10 Sep Techniques for successful participation in: EXHIBITIONS
Following is an introduction to the ways and the methods essential for holding successful exhibitions. It has been a long time that exhibitions are held in our country and the enthusiasm for making them more successful is boosting day by day. The participation in different exhibitions are decisive due to the producers’ narrow competition for controlling new markets and the limitation of demands in the markets.
Therefore, for making the exhibitions more prosperous, the secrets behind successful participation are collected in this article.
An exhibition is a meeting point between supply and demand, and a place for presentation of thoughts, innovations and efforts. In such a place, consumers compare different products and services, and choose the best ones. An exhibition has some effects on political, economical and social arenas; however, in this article, we are focusing on economical and artistic aspects rather than other points.
The role of exhibitions in development of products and services’ quality is quite clear. Exhibitions are places for displaying companies’ latest achievements to the market of demands; therefore, serious and constant efforts would aid companies to obtain new successes. Their proper participation in these exhibitions would increase the quality of products and services, and it would lead to their success.
Phoenicians were the firs who discovered the importance of exhibiting the goods. In about 2800 B.C., they started transporting their goods to other parts of the word by ships. There, they created a kind of exhibition in which they sold their goods. Since 6000 years ago flea markets have been active, and Athens was considered the world’s biggest commercial center. The first modern and equipped exhibition was held in Paris in 1840. Many representatives from all over the world took part in this commercial show. The famous Eiffel tower was constructed to commemorate the event and it was also considered as the symbol of French industrial improvement and strength. The international EXPO exhibition, which are held every 100 year and reviews efforts and innovations during a century, is more important that other global exhibitions. Holding different exhibitions in the world and the competition between the exhibitors to expose their goods in the best way improved the quality of exhibitions. In 1798, an exhibition was held in- Paris besides the seine river, and a magnificent party was set up at the same time to celebrate the napoleon’s victories in Italy the competition between exhibitions for attracting the attention of people so skyrocketed that in 1889, 30 million people visited the Paris international exhibition, and 27.5 million people visited Paris international exhibition, which proved the importance of exhibition more than ever. Former Iranian ruler Nasereddin-shah during his first trip to the west in 1248 (1869), visited Vienna exhibition in Austria, and arranged a report. He was so excited that he, like the Europeans, decided to set up a permanent place for exhibitions in Iran. The firs participation of Iranians in a foreign exhibition goes back to 1851 in London exhibition, when Mirzataghakhan Amirkabir was the head- minister of Iran.
The firs non-national exhibition in Iran was held in 1348 (1969) in which 33 Asian countries participated for 21 days.
The first international exhibition in Iran was held in 1352 (1973) with the participation of 22 countries. In the second international exhibition in 1353 (1974), 32 countries took part.
The appearance of specialized exhibitions and their good results caused general exhibitions to fade away.
Anyway, if we want to have a general description of an exhibition, we should say:
1. An exhibition is a meeting point between supply and demand.
2. An exhibition is a unique place for organized meetings between suppliers and visitors.
3. An exhibition is a meeting point between presentation of products, culture, politics, etc.
4. An exhibition is a place for new thoughts and innovations.
5. An exhibition is a place for exchange of information and getting familiar with people.
Kinds of exhibitions include:
1. Sale exhibitions or bazaar.
2. Local fairs in which goods are usually sold.
3. Regional fairs.
4. National exhibitions.
5. International general exhibitions.
6. International general exhibitions.
7. International specialized exhibitions.
8. International informational exhibitions.
9. Countries’ exclusive exhibitions
10. International EXPO exhibitions.
The exhibitors’ targets in exhibitions are:
1. Presenting and introducing products and services and making visitors familiar with new functions.
2. Searching new markets to expand their activities according to organized strategies.
3. Discussing with customers and creating direct relations with them.
4. Finding potential customers and paving the way for future links.
5. Effective advertisements for making themselves known to others.
6. Gathering information from new markets and paying attention to needs of new markets.
7. Evaluating the export conditions and gaining international experience
8. Expanding the distribution network by increasing the number of agents
9. Searching for new representatives in order to expand the amount of sales and exports.
10. Conducting surveys to realize the rate of consumers’ satisfaction.
11. Handing over samples and monitoring markets’ reactions towards them
12. Making visitors familiar with innovations and the variations in products.
13. Comparing the company’s improvements with competitors.
14. Comparing the products’ prices with the prices of similar products produced by other companies.
15. Searching for sources of new raw material and needed services
16. Being informed of other companies’ developments and innovations
17. Improving advertising and press related communications.
18. Taking advantage of specialized conferences and seminars.
19. Conduction market researches and sales.
Engineering in limited aspects 20 having realistic viewpoint towards market conditions and the company’s success in order to make correct and realistic decisions now that we have become familiar with the targets behind participating in exhibitions, we should try to figure out which kind of exhibitions are suitable for us to participate.
The proper criteria for choosing an exhibition are:
1. The coordination of exhibition with the products intended to be displayed.
2. Kind of exhibition and range of its effectiveness.
3. The place of exhibition and its characteristics.
4. The exhibition’s background and the number of its visitors in previous rounds.
5. The amount of available money needed for taking part in the exhibition
6. Methods used for setting up the stands in exhibition’s previous rounds.
7. The situation of competitors intending to participate in the exhibition
8. Visitors’ educational levels and their viewpoints.
9. Consideration of crowded visiting days and the measures taken to deal with it.
It is necessary to have an exhibition manager for those companies who participate in different fairs from time to time. This manager should have good knowledge of “planning”, “organizing”, “staffing”, “directing”, “coordinating”, and “budgeting”. He or she should be quite sensitive and insistent in order to follow up the cases until the success is achieved. The manager should completely control and supervise all aspects of planning related to exhibitions. Basically, such a manager should be a graduate with management, economy, commercial relations or marketing degree. He or she should have working experience. After choosing a qualified exhibition manager, a proper planning for the exhibition should be carried out to reach the target. Exhibition planning are done using different techniques as follows:
a. Up –side – down planning: in this king of planning, all the plans are scheduled according to an up-side-down timetable, from the time of planning up to the time of opening of exhibition and its end.
b. Timetable planning: in this kind of planning, the complete list of works is arranged, and according to this list, the necessary activities are followed up. What is important is doing the works within the limited time planned in the timetable.
c. Network planning: in network planning, an activity starts when the previous activity finishes. In this kind of planning, no time is set for doing an activity.
Key rules for successful participation in exhibitions:
A. Clarify your exact targets.
B. Set up a headquarters for your activities and choose an exhibition manager.
C. Clarify exactly the duties of members in the group.
D. Fully implement your plans according to the kind of planning you have chosen.
E. Inform the headquarters’ managers of their duties and the timetable.
F. Hold your key meetings before the exhibition is opened.
G. Publish reports from the exhibition in a proper way and in proper times.
H. Control the budget in a regular form.
I. Fully believe in your decisions in order to be successful.
J. Seriously oppose any unharmonious thoughts during or after implementation of your plans. Choosing the proper stand also plays an important role in achieving success. The size of stand should be in harmony with the amount of products displayed and with the number of its staff. The budgeting of making needed equipment for the stand is also very crucial.
Kinds of stands include:
1. Row stand: it is closed from three sides and the other side is open to corridor.
2. Corner stand: two sides of this kind of stand is closed and other two are open to corridors.
3. End stand: it is closed from one side and open from other three sides.
4. Block stand or island stand: this kind of stand is like an island, open from all four sides. Reserving this stand should be done in advance and are among the most expensive ones.
Designing a stand is one of the most sensitive activities for taking part in an exhibition and plenty of time should be spent on it. It is a combination of architecture and the technique of how to display a company’s products. Therefore, a stand designer should consider the budget and the company’s aims when designing. Considering the five human senses has special importance in designing a stand. For example, in food stands, elements of taste should be used. For video/audio stands using elements of hearing and seeing is proper. In clothes stands elements of touching should be used and so on.
A good designer should have enough information about:
1. Name, place and exact date of holding the exhibition.
2. Map and plan of the stand in the exhibition, entrances, exits, corridors and columns of the hall.
3. The inside space of the stand, whether it has ceiling or not.
4. Kind of stand from the point of view of size and the number of its open sides
5. Visitor’s character, number and level of education.
6. The company’s aims in attending the exhibition.
7. Kind of products, goods or services, as well as their amounts and weights
8. The way brochures are distributed and how the movies are going to be displayed.
9. How the visitors are welcomed.
10. VIP space and dividing the stand into smaller spaces.
11. Communication facilities such as telephone, fax, internet and so on.
12. The exhibition’s rules and regulations about stands, materials used for making the stands, insurance and safety of the stand.
13. Providing necessary electricity and lights, location of storehouse, wastes and the stand’s water source.
14. Proper planning according to the available financial source.
15. Planning for the successful function of the stand in the planned time and dismantling the equipment when the exhibition has finished in stand designing, following points are very important:
1- Color: any: company usually chooses a color as its official color, and it can be clearly seen in its logo, office, factory, packages, etc. therefore, the color of the stand should also be in harmony with that color. Following you can get more information about using colors in stands:
a. Method of contrast in colors: in this method, the colors used in the stand are quite different from the displayed products, and if this method is properly used, it definitely helps the better presentation of the products.
b. Color harmony method: according to this method, there should be a proper harmony between the color of the stand and the products in it. The method is used for specific products and is applied to create a deep relation with the visitors. Generally speaking, colors have special meaning. For instance, blue represents spirituality, calmness and trust, red is the sign of pride, rage, fever and warmness. Yellow is the color of gold, science and understanding. However, light yellow represents hatred and jealousy. Green yellow is the sign of spring and youthfulness. In color harmony method, if the products displayed in the sand produces coldness, the color of blue should be used. If it generates warmness, the color of red is suitable for the stand. The proper use of colors also shows the cultural and regional features, and the physiological effects of colors on visitors should be considered.
Diffusion of lights in the stands is also very important. Using proper lights increases the stands’ attractiveness and reveals the designer’s intentions and targets.
The color of lights, its application and distance from the products should be arranged in a way that can have proper effects on the visitors. Tungsten lamps and red light (halogen lamps) are used to generate heat in the stand; florescent lamps and white (or blue) lights are applied to make the environment cooler. One of the light-diffusion techniques is using special lamps with spot diffusion which make the stand more beautiful.
2- Arranging the visitors’ paths in stands plays a crucial role in presenting the products. Stand designing should be done in a way that the visitors can see all parts of stand by walking along a specific path. There are four methods for doing this:
A. Vista: this is the ordinary method of displaying the products.
B. Privacy: in this method, a part of the product is intentionally hidden.
C. Circulation: visitors visit the stand in a regular process.
D. Vandalism: in this method, a part of the product cannot be seen clearly.
For designing a stand, please consider the following points:
1. Designing of the stand should be simple.
2. A center point should be considered when trying to design a stand.
3. In stand designing, attracting the attention of visitors should be considered.
4. It is very important to place the products in the line of visitors’ sight (150-220cm higher that the floor level)
5. Create and introduce a strong and flowing identity for the displayed products.
6. Present the product and the field of activity in a clear and easy way.
7. Design the product in a way that can be seen from far distance.
8. Arrange the movement of the visitors.
9. Use modern panels and stands.
10. Consider your budget before designing. When a product is displayed in a stand, the principles of marketing them should also be considered. According to the principles, creation of strong relations with the visitors and providing them with special services are also crucial for this aim. Regular distribution of questionnaires would help the strategy of marketing in the next exhibition. Regarding all the mentioned points, the following considerations can also help you to successfully participate in the exhibitions.
1- Make up your mind for taking part in an exhibition.
2- Reserve the stand place by filling out the exhibition’s forms.
3- Arrange your budget for designing your stand and other expenses.
4- Advertise adequately before the opening of the exhibition to attract special visitors. Distribute invitation cards and prepare special gifts for them.
5- Choose an exhibition manager and special staff.
6- Pick up proper samples for display in the stand.
7- Set a timetable for samples’ transportation and installation.
8- Choose a qualified stand designer and maker.
9- Plan ways to keep the stand always clean and hospitable.
10- Consider safety measures for the stand.
11- Insure the stand and its equipment.
12- Emphasize the installation of the company’s name and logo in suitable places of the stand.
13- Consider your colleagues’ needs for comfortable discussions in the stand.
14- If the exhibition is located in a place far from the company’s activities, consider accommodation for your staff and guests.
15- Arrange the list of visitors.
16- Provide exhibition tickets, parking lot and identification cards for the staff.
17- Provide posters, brochures and catalogues for your products.
18- It is advisable to use press advertisements and/ or TV teasers for making people informed of your stand.
19- Have advertisements printed in your catalogue.
20- Advertising gifts for even ordinary visitors are extremely attractive.
21- Try to participate in radio, TV and press conferences. They are quite effective.
22- Never forget to provide movies and photos of the stand.
23- Consider special gifts for the reporters.
24- Open the stand experimentally, this would prevent many difficulties at the time of final opening.
25- Exhibition manager and the related managers should be permanently present at the stand. Considering all the points mentioned in this article, it is hoped that companies could successfully present their products in different exhibitions and enjoy the unique benefits of having proper stand in exhibitions.