Exhibiting at an exhibition costs a considerable sum, so it’s as well to make sure you get your money’s worth. An exhibition is primarily a stage on which to show off your products or services, as well as an opportunity to raise awareness and, of course, to sell. But it’s more than that.

An exhibition is also a chance to influence people’s perceptions of your products or brand.

When buyers visit an exhibition such as a boat show, they come with certain pre-determined brand preferences, a shortlist of brands that they’re most drawn to. Those preferences are formed as a result of reputation, maybe some personal experience, plus certain information and a perception of the brand image that they’ve picked up from your advertising and marketing. In the stark setting of a boat show, one product can look pretty much like another. So there’s more reason than ever to work on that brand image, to give you an edge. You’ve paid for the space already, so make the most of it.

Think of your stand like an advertisement. As well as product and branding, make use of display areas for messages that will engage with visitors and enhance their perceptions of the brand. An inspiring strapline, if you have one, is obviously a good start. Your advertising can probably be simplified and re-worked into display panels. And enticing images of different ways of enjoying the product will enable more people to identify with what you’re selling.

It all adds to the appeal, and works a lot better than the all-too-common deadpan product displays. rp@cp-uk.com