In the case of one product range, there are three models with completely different finishes - metal, rattan and canvas. One model folds. All of them are on wheels. At the trade show customers will want to move them around, see how easy it is to fold and unfold the portable model, and discover how to clean all three after use. All of this requires space.
At trade shows, we have some standard furniture with us: display shelving; a bar used as display and a mini office, a filing cabinet for secure storage and seating for the trade show team. Depending on what we're exhibiting, we may bring extra tables and shelving for display purposes.
One of the easiest ways to work out how much space we're going to need to display a new product is to set up the stand in the warehouse. We'll tape out the floor area, block out the space required for the standard furniture, and then put the products in place. The first thing we do is make sure that our customers will be able to navigate their way through the stand. As there may be two or three groups of customers in our stand at once, along with the staff, this requires imagination back in the warehouse. We've learned to remember fixed elements such as walls, and to think about whether or not items can be safely bumped.
Space to allow people to pick up an item to see how heavy it is or turn it over to see underneath may be required. If there are components such as gas cartridges or batteries, it may be necessary to gain access to show people how to maintain the product. If an electrical product is being displayed in running order, the position of power cords has to be taken into account, for safety reasons as well as for convenience.
Once we have worked out what's going where on the floor, we then have to consider what we're going to display on the walls. As new products are added to the range, signs, banners and posters may require a refresh.
The location of the trade show must also be considered. When exhibiting new products locally, adjustments that involve adding or subtracting items from the stand are possible throughout the show. When exhibiting in another city, the only product available is the product shipped in for the show.
As well as planning for the display of the new product, sometimes it's necessary to have a back up plan in place, particularly if your new product is still to arrive in your warehouse. While you can fill the space on the floor with other products, you may still want to advertise the new product. Have some Coming Soon labels ready to display with your new product posters and make sure that the staff working your stand know to promote it to your customers.
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Author: Kathy Creaner
Kathy loves to talk about gardening, program and project management, doing business in China, social media marketing and customer service.