If you had asked 12 months ago would we be prepared to exhibit 3DG Design at an exhibition, we would have given it some serious thought but more than likely declined. Gillian Hunter of science and technology networking group LATi Ltd encouraged us to do just that. In recent years Gillian has been organising a dedicated showcase event for local technology-based businesses, called Innovation InCharnwood. It also won ‘Best Event’ in 2017 as part of the Leicester Business Festival. Having heard about the event and missing out previously, 3DG decided 2018 would be the year and seized the opportunity.
Create A Theme.
The main display wall was to follow the company theme of 3, creating a large display panel in three sections. Exhibitors were allocated a 2.0m footprint, with this in mind, it would also have to be freestanding, easy to move and showcase elements from the retail display industry. This included having an illuminated 3DG logo, subtle edge lighting, colour matched acrylic panels, large printed graphics with an inspiring image leaving the guest in no doubt the type of service the company offers. If there is still any doubt the company philosophy ‘Design, Develop & Display’ (3x D’s), will tie it all together nicely.
Engaging visitors was a high priority, by letting them experience recent work in VR (virtual reality), although not a new technology, it has developed significantly in recent years including supporting digital twin in industries such as aerospace and automotive. This enthusiasm was sparked earlier this year when visiting developers Holovis and the Develop3D live event at Warwick Arts Centre in March 2018. It was the inspiration and driving force to showcase recent Exhibition design work in a VR setting. The recent showcase event last month seemed a realistic deadline. This goal was achieved.
In summary, would exhibiting your company be recommended? The simple answer is yes. The first event will always seem daunting, but preparation is key. You will always adapt elements of your display as you do more events. Learning to exhibit is a journey, you just need to make the first step. The vital thing now is 3DG have the illuminated display, equipment, digital presentation, and crucially the VR/Oculus work to do future events. The preparation process forces you to think about your company, how it’s perceived and your brand strategy.
TOP 6 EXHIBITING TIPS
1. Set Clear Achievable Goals
Think about what you want to achieve and the message you want to get across with your exhibition stand. This first exhibition was to purely raise brand awareness for 3DG within the local business community. The display was to convey the company name and showcase what services are offered.
2. Maximize Your Space
Often booth size can be restrictive so it’s important to fully utilise the space you’ve been allocated. Make sure you have exact dimensions confirmed prior to any design work commissioned.
3. Less Is Definitely More
When it comes to text on an exhibition stand, this certainly is the case. Avoid using long sentences if single words will convey the same message, as no one will not stop to read a lengthy paragraph. Keep your messaging short and sweet!
4. Lighting Is Paramount
A key area which can be overlooked is lighting, this can play a very crucial role in the design of an exhibition stand. For 3DG the logo had to be illuminated and is potentially the most important part of the display as this would be seen from a distance. Also included is subtle edge-lit acrylic divisions to separate the header and main graphics display.
The illumination worked so well, better than was hoped, subtly adding class. Lights certainly enhance aesthetic appeal and if used correctly, can elevate a logo or create different moods and ambience depending on the desired outcome. Consider additional lighting and don’t rely on what’s supplied by the venue.
5. Include Large Graphics
As the old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. With short attention spans, images and graphics are a quick and effective way to communicate a long message or idea instead of lines of text. A top tip would be to create a serious impression by using large graphics or images – create an impact!
6. Use Technology to show what you do!
Why not showcase your product using new technology? For 3DG, a huge push was to get four exhibition CAD models into ‘VR’ to allow guests to fully immerse themselves and experience recent work. A company 3D printer was on hand to print live project parts, simply to create conversation and interest, as well as a presentation on a screen showing project work.