass, metal and plastics) or materials that can be cleaned easily (such as our fully recyclable 100% polyester stretch fabric). Thanks to the moisture-, bacteria- and mold-resistant finishes of these materials, you can reduce the chance of pathogen accumulation on your displays.
Choosing display stands that include these materials, such as our Tension Fabric Backdrops with their aluminium lattice frames and photo-quality dye-sublimation printed fabric artwork, means you are able to fully sanitise your stands between events.
One of the best ways to engage, encourage and inform visitors and potential customers is through effective communication; both on-site and pre/post-event. Reach out to your mailing list in advance of any exhibition to inform them where they can find you; this is also an excellent opportunity to lay out the measures you will be taking to keep visitors safe and secure in and around your stand.
On the day, making it clear that you have taken all the necessary steps to ensure visitor protection will help to increase attendance rates and attract visitors to your stand, as they will have confidence you have put proper measures in place and considered visitor safety. Keep your signage clear, visible and concise; let people know they can move through your exhibit stand and interact in complete security.
There are a number of ways you can use technology to your advantage when setting up at a post-pandemic event. One of the most innovative ways you can upgrade your exhibition stand is to move from printed brochures to QR codes. These scannable codes link visitors directly to digital content; whether this is simple information guides or more interactive apps and activities.
Although some may be hesitant to use touchscreen technology, in reality there is no need to ditch your existing ipad counters - or to refrain from investing in new ones. Antiviral & antibacterial coatings are improving all the time; these render the screens pathogen resistant. Frequent sanitisation also helps to reassure visitors. In addition, placing sanitiser dispensing stations near your interactive exhibits encourages people to sanitise their hands before touching them. This brings us to our final point...
Ultimately, one of the most important changes to how you set up your display stand will be factoring in the safety of your visitors. Pre-pandemic, this meant choosing intelligent and well-crafted products with no risk of damage or dismantling during the event; high-quality materials that will stand the test of time. Now, in the post-COVID world, in addition to this, you also need to factor in hygiene standards to your event displays.
One of the primary ways to help keep people safe is by implementing social distancing measures. This means ensuring that interactive activities, meeting areas and queue zones offer space for people to remain 2m apart. Maintaining organised crowd control can be made easier with intuitive products such as floor stickers or social distancing queue barriers.
Sanitiser dispensers can also be invaluable when placed in locations around your stand if you are expecting large numbers of people; particularly where meetings or close interactions are required.
Just because the way in which exhibitions and events take place will continue to change out of necessity as we negotiate the ramifications of the Coronavirus pandemic, it doesn’t mean that your business should lose out on promotional opportunities. Our expert team has more than 20 years' experience in the events industry, so please do reach out to us for advice when it comes to which products to invest in and how best to set up your display stand.
Browse our full range of exhibition stands, or for more information or advice on setting up an event display stand, please reach out to our team via our Contact Us page or on 01733 511030.