Ever go to conferences and events and feel all the booths look as tired as the next one? sure, there are free lollipops and pretty girls, but how do you make your stand positively sizzle at your next event?
Whatever your brand is and what it stands for depends on how your booth at the event is set up at the event, the layout and how you market yourself to actually get people interested.
The Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) in Melbourne last week showcased a number of successful booths within the Melbourne Convention Centre.
B&T spoke to five of them to find out what works and why. Some put a huge amount of effort into the stand, others relied on the traditional gimmicks.
Event space brand Atlantic Group has a number of function rooms on offer for conferences, but obviously not all of them would fit within the small rectangular space. In order to showcase as many rooms as possible the marketing department included the key features from each room.
“Events such as AIME allow us to showcase our four venues, Peninsula, Maia, Sumac and Sketch, in a visual way and provide an opportunity for our staff to converse one on one with visitors to the expo via the pre-scheduled appointments. Exhibitions are a wonderful way of stimulating all the senses which you need to do in hospitality,” said marketing manager, Meaghan Emery.
“We also ensure we have samples of our catering and beverages to offer our guests on the stand so they get a ‘taste’ of what we can offer. AIME is a very important component of Atlantic Group’s Marketing Plan for our venues.”
The dyed and spray painted flowers also matched the logo behind.
Cruise company P&O Cruises designed its stand with the help of its marketing agency Bashful. As having conferences on board is a new concept in the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) industry, Rebecca Mutanen, senior sales manager explained how the team wanted to have a fresh and clean look overall.
“The interesting thing is when we go to different stand builders and put the proposal together people immediately think cruise; deckchairs, cocktails, very cruise stereotypical things for holidays,” she said. “But because we have dedicated meeting space, we needed to be more serious in our approach and in our look and feel, rather than cruisy images.
“That was very hard to get the balance.”
All the marketing and collateral design work is seen from the wake of the ship, to symbolise you’re already being on board.
Hotel chain Mantra really wanted to try and get people to remember them post-event so enlisted the help of a Polaroid camera. Visitors to the stand could write their favourite Mantra memory on a small whiteboard and take a Polaroid. The photo was pinned up to the wall and Mantra would send out all the photos to visitors at the end of the conference.
“This ensures a different, fun way to follow up with visitors,” said Alex Lohe, senior sales manager of conference and events for the brand.
“AIME helps expose our brand to the global market, as well as allowing us to see everyone else in the industry.”
Sydney Olympic Park
Business events and conferences can also be held at Sydney Olympic Park, and the guys at the booth were very chuffed with themselves having secured Best Stand under 36 square metres.
Decked out in yellow “because it is a happy colour”, according to one of the booth attendants, with fake grass underfoot, the booth also offered ice cream in exchange for business cards. The booth was slightly taller than all the ones around it, a clear marketing tactic to enable it to be seen from all around the show floor.
MTA Entertainment and Events
While a number of booths kept the effort contained to the booth, MTA didn’t. As they’re a talent agency, not much effort was put in the actual stand.
The effort was projected to talent roaming around the show floor.
It was hard to miss the shirtless, ripped man on stilts and the mobile jazz band.
“Showing our brand off in the booth is very difficult,” explained MTA business director, Taylor James. “We use the benefit of people seeing the talent.”