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Summer Events Guide – Part 2

The New Designers Expo, 1st-4th July and 8th-11th July, Business Design Centre, London: Kicking July off in style – literally – The New Designers Expo brings together over 3,500 graduates across disciplines as wide-ranging as animation, furniture and glass. According to the show’s website, as of 6th April around 80% of the show’s tickets have already been sold, so check out soon if you want to register your attendance!

Imbibe 2010, 13th-14th July, Earl’s Court, London: This event is aimed at buyers and sales professionals within the licensed trade. It focuses on premium drinks brands, and offers ideas for improving customer service and sales figures for establishments that serve alcoholic beverages. Visit to register for the event free of charge.

The Great Yorkshire Show, 13th-15th July, The Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate: The Great Yorkshire Show is another favourite on the agricultural events circuit. With motorbike displays, army assault courses and a fashion pavilion alongside the more traditional cattle parades, stock handling and show jumping, the show certainly has a lot going on – plus, TV chef Rosemary Shrager will be in the Game Cookery Theatre to demonstrate some of her favourite Yorkshire-inspired recipes. Visit for further details.

Chilterns Craft Show, 27th-30th August, Stonor Park, Oxfordshire: Seeing out the summer will be Chilterns Craft Show, which is a family-orientated event that brings handmade and personalised crafts together. From traditional to unusual, contemporary to antique, the event offers visitors the opportunity to purchase gifts and pieces for the home, as well as view demonstrations and displays from up to 250 different craftsmen. The event is held outdoors, so hopefully the weather will still be holding by then – although various marquees, including a fine food and drinks marquee, will be in place if not!

Go to for more information.

Summer Events Guide – Part 1

Perhaps it’s wishful thinking on our part, but the UK weather seems to be slowly (ok, very slowly), but surely improving. So, to celebrate, we thought that we’d devote a couple of blog posts to bringing you a lowdown on some of the hottest events to be gracing our country this summer.

Toy Collectors Fair, 6th June, Birmingham NEC: The next instalment of this regular event will be in June. As always, hundreds of exhibitors will be present, showing everything from model trains to dolls’ houses, as well as toys from classic franchises such as James Bond. There will be a special section of the fair dedicated solely to dolls and teddy bears, and visitors can expect to find bargains as well as rare antiques for sale.
The Summer Graduate Fair, 9th-10th June, Earl’s Court, London: This event is invaluable to graduates, whether they are already set on a career path or have absolutely no idea which direction to take after university. Visitors will have the chance to make contact with such high-profile companies as the BBC and KPMG, and can attend Industry Insight talks which will give them information about the nuts and bolts of different sectors.

The East of England Show, 18th-20th June, Peterborough Showground: A highlight of the region’s agricultural events calendar, the East of England Show is a three-day celebration of farming and rural life, with livestock classes, show jumping and classic car displays.

London Film and Comic Con, 17th-18th July, Earl’s Court, London: one of the major draws of this year’s Film and Comic Con is sure to be The Empire Strikes Back 30th Anniversary Reunion, which will include cast and crew members such as Kenny Baker (R2D2), Chris Parsons (C3PO) and Gary Kurtz (Star Wars Producer). Visitors can also expect giveaways, talks, displays and more.

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 – – 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 the Right Pop Up Stand

With so many different display options and companies out there, you need to make sure that the stand you choose offers you the best value for money and meets your requirements as fully as possible. Here are some points to think about when considering which pop up stand to purchase:

1. Will the stand fit within your allocated space at exhibitions? For example, if you have a shell scheme, you need to make sure that the display you choose fits comfortably within the walls, without being dwarfed by them.

2. Does the stand come with a warranty? This will give you additional peace of mind that, should anything go wrong, it can be taken care of quickly and at no extra cost to you. All Exantia hardware products come with a five year warranty, whilst print is guaranteed for one year, so you can be sure that any display stands you purchase from us will last.

3. What extras does the stand come with? For example, our pop up displays come with their own padded carry case to enable easy transportation and to keep the wear and tear in between shows to a minimum, plus a spares kit for those little parts that inevitably go astray en route!

4. Is the stand easy to set up? Magnetic locking mechanisms are a superb development as far as pop up stands go. Not only do they enable easy set up but they also make for a sturdy, durable structure.
Contact us for more information and guidance on the best display solution for your business. Our Perfect Popup Guide will also give you some ideas on how to get the most out of your pop up stand, and will tell you more about their logistics and dimensions.

Choosing a Conference Venue?

1. Location. Where in the country (or the world) you hold your conference is likely to have a very serious effect on who shows up. For example, your head office may be in the Scottish highlands, but holding your event locally when you are trying to attract a national audience might not work very well!

2. Transport Links. Following on from the above point, think very carefully about where your clients/target audience will be coming from. Events that are difficult to get to can easily put people off, so holding your conference at a venue with nearby train stations – or even airports if it is likely that lots of people will be coming from overseas – can be a good idea.

3. Onsite Amenities. Often, conference venues are out of the way or in industrial areas, making lunchtime more complicated than simply popping out for a sandwich. With this in mind, check what catering and other facilities the venue has to offer – if your clients are happy and not distracted by hunger they will be much more interested in what you have to say!

4. Branding Opportunities. Think about how best to get your message across, and look for a venue that will be able to aid this most effectively. For instance, hotels can make great conference venues, but not all of them are kitted out to allow you to place large placards or stands in their lobby!

5. Cost. This one is pretty self-explanatory, but make sure you look at the big picture and consider all the add-ons that come with venue hire (catering, overnight accommodation, etc). Many venues offer great package rates, and it can be well worthwhile speaking to them in person to see what deals they can offer you.

London’s Exhibition Venues

This week’s blog post will take you on a whistle stop tour of London’s three primary exhibition venues, to give you an idea of where they are, what’s on, and how to find out more.
• ExCel London: Located in the Docklands area, Excel is a mere stone’s throw (five minutes to be precise) from London City Airport, making it ideal for conferences with an international appeal. It is also easily reached via the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), and has plenty of car parking spaces – though these operate on a pay-and-display basis, so make sure you bring your loose change with you. Coming up at ExCel London in the next few months are The London Golf and Tennis Show 2010, Grand Designs Live and Smart Healthcare Live 2010. For more info visit
• Earl’s Court: Earl’s Court is in West London, and is easily reached via the Piccadilly or District Tube Lines. It is the largest exhibition venue in London, and the coming months will see it play host to the likes of The London Book Fair, Real Food Festival and Graduate Fashion Week, along with a myriad of others. Earl’s Court also has the accolade of being one of the venues which will host the 2012 London Olympics. Visit for more info.

• Olympia: Operated by the same company as Earl’s Court, Olympia is better reached from the Kensington (Olympia) tube station on the District line, though the two venues are in fact mere streets away from each other, and the distance is walkable in roughly fifteen minutes. Events including Counter Terror Expo and The Allergy and Gluten Free Show will be taking place here, but check out for other upcoming events.

Barking & Dagenham East London Expo

Barking and DagenhamSanofi-aventis, Dagenham, 19th October 2010

Barking & Dagenham Chamber of Commerce are the brains behind this Expo, which is the first of what will become an annual occasion – so the perfect time to get in at ground level and be among the first to experience this brand new business-to-business event.

Trading opportunities, new business relationships and product showcases will be in abundance at the Expo. It is aimed at both buyers and suppliers, and leading figures and multi-millionaires from the business world will be in attendance, boosting their profiles by meeting fellow industry players and keeping their eyes peeled for networking and trading opportunities.

Sponsors of the inaugural event include the Barking & Dagenham Post, Thames Gateway London Partnership Travel Plans and Dagenham and Redbridge FC, and there will be over 75 exhibitors (including Exantia!) manning the stands and offering a multitude of goods and services; in fact, early reports stated that the stands initially on offer were sold out 5 weeks in advance of the event, so this show looks set to become a firm fixture in East London’s business calendar.

With so many savvy business heads and entrepreneurial-types in attendance, it’s fitting that ‘free’ is a bit of a watchword for this bursting-at-the-seams event: entrance to the show, seminars and networking forums are all on offer at no charge – and, as an added bonus, complimentary tea and coffee will be available throughout the event (as well as a cash bar for those wishing to celebrate deals struck and partnerships made!). Also free will be the Expo’s ‘meet the buyer’ event, intended to help small- and medium-sized companies to secure business with large private and public sector contractors. The buyers will also be on hand to answer questions and offer advice on how best to present your company to meet supplier selection criteria and win big contracts.

Exantia will be in attendance at stand 43, showcasing our range of pop up and banner stands and display accessories, and answering questions about your display needs. We can also advise you on direct to board display solutions such as Foamex and Dibond, and aspects such as how to design your exhibition graphics, and best practice for exhibitions and trade shows – so make sure you stop by stand 43 with your free tea or coffee and say hello!

The show will kick off at 10am and end at 6pm, and it will then be followed by a networking reception which will run from around 6pm-8pm. The venue is located at the Sanofi-Aventis Sports and Social Club, Rainham Road South, Dagenham, RM7 0XQ. It is located around 10 minutes from Romford, and local directions to Rainham Road South are available on the Expo’s website. The nearest tube stop is Dagenham East.

Although the event is free to attend, you do need to book your attendance via the website (click the ‘Register’ link at the top of the page).

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.

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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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