After some consideration and deliberation you have booked a stand at StudyWorld. But with more than 40 stands and over 700 delegates, standing out from the crowd and making the most of your StudyWorld stand is crucial.
We asked Siobhán Small, English UK’s events manager, who has been to multiple StudyWorlds and seen many successful StudyWorld stands for her top exhibiting tips.
1. Start promoting your stand now
A great way to raise your presence at the event is to start promoting your attendance now. Why should delegates come and visit your stand? What can they learn about? Who will they meet?
Start building a sense of excitement and familiarity with your brand ahead of StudyWorld with a new email signature, mailouts to your customers, a banner on your website and posts across social media.
Make sure you’ve also ordered plenty of leaflets, business cards, sweets, pens and anything else you plan to give away and promote to more than 700 delegates.
2. Dress to impress whilst communicating your values
Clothing and appearance communicates a message about values and character. Make sure you are dressed appropriately for your offer. Is it important for your organisation to be recognised as slick and corporate, or creative and approachable?
While the dress code for StudyWorld is smart business meeting, you can put your own flare on it. More than 4,000 meetings will take place at StudyWorld, so a unique feature, bright colour or personal touch to your outfit could help you stand out and be remembered. But don’t force it. Make sure you still feel comfortable and that your clothing represents you.
You can really show off your creativity at the StudyWorld 50th birthday party on Tuesday night. The networking evening will have a Beatles cover band and delegates are invited to add a optional 1960s twist to their outfit. Come celebrate 50 years of building valuable business relationships and socialise with fellow delegates.
3. Set up early and give yourself time to solve any problems
Eradicate the stress of rushing your display and set up your stand as soon as you can from 15:00 on Monday. This way you can make sure your brochures are in place and technology is working well before your first meeting. And if its not, there is plenty time for a last-minute fix!
It is also helpful to know where you are going before the first trading day. Walk around the space, see where potential partners and existing customers are based around the hall so you can pop by for a quick hello.
If you are interested in new ideas and connecting with other delegates before the trading days, join StudyWorld’s seminars from 13:45 on Monday, too. You could learn a few new things and meet a few new people.
Following the seminars, it’s the StudyWorld welcome reception, which is another great opportunity to meet people in a more relaxed setting and learn about the life-changing impact of UK education with Yinbo Yu.
4. Focus on furnishing and lights to dazzle delegates
StudyWorld stands are shell schemes, so you will have a space with white panels for the walls, a trestle table and a couple of chairs. You can bring roll up or pop up banners, brochure racks and other items to decorate, as long as all items stay within your stand and don’t exceed two metres in height.
One aspect of exhibiting that is often forgotten is lighting. Lights can add warmth, create a mood or create a focal point within your stand. You could even bring a coloured light to give your space a distinct feature from your neighbours. Combine light, texture, colour and layout to attract attention and give a strong sense of what your company is about.
You can order spotlights for your stand until Friday 23 August to highlight certain areas or make your space all the more inviting. You can also order sockets, so you can bring in your own lamps, by calling GES on 02476 380 190.
5. Create intrigue by thinking outside the box…
Be creative. Personalise your space by thinking about what makes your brand unique. Games, competitions and creative displays can help you stand out and excite delegates. One year an exhibitor even built a bedroom in their stand!
…but keep it tidy inside your shell scheme
StudyWorld is a big event at a busy venue, so make sure your materials are all labelled clearly. Deliver to the QEII Centre on Thursday 29 and Friday 30 August, and pick up on Thursday 5 September. Remember stick to the times above, as other events at the venue may make finding your things difficult.
With all those boxes and materials along with the tasty food and drink on offer at the event, it is easy for your stand to become untidy. Remember to keep your space clean from empty cups and used plates to maintain order and your inviting appearance.
6. Be approachable and have fun!
Be mindful of your body language and where your attention lies. Don’t trap yourself behind a table, a stream of emails on your laptop or behind stiffly crossed arms. Be approachable and welcoming: you never know who is wandering past, they could be your next client!
Step out to the front of your stand, smile and look open to questions and comments. Avoid huddles and chatting too much with your colleagues, visitors may not want to interrupt your conversation and walk straight past.
Standing and talking to delegates all day can be exhausting – and you don’t want to look like you are wilting and have no energy for the next visitor. Make sure you sleep well, take breaks and support your colleagues to stay motivated and energised. You never know, the last conversation of the day might be the most valuable, so stay focused.
If you want to book an extra delegate to share the load, there is still time by getting in touch with Tim, our StudyWorld commercial director.
7. Stretch your legs and step out of your stand
To make the most of your StudyWorld stand, sometimes it is useful to step out from it. With lots of delegates on networking passes and in-hall seminars taking place, we aim to have a dynamic event with people moving around. If things are a little quiet on the stand, head over to the meeting points, refreshment areas and presentation zone. It will give you a change of pace and the chance to bump into new contacts.
8. Speak to as many people as possible and make personal connections
StudyWorld welcomes over 700 delegates so there are lots of people to speak to. Try to engage with as many people as you can to open any potential leads. But read the signs if someone isn’t interested. Be concise and friendly. And when a conversation is promising, make sure you record the details.
Have a robust system for recording new contact details so you can remember who is who. And more than just name, company and interest, why not also note a personal detail about the person? Did they mention where they were headed after StudyWorld? Were they going to try to take a selfie with Big Ben? This little nugget of information will not only make your follow up communication easier and more natural, but it can also lay the foundation of a strong business relationship.
We will also have a film crew at the event who would love to speak to willing volunteers. Giving them a great quote about the event means you will likely get further brand exposure as we promote next year’s event.
9. Follow up fast after StudyWorld
Strike while the iron is hot and the memories are still fresh. Give yourself a deadline to complete your follow ups and stick to it. Use the notes you made about each delegate, those personal connections you made will give you something personal to say.