The NAMPO Agricultural Tradeshow is more than just an agricultural exhibition platform. It’s a four-day event that boasts entertainment, food and a beer garden. And with over 700 exhibitors trying to promote their brand and products, it’s going to prove challenging to try and grab people’s attention.
But if you look at the exhibition stand trends and stick to the tradeshow interaction tricks, you’ll find ways to get people interacting with your stand at NAMPO this year.
Before anything else happens, you need to know that there’s no reason to be scared about boldly establishing your brand through your exhibition stand. If you don’t make the most of your brand colours in your stand, there won’t be much separating you from the rest of the 700 plus exhibitors. There won’t be a strong visual cue to help people recognise your company.
There are enough companies selling farming equipment in South Africa for healthy industry competition. So, if you can bring in your best-selling and most recognisable equipment and incorporate it in your stand, there’s no doubt people will know who you are and what you do. Also, it would make for great event photos that every attendee will want to be a part of and that’s free marketing right there.
It’s all about first impressions. And the goal of an exhibition as large as NAMPO is to be recognised. Your colours, logo and distinguishable products should stand out and not fade into the background of crowds of people and white marquees. Stay true to your brand and use those elements to shout “Here we are!” amidst the competitor stands.
The next step is to start marketing well before the event begins. If you’re only looking into it now, at least there are still 27 days to start a marketing campaign. You want to create a hype not only around the event but around your exhibition stand. Take to social media and create a hashtag where people can follow the planning, preparations and build-up of the stands. It can also be used on the days of the event for people who aren’t there to wish they were there. The point being: as long as people know and are excited about it, they’ll be willing to attend NAMPO and seek out your stand to interact with it.
Let the people know what they can expect from visiting your stand. And don’t forget to live up to these expectations because your followers will be counting on it.
As for the stand itself, there are things you can incorporate into the design that will also encourage interaction. You don’t need to have the same conventional four walls that most stands will likely have. Interactive walls are trending in the tradeshow industry. If you’re a crop farmer you can have “live” crop walls as a creative way to display your products. If you’re a seeds supplier, compact different seeds into a textile-touch zone along your walls with facts about the seeds as people feel their way along.
Anything that requires a person to touch, move, write or double-take will do the trick. And if you’re smart about it, you can promote your products and services at the same time.
Many people who attend NAMPO are “just browsing” or simply “looking at what’s on offer”, but they never end up leaving with your details or you with theirs. When you think “grab and go” your mind may lean towards business cards. But business cards aren’t the most exciting of trinkets to be walking away with. You need to come up with something attendees will want to keep and interact with.
You can create a game by having cards with interesting facts about your industry as a “collect them all” system. Design it to take people around the stand, which will encourage people to be more invested in your brand. If you have two stands at the exhibition you can set the cards up to be collected between both in order to “win”.
Speaking of winning, competitions are another great way to get people to interact with your stand. If you market well enough beforehand and make it obvious on the days of the event, you can gain enough attention for people to take part. You’d want the prize to be related to your product and service offerings, obviously. At the end of the day, the goal is to get people thinking more about your company.
At such a grand venue with so much to see and do, it can be quite tiring for attendees. This means there’s an opportunity to offer a rest-stop where they can recharge their batteries (as well as their phone’s batteries – charging stations are in) and possibly hook up to wifi to inform their connections of where they are and what they’re up to.
But besides the wifi and charging stations, simply having a seating space will be attractive to people who have been walking around for hours. And it’s not an opportunity for you to swoop in with a hard sell, but rather just start a normal conversation and introduce the faces of your brand.
Then you leave them with a brochure, business card or one of your grab-and-go goodies and let them rest and think about how amazing your company is.