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Latest Entries...

Creating Exhibition Graphics

In the scheme of preparing for an exhibition, designing graphics for your pop up stand or banner display may not seem like the highest priority. But it can make or break the way your stand appears to potential customers, and therefore how successful the show is for your business. Here is some food for thought on creating great graphics:

1. Your headline: Keep your headline easy to read and digest. If there are too many words, people may not pause for long enough to read them.

2. Your images: Make sure they are high-quality and easy to decipher. The last thing you want is for people to be distracted by a confusing or fuzzy image!

3. Your message: It may be in your interest to use a message that is generic enough to be used at different shows, thus cutting out the cost of having new graphics printed every time.

4. Your design: See our 14th June blog post on ‘Design tips for your tradeshow graphics’ for some more hints on design. If in doubt, it is possible to hire a graphic designer for relatively low cost, and they have the benefit of experience in this field that you or your team may not.

It has been suggested that, on average, you have about 7-9 seconds to catch and hold the attention of potential visitors to your stand, so you need to make sure these seconds count!

Also remember that, in addition to the graphics for your actual stand, you may need to think about things like brochures, press releases, exhibitor profile information for show guides, and so on. You should take a streamlined approach to this – so where possible try to use the same graphics, colours, etc. you used for your stand. This will help people to become familiar with your brand and ensure that customers instantly recognise you.


Business Startup

Business Startup enjoys its status as the UK’s biggest business event for entrepreneurs. It will launch on 30th November at London’s Earls Court, located in West London. Among the highlights at this prestigious show will be free workshops, speed networking and a plethora of exhibitors – over two hundred, to be slightly more specific – spanning the spectrum of industries.

As has become the show’s custom of late, the seminars this year will be laced with a hefty dose of Dragons’ Den stars past and present, including Rachel Elnaugh, Richard Farleigh, Julie Meyer and Shaf Rasul. Self-made multi-millionaire and token non-Dragon Richard Gold will also host a Q&A session. Gold’s first foray into the business world was selling buttons with his mother outside their house in East London, and he now counts Ann Summers and Gold Air International among his many successes.

With so many ‘Dragons’ in regular attendance, it seems only fitting that Business Startup’s initiative The Midas Touch has become such a popular part of the show. Like Dragons’ Den, The Midas Touch gives fledgling entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their business ideas to a panel of millionaires, who will then decide whether or not the business is worthy of their investment. Potential pitchers must register in advance however, so be sure to sign up via the website if you think you have a marketable idea that would benefit from a touch of gold.

Tickets to Business Startup are free, and the website – www.bstartup.com – is well worth a visit for those considering whether or not to attend, with clips from guest speakers, a wealth of information about the show itself and a handy show checklist, designed to ensure you don’t miss out on any of the show’s prime offerings.


Designing for your Pop Up Stand

pop up stand designWhen designing your stand’s graphics, it is easy to succumb to the temptation of trying to cram as much information as possible into the limited space. But it is important to remember that your stand is not your sole marketing tool. Instead, it should be treated as an ‘eye-catcher’; something to draw the attention of your potential visitors and make them want to find out more by visiting your stand.

To this end, try to keep your graphics bright and easy to take in. During the brief initial glance a potential customer gives your stand, they should be able to gain a basic idea of who you are and what you do, so keep these two points in mind during the design process. Once people have been enticed onto your stand, you can use your other marketing materials – brochures, product displays, laptop presentations and of course your sales staff – to bring your company to life and provide the extra details.

In terms of the actual logistics of graphics design, there are a few golden rules that will help to ensure your finished display looks as crisp and attractive as possible. First of all, try to create the design in such a way that images and – even more importantly – text won’t be broken up by joins in the stand. Secondly, ensure that the most important details (such as your logo) are above head height so that this can be spotted even through the crowds. Finally, if you think you may want to update your stand in the future, try to design each panel so that the one that may be replaced at a later date can be changed by itself, which will save you the expense of replacing every single panel.

For more tips on designing graphics, contact a member of the Exantia team on 020 8507 1612.


Choosing a Portable Display Stand

banner standPortable display stands have a huge range of advantages over other promotional methods when it comes to exhibitions. Here are some of our favourite benefits:

1. Low Cost: portable displays and pop up stands are an extremely cost-effective way to make your exhibition space look great. Because of the durability of the materials and the long-lasting, fade-resistant inks used for printing, the stands can be used again and again, so you don’t need to invest vast amounts of money in new promotional materials every time you exhibit.

2. Flexibility: because display stands needn’t be specific to a single exhibition, they are suitable for a vast range of events; and, in between, they can make a great addition to your premises’ reception area or showroom. They are also incredibly easy to transport, so can be taken with you wherever your exhibition trail takes you.

3. Speed of Production: we are able to turn your stand around within just five working days of receipt of approved artwork and payment, and all stands are dispatched for next day delivery. We even offer an Express Service for those last-minute jobs!

4. Speed of Assembly: on average, banner stands take just three minutes to set up, whilst pop up stands take around twelve. Because they are so quick and easy to assemble, you don’t need to get to exhibitions super early and mess around with multitudes of tools – plus, our portable stands are just as quick to dismantle at the end of the exhibition, so they are perfectly conducive to a speedy getaway!

5. Environmental Credibility: portable display stands help to cut down on waste, since you don’t need to dispose of temporary displays that are no longer relevant following the event, or are too worn to be used again.


What NOT to do on your stand

huddlingWhen manning an exhibition stand, it is vital that your sales team are alert, approachable and constantly on the lookout for new customers and opportunities. In addition, your team are ambassadors for your business and their behaviour, appearance and conduct is as much on show as your products or services. However, there are lots of pitfalls that can easily be fallen into – no matter how good your team’s intentions – so this week we have come up with a quick run-down of ten things your sales team should not be doing whilst on your exhibition stand:

1. Standing in huddles, making them difficult to approach.

2. Talking on their mobiles, and thus missing valuable opportunities to network.

3. Checking their emails, again taking their focus away from the task at hand.

4. Eating, which looks sloppy and unprofessional (not to mention that customers will not want to speak to a salesperson who has their mouth full!).

5. Using closed or negative body language, such as crossed arms or slouched posture – a straight back and a smile can work wonders!

6. Talking amongst themselves at the cost of speaking with customers.

7. Leaning or lounging around the stand, giving customers the impression that they are disinterested or bored.

8. Listening in to conversations on neighbouring stands – as well as distracting the team from potential clients, this isn’t always as inconspicuous as it may seem!

9. Gossiping, speaking about confidential company matters or using inappropriate language – even between customer visits, it is vital to remember that exhibition stand walls have ears, so you never know which competitors or customers on neighbouring stands may be listening!

10. Fiddling with collateral, accessories, stand components or clothing, which can make them appear uncomfortable, distracted or bored.


Designing Tradeshow Graphics

Exhibition stand design

design is everything

The way in which you design your tradeshow graphics can have a huge impact on the way customers and competitors view and remember your brand. But if you’ve never designed this kind of thing before it can seem like a bit of a mystery art, so this week we thought we’d offer some useful tips that will help you to get the most out of your banner displays and pop up stands, and ensure your investment is well-spent.

• Don’t over-complicate. Make sure you focus carefully on the core things that you want your audience to take away with them – a single heading or sentence along with an image or logo can often do the trick. If your display is crowded with too many words, people simply won’t remember them all and your brand and message will be watered down.

• Stick to a few key colours. As far as colours go, less is definitely more where most tradeshow graphics are concerned. If your pop up stand or banner looks as though it has collided with a rainbow it will appear cluttered and garish, making the message difficult to decipher – keep in mind that you want to make the information on the display as easy as possible for your customers to digest. For a short article on colour theory for graphic design visit: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/02/08/color-theory-for-designer-part-3-creating-your-own-color-palettes/ , in particular halfway down the article: “The easiest colour schemes”.

• Use white space carefully. White space or background colour can balance out graphics and text very effectively, but you also shouldn’t allow huge ‘empty’ areas to dominate your display. Instead, try to use the negative space to draw the eye to the elements in the design that are the most important.

• Stick to a maximum of 2 or 3 different font faces (text types). Your main message should be easy to read and visualise, so use serif fonts for smaller text. For large text both serif and sans-serif fonts work well.

For additional ideas, check out other people’s graphics when you visit tradeshows – you will then be able to get a good feel for what works and what doesn’t.


You will love using Banner Stands

When your sales team are at an event, they want to focus on selling without having to worry about the logistics of their exhibition area and promotional materials. So how can a banner stand reduce your sales team’s stress levels and leave them free to do what they do best? Read on…

1. No early arrival needed. Because banner stands take a matter of seconds to set up (see last week’s blog post for a more in-depth discussion on this…), there is no need to spend excessive amounts of time before the event hammering nails into place or Sellotaping posters that have seen better days. This means that the sales team can spend any spare time preparing, networking or meeting clients.

2. Your message is out there for all to see. With a banner stand proudly proclaiming your company’s branding and core message, potential customers will already have an idea of who you are and what you do – which will make your sales team’s job that much easier.

3. Easy come, easy go. Banner stands are lightweight and extremely compact when packed away, which means that they can be easily transported. So there is no need for your sales team to spend valuable time sorting out couriers (and chasing up lost or delayed stands!). Plus, all of our stands come with their own padded carrying case, so your stand won’t get damaged en-route.

4. Make a fast getaway. At the end of a long day – or several days – the last thing your sales team will want to do is hang around waiting for a stand builder, or spend hours deconstructing complex structures and sorting out various parts. Since banner stands can be packed away as quickly as they can be set up, your team can get cleared up and on their way with minimal fuss.

5. Create a lasting impression. A visually stunning banner stand adorned with your eye-catching graphics and logo will help your customers remember you, which will go a long way towards giving your sales team an edge during that all-important post-event follow-up.


Shell Schemes – What, why and how?

Shell Scheme GraphicsWhen you book your exhibition slot, the organiser will usually offer you shell scheme or space only options. Shell schemes can seem like a baffling concept to the uninitiated, so this week we’ll take you through the basics so that you can decide whether a shell scheme is right for you.

What? With a shell scheme, the stand itself is already erected, so you just need to decorate the area provided. With space only, you are simply allocated a portion of floor, meaning that you must provide everything (dividers, stands, tables, etc) yourself.

Why? The shell scheme option tends to be the cheapest of the two. The benefit of opting for a shell scheme is that things like your stand walls, flooring and lighting are already in place, so you don’t need to worry about transporting or setting up these aspects. The negative side is that your stand starts off looking exactly like everyone else’s – but with a little customisation, that needn’t be the case for long!

How? Although a shell scheme stand starts off looking generic, there are many ways in which you can customise the space, without having to spend a fortune. Generally your stand walls will be plain panels, so these can be customised with posters, banners, etc., meaning that you can effectively ‘brand’ the space, making it your own. Pop up stands are also great for brightening up the space and communicating your message, without taking up too much floor space, and in addition they are very easy to set up.

Whether you go for a shell scheme or space only slot, you should always check with the show organisers with regards to aspects such as the power sockets that will be accessible from your stand, the wi-fi / broadband availability, and so on. This way there won’t be any nasty surprises on the day!


Pick the perfect exhibition stand

Last month Exantia launched a new blog series to provide you with hints, tips and advice on how to improve your tradeshow effectiveness. This month we identify some of the questions you should ask before committing to a particular size of stand and its location.

As a marketing manager with responsibility for the exhibitions programme, you will know that buying floor space is not cheap. Floor space alone can consume a considerable proportion of your event budget, therefore it is vital that your position on the tradeshow floor will enable you to meet your objectives and that the space size is neither too big nor too small.

When choosing the size of your exhibition space, budget is obviously a major consideration. You will also need to take the following factors into account:
a) Will meetings be held on or off the stand?
b) Do you plan to run product demos? How many and how much space do they need?
c) Will you be serving food and/or drinks?
d) What are your AV requirements?
e) Do you need storage?
f) Where will literature be distributed?

When choosing your stand location, consult with colleagues who have previously attended the event for areas that have good footfall. If possible, arrange a site visit to the venue with the Exhibition Sales Manager so that you can truly understand the size of the venue and the Event Organisers plans to drive traffic across the show floor.

Key points to consider when selecting your stand position:
a) Where are the main thoroughfares?
b) Where are the refreshment areas?
c) Where are your competitors?
d) Where are the key industry players?
e) Are there any organised events, such as open seminars and awards, on the show floor?

Now that you are confident that you have chosen the right size space in the perfect position, the next step is to design your stand. In next month’s blog, we’ll provide you with a few pointers to ensure your stand is the talk of the tradeshow floor for all of the right reasons.


Make the most of your space

This week’s blog post focuses on the exhibition space itself, and offers some tips and ideas for ensuring that the limited space is put to the best possible use.

First of all, remember to bear in mind your business’s values when setting up your allocated space. For example, if one of your core company values is ‘simplicity’, your stand should probably be simple and clean without too much clutter, in order to reflect this. Literature racks can be a great way to display promotional materials without having to have them spread all over table tops or spilling onto the floor.

Similarly, pay due attention to your objectives for the exhibition. If your primary aim is to launch a new product, for instance, make sure you have enough space on your stand to allow effective display or demonstration of the product, and that customers can get close enough to see it clearly.

You should make sure that your stand is eye-catching and will capture the attention of your audience. As far as graphics go, pop up stands, banner stands and other displays can be a great way of brightening up your exhibition space and conveying your brand to customers. The type of display you can incorporate will of course depend on the size of the space you have, but a professionally-produced banner with careful consideration to your core values can do wonders for your reputation and image. (For tips on graphics design, see next week’s blog post.)
You could also try incorporating music or video. This can easily be done without the need for expensive sound systems – just a laptop running your company’s latest promotional video can add an extra dimension and draw people to your stand.

For more ideas on maximising your exhibition space, give us a call on 020 8507 1612.


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Exantia ClientsCanon | BAA | Sony | T-Mobile | Philips | Virgin | Trader Media Group | HSBC

Exantia are situated in East London, on the borders of Essex, and offer delivery of our high quality banner stands, popup stands, exhibition display acessories, replacement graphic panels, direct to board prints, and pvc banners throughout the UK, to the following UK cities and surrounding areas:

Aberdeen, Bangor, Bath, Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Brighton and Hove, Bristol, Cambridge, Canterbury, Cardiff, Carlisle, Chester, Chichester, City of London, Coventry, Derby, Dublin, Dundee, Durham, Edinburgh, Ely, Exeter, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hereford, Inverness, Kingston upon Hull, Lancaster, Leeds, Leicester, Lichfield, Lincoln, Lisburn, Liverpool, Londonderry, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Newport, Newry, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston, Ripon, Salford, Salisbury, Sheffield, Southampton, St Albans, St Davids, Stirling, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Swansea, Truro, Wakefield, Wells, Westminster, Winchester, Wolverhampton, Worcester, York.

Contact us now with your exhibition stand and other exhibition display requirements for a professional service and quality display.

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2009 EXANTIA DISPLAY SYSTEMS - www.exantia.co.uk