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Shell Scheme vs Space Only

So, you have decided to go for it, your first exhibition. The show organiser has given you two options. A shell scheme package or space only. Where do you start and what does this mean?

Shell scheme packages can be great. They are usually pre-erected rows of identical stands and you turn up to the build and decorate yourselves. It typically includes stand walls, lighting, flooring and maybe a power socket. It does the job, but you want to stand out. What other options are there?

OK, you want to stand out from the crowd. But you don’t know where to begin and time is of the essence. You can’t be making endless phone calls, sourcing equipment thinking about carpets, power supplies, graphics, furniture, technology. Then there are the logistical issues. How will you get everything you need to site? This is where Mercer Exhibitions can help.

With our all inclusive, custom modular stand packages we can take all your worries away. We can design, manage, quality test, ship and install your stand. Your package would include our MEcore frame, our MEpeel graphics and our MEfresh technology. Lighting, sound, TV’s and much more. Our Designer will tailor a stand to your exact requirements, meaning a completely bespoke design which will set you apart from your competition. You will receive fully rendered visuals with your graphics included and have a choice of carpet colour or wood effect vinyl. You will have a designated Project Manager that will handle everything for you with the show organisers. From calculating power needs to submitting Risk Assessments and Method Statements.

So, it all sounds good, but what are the costs involved? Our MEvolution Package offers fixed price exhibiting, for just £280 per square metre, plus a £2000 install fee. It’s great value!

And don’t just take our word for it, Ashley Seed, Business Development Manager from the CMAC Group has used our services on a number of occasions. Originally Ashley did exhibit in Shell Scheme stands, but made the switch to space only and this is what he has to say –
“CMAC have used Mercer Exhibitions for 4 stands this year, all of which have been delivered brilliantly! We are delighted to be working with not only a local company but also with a company that takes the time to understand our business and more importantly what we want to achieve at each show. Fair to say, they have secured our business for next year!

Opting for space only completely blows our previous approach of shell scheme out of the window. The real benefit for CMAC is the sheer convenience of leaving the install and set up to Mercer and the end result aesthetically is outstanding! We have the confidence that we can turn up on the day of the event, everything looks great and works great, with TVS/HDMI leads all housed in a cupboard, we simply plug in and get to business!”

The image below shows a typical 3 x 3m shell scheme stand, compared to the most recent CMAC stand that we built using the same sized space.

Build Advantages of the MEvolution System

At Mercer Exhibitions, we understand that you want to stand out at a show. So, how can a modular system achieve this? Aren’t they all the same?

We have completed many projects from Shell Scheme upgrades to larger corporate packages and interactive stands. We are confident that we can meet your requirements using our very versatile system. MEvolution is the balance between a Modular stand – it is clean and has a fast turnaround time – and a bespoke solution which can incorporate your more specific elements. There are no limitations to our structures.

In addition, we will provide you with high quality rendered visuals, which will appear exactly as your stand will look after production. We will always go that extra mile to ensure that your stand sets you apart from your competition.

We recently completed a project for UK Vapour Brands (Cheeky Monkey) at the Vaper Expo UK in Birmingham. Their stand featured a number of bespoke elements which to some, would have seemed unachievable with a modular package. Here are the visuals created by our in house designer which were sent to our client for approval –

And here was the finished product at the show –

As you can see, we had some impressive results, and this stand won 2nd place in the category of ‘Best Booth’ at the show. This is a fantastic achievement as there were over 300 exhibitors on site.

If you have an exciting brief for a show, why not give us a try? Get in touch for a no obligation quotation. We will be happy to help.

Exhibiting and Our Environment

In an ever changing industry, it has never been more challenging to reduce carbon footprint and save costs whilst better promoting your brand. Traditionally, exhibition stands were generally one use, disposed of and sent to landfill after the event. Here at Mercer Exhibitions we wanted to change that.

We developed our MEvolution System and can confidently say that 100% of the materials used on our stands is now either reusable or recyclable.

MEcore

Created with our reusable aluminium frames, MEcore is the nuts and bolts to our solution, which provides an eco friendly, lightweight and durable core to all our stand designs.
Through this core we eliminate manufacturing costs passing savings to our customers.
With MEcore we can create virtually any size or shape imaginable where walls and ceilings blend seamlessly, forming a single flowing structure that sets your stand apart from the competition.

MEpeel

It’s not our MEcore structure, but your visual communication that receives all the attention thanks to MEpeel. As we fix our recyclable panels, textiles or alternative in-fills onto MEcore, our structure is hardly visible, leaving more space for art work producing a clean and uniformed look.
These display elements can created using varying recyclable materials that will attract the attention of passers-by and communicate quickly and effectively with them.

MEfresh

Through incorporating the latest technology within our stand designs we aim to provide an engaging interactive experience that gives you the perfect platform to showcase your brand.
From viewing your stand before the show with virtual reality to video walls and interactive displays our team are at the forefront of everything tech.

Running a Successful Creative Business

Running a successful creative business can be tough, as you have to keep it functioning and keep the creative and fun sparks flying. However it can be done, you just need to be organised, efficient and creative. Here are a few tips to help you along the way.

Colourful business Lightbulb

Stick to One Thing

Find out what you’re good at and stick to it, don’t take on too many things at once

Don’t be afraid to change your plan

Once you’ve created a business plan don’t be afraid to change it, as long as you have a clear vision of where your heading you can make adaptations to your plan.

Don’t do what everyone else does

Many businesses will take the safer/easier route, if you do things that these businesses are too afraid to do then you will stand out against your competition.

Bottom Line

To succeed a business needs to make a profit, so keep an eye on your spending’s to ensure your businesses success.This is responsible so you can pay your suppliers and any other people you may need to on time.

Collaborate

Engage with other businesses around you, yes they are technically your competition but building partnerships help stimulate new ideas.

Become a Digital Business

Connect, Engage, Like and Follow. Connect with employees, customers and other people you interact with so you can build up a digital culture. Learn how to use social media properly and keep up with technology so you can further promote your business. Don’t keep your business to yourself, by making it digital your business can be seen by the world.

Fail, Try again, Succeed

Every business has had it’s bad pitches, IT errors and bad meetings, the trick is to discover why the situation failed, learn from it and move on.

Be Tenacious

If you’re not succeeding, let out your frustration and move on. The best businesses are built through persistence, focus on how you can improve this for next time. Keep going, don’t give up.

Protect and Defend your ideas

Most business ideas have been building up for years and are the key to your business, so defend and protect them.

Plan, Plan, Plan

Be organised. If you have a project that is going to bring in a lot of revenue then focus on that. Set up dates, put people in place, but don’t forget about other projects running alongside it.

Keep it Fun

Running a creative business is still supposed to be fun, so if you’re not enjoying yourself seek out the fun in and encourage others to do the same.

 

Professionalism In The Workplace

Professionalism is something everyone wants to achieve, and it can be a simple thing to achieve as long as you have the right focus and the right advice. Below are a few tips on how to become more professional in yourself and your workplace.

Professionalism

Professionalism

Work More Than The Bare Minimum

A typical day starts at 9am and finishes at 5pm. However if you are eager to show your professional side, try staying on later or coming in earlier. No ones saying you must work 12 hour days, but staying on an extra 30-60 minutes to finish a task proves you are keen to do the job to the best of your ability, rather than keen to clock watch.

Arrive On time For Meetings

Meetings are a common occurrence in the work place and often take place to help you. They are very helpful for team discussions, queries and feedback. Therefore when someone has taken the time to organise the meeting, turning up late is not very professional. No one likes their time to be wasted, and a big time waster is waiting for people to arrive for your meeting to start.

Act Professionally

Dressing the part and being punctual is one thing, but how you behave in front of your colleagues and managers is something else. This means avoid crude/disrespectful jokes discussing your crazy weekend of partying and drinking. Things you say, however they are intended can sway peoples view on your behaviour. Try to keep your focus on work whilst you’re there and you should still be viewed as a professional colleague.

Keep Work and Personal Life Separate

Sometimes it is hard to leave personal problems at the door, but it is important to try and limit the effect it has on your work ethic. Using works time to handle your own things isn’t very professional, try to save it until your break or until you get home if possible. If this is not the case step away from your desk/area to make the personal phone call. Your bosses will rather you take the quick phone call, and be able to have a clearer head space for the rest of the day.

Put Your Phone On Silent

In the majority of workplaces our mobiles are on silent, in our bags, desk drawers ect. They are not ringing away with an irritating ringtone disrupting everyone else. You can still keep it on your desk just have the volume off, on silent or vibrate. (Unless your phone is a key part of your business, e.g business phone)

Dress Professionally

Wherever you work your company will have a dress code, whether this be formal or casual. It is there for a reason, don’t show up in a business suit if you’re going to be building structures. Keep yourself well groomed and pay a lot of attention to your personal hygiene.

Carry a Notepad

“You pass your boss in the corridor who asks you to complete a task after your break, after your break you return to your desk and forget what was asked of you.” Situations like this could mean someone else then has to work extra hours to complete a task you forgot. It doesn’t have to be a notepad, you could jot it down in your phone/ipad ect. As long as you make a note and it gets done.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Professionals are keen and eager to learn, which sometimes means asking questions. Asking a questions doesn’t mean ” you’re not as clever or you can’t work alone” It simply means you would like more information about the task you are completing.

 

Optimising Sales Through Teamwork

Rather than focusing on one “super salesperson” it is sometimes better to work together as a team to create a successful outcome. This is a very simple technique which many businesses can overlook. Some businesses will let one person do all the pitching and all the thinking, which is a lot of pressure on that one person. It also means other employees could be slightly short of work by one person taking on so much, which is why it is better to split out the sales pitching between more people. Below are some ways to optimise your
sales through teamwork.Teamwork

Set Clear Goals

When the work distribution is not clear, this is when cracks begin to show and problems occur. Before a big event, make sure every person involved knows their role and their set tasks. Also make sure these roles and tasks are distributed to the correct people. For example, don’t ask a person to set up an exhibition stand when they normally design the flyers. You will waste time trying to show someone what to do, when you could have had an experienced person setting up.

Trust Their Skills

Nobody can work well with someone breathing down their neck, can they? So if you are constantly checking up on your colleagues, checking their progress, emailing them and inspecting their work, then they will never finish the job to a high standard. Trust them to complete each task and trust that they will contact you if they face any problems.

Have Regular Meetings

Meetings aren’t there to scare or daunt you, they’re there so colleagues can help each other. You will get an insight into what you’re team members are doing and they can see what you’re doing. You will also receive feedback on your progress, if anyone is struggling then everyone can pitch ideas together to create a solution. By holding weekly meetings you keep on top of projects and can quickly resolve any issues. A big bonus of teamwork!

Resolve Issues Quickly

Chances are that with multiple brains all working at once trying to create ideas, this will cause friction. However it is important to address each issue as they arise before they turn into big problem. Not each employee will agree on every outcome. But it is important that these disagreements are fixed, before they turn in to long term problems which may affect teamwork performance.

“What if?”

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew what was going to happen in the future? Well by challenging your employees to ask themselves “what if?” you can get a glimpse of this. When planning a project it is a good idea to try to have a solution to any problem you may face. By asking “what if” to every situation and outcome, your team will always be prepared for anything.

 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Selling Techniques

Selling Techniques and Grabbing Customers Attention

Being a salesperson can be tough, when mentioned most people think of a sketchy car salesman trying to scam you. Many salespeople have managed to overcome this stereotype, however certain people are still hesitant about trusting them. This is why you need to be professional and assertive without being pushy. Below are some selling techniques on convincing the customer, common mistakes made, Do’ and Don’ts and helpful advice.Sales

DO’S

Be visual. More than likely customers will not remember the majority of information you tell them, but they are more likely to remember an image, video or something seen with their eyes.

Talking too much overwhelms the customer and won’t give you and idea of what they want. Try to even it out to 70% talking and 30% listening

Make the client feel special. A key selling technique is making the client feel like a friend or family member with the discounts they are receiving.

Share a few trade secrets, sharing a few insider tips makes the client feel like they’re getting a better deal than others. It also helps gain new audience and boost current authority.

Try to understand your target market / customer.  For example, if you sell houses to customers you know they are looking to buy a house, yet you need to know more of what the customer is looking for before meeting them. This will save time and hassle.

Focus on the benefits and how you are helping the customer. Rather than trying out four or five selling techniques on a client, try to give them a solution. How does product X help the customer solve problem Y.

Speak to more people, the more people you talk to the more likely you will make a sale. Making a sale is roughly a 50/50 chance, however if you speak to 10 people in a day, the 50/50 chance is that 5 people will make a purchase.

 

DON’TS

Never assume what they want or what they’re like. To assume is to make an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and me.

Closing the sale is as important as the rest, sometimes salespeople present a perfect pitch with all the right information, yet don’t ask the customer for the sale.

Don’t compare yourselves to other companies, this will only make the customer think of that company, rather than solely on yours. This will then cause the customer to compare everything you say towards that companies offers.

There are a few typical closing techniques which many retailers use to influence customers, for example: Now or Never – “20% discount for customers who sign up today” or  “this is the last product at this price”

The majority of techniques used depends on the person portraying them. Some of these techniques may work better on certain people depending on their personality traits. Good customer service also goes a long way when requiring a sale, as long as this is at the base of your pitch and your offers then you should be successful.

 

Succeeding at Big Trade Shows

Trade shows can be tough. There are thousands of businesses and millions of attendees, who all want the same thing, attention. Businesses are there to attract more customers and make sales, attendees are there to find new business and to be targeted. Thousands of businesses are all exhibiting at the show trying to attract attention and create a buzz around their exhibition stand. However with there being so many of them, how do you make one stand, stand out?

Trade Show Hall

Staff and Attendees

Be approachable, stand up, walk around trying to engage with people. Try not to blend into the stand, wear something bright or eye catching otherwise people will walk right past your stand. Pick the right people good customer service goes a long way, and if your space provides this along with knowledge of the business, a buzz will be created. Something to remember with customer service is admitting mistakes, as customers’ will respect this and it might even build stronger relationships.

Tell people you’re exhibiting, send out invites, email, ring up other local companies. It’s no use planning for a big trade show, spending a lot of time and money on it to not invite people to attend. Relying on passing customers’ to stop at your stand isn’t a good strategy.

Offer out freebies, not pens or key rings as these will end up on the floor or in the bin. Try sweets, the time it takes to open a wrapper is enough time to give a short pitch about what you’re offering. This works well as most people will come for the freebies and then leave. If this doesn’t pick up enough attention try offering short contests to attendees, answering questions about the business and winning prizes. This encourages the customers to engage with you as they are gaining something from it.

See what you’re up against. For smaller businesses, it is sometimes better to attend one of these trade shows as a customer before exhibiting, this will give you an idea of what the bigger companies are providing and you’ll see it from a customers’ point of view. Who is after all your target.

The Exhibition Stand

Some bigger brands will have a big fancy stand which will have cost a lot of money, yet there can be minimum buzz around it. Try bringing in simple digital assets such as playing with lighting, putting out iPad’s for quick sign up and creating an app. Another easy way to attract custom is by offering out free WiFi at your booth, as this will encourage customers to stay.

Rather than just rambling the same speech on to customers, try including some visuals to engage them in from afar. If a booth is eye catching from a distance then customers are more likely to stop by. For example:

The big guys often use fancy pop-up displays and don’t mess with customising anything. We beat those exhibitors every time on a very small budget. Two years ago, we partnered with the local zoo to bring two penguins to our trade show booth. People crowded around our booth from the moment the show began. We handed out penguin-themed flyers and penguin stress balls. People STILL remember it!  –  Jesse Lear, V.I.P. Waste Services, LLC 

 

Size doesn’t always matter, so get out of the four walls. Many companies will build a square stand and leave it be, which doesn’t always look professional or thought through. When designing your stand opt for different shapes or an open roof, as this won’t close in the booth. Aim to spend at least 4-6 months on planning and designing the stand. The company with the biggest stand doesn’t win, the company that generates the biggest buzz does.

Trade show days are long, busy and tiring. This means customers’ are going to want to sit down and relax after a lot of walking around. If you could provide a relaxing space which works alongside your stand, then this will also attract passing customers.

 

 

Advertising Brands Through Stand Design

Exhibition Stand design is a fast, easy and low cost way of advertising a brand. This is due to the similarities its holds towards Point-of-Purchase displays (POP).

DJ Coaches Exhibition Stand Design

Point-of -Purchase advertising

POP advertising is used in retail stores to attract interest and promote products. This can include banners, signs, coupons, electronic signs and floor stand displays. All of which can be used within stand design for a reasonable price. These are also very common in supermarkets as they are usually quite crowded. Which is due to different brands all competing for shelf space. This type of display also often links in with impulse buying, as they are offering the merchandise at a discounted price. The idea behind this is to help move the products off the shelves into the customers hands.

There are generally two types of retail advertising messages: promotional and institutional. The promotional ad message features a particular product or group of products at a special or discounted price. Institutional advertising is designed to create a positive brand image for the store. They don’t focus on particular products and prices, but instead attempt to leave a lasting and favourable impression on the customers.  – http://adage.com/article/adage-encyclopedia/retail-advertising/98854/

Combining Stand Design and P.O.P

The handy thing about POP displays is that they can be tailored to any brand, deal and space. However an important point to remember about this type of display is that, good displays reflect the level of professionalism within the trade/business. Therefore to invest in a permanent display which advertises a seasonal product is not wise. For POP displays to work they must be thought through and then they will generate sales by themselves. This is much the same as when advertising a company through exhibition stand contractors. As the final result will reflect both businesses throughout.

While reaching approximately 1,000 adults through a 30-second television advert costs £3.30 to £6.32. The cost per thousand for a store merchandiser or a sign with a one-year life is only 2 pence to 30 pence. Meaning overall the business would save money, whilst attracting more customers towards buying a product.

By combining POP displays and stand designs, you can produce a low costing, high standard way of advertising a brand or company. The stands can be built quite high and the POP displays can then be placed on them. This then provides the the same effect given in a supermarket. Especially in the environment which stand designs are placed. As there are many different stands all competing for the customers attention, (much like brands in a supermarket.) Therefore having more height or electronic displays will set you apart from your competition. This works particularly well for smaller businesses who are not looking to spend a lot of money. As they will receive a high quality finish for a low price.

 

Sensory Branding and Marketing

Sensory branding is a type of marketing which applies to all of the senses, not just sight. This way it connects with customers on many other levels, mainly emotionally. When a customer gets the impulse to buy something, this comes from our emotions, as human we have five senses yet the majority of branding only use one. By using all five senses to interact and connect with the customer emotionally, there is more chance of that customer staying or returning. All with the simple use of sensory branding.

The Five Senses of Sensory Branding

Sight

The main sense to be used in branding is sight, as it is the most prominent taking up two thirds of the sense cells in the body. Even more so within design as marketing a brand through sight is how companies attract their customers. Packaging can also a big part of sight branding, how this looks will impact whether a customer sees a business as professional or not.

Smell

Smell comes in naturally when it comes to restaurants and food related businesses. However this can be used as an individual selling technique on it’s own. For example, if a business is selling kitchenware then they could send out certain sells. Such as wafting the smell of toast through their space, which can then intrigue customers in. This way the customer can imagine the appliance in their home, encouraging them to buy.

Sound

Sound can work really well especially if there is a theme involved with the brand. For example a shop which sells camping clothing and equipment could play various sounds. Such as fire crackling, birds, light rain and crickets. This will then excite customers about their camping trip. Which will then influence and encourage them to make a purchase based on impulse and desire.

Taste

Taste can be used in the same way as product engagement. By simply offering out free snacks this can help draw customers in and encouraging them to stay and take a closer look. This will then in turn produce a higher chance of a sale. Please see our previous post for more information on product engagement. http://www.mercerexhibitions.co.uk/2017/02/23/displaying-products-exhibition-spaces/ 

Touch

Touch is already making it’s way up to the same level as sight. In most shops the products on the shelves can be removed and observed at closer view. Using sight and touch together can be a simple way of encouraging customers to buy. By not letting them touch products their interest rate is likely to be reduced.

 

Many brands are following the lead of proponents of  “off the plate” dining experiences, such as Heston Blumenthal, whose restaurant The Fat Duck became famed for its Sound of the Sea dish with accompanying iPod playing the sound of waves. Anne Cassidy – The Guardian

 

The main goal within Sensory branding is to try and get the customer to interact with their purchase on another level. By breaking free from the traditional scheme of branding. This type of branding helps those who work for marketing, get into the mind of consumers’ and understanding what they want. This type of banding is also great, as it can work in any type of business and any size of space. It all depends on how it is carried out. For instance in a small or open space, senses such as smell and sound may be overpowering or overpowered. A lot of what can be done relies on the size of space, in these situations less can be more.

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