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Latest Entries...

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.


Case in Point

Unlike many other display stand companies out there, all Exantia banner stands, pop up stands and even accessories such as literature racks come with their own padded carry case as standard. This is because we know that although carefully packing your equipment away may not seem like an important priority in the scheme of things, the implications of failing to transport stands safely and securely can be much further-reaching than may be immediately apparent.

Of course, the primary concern with an exposed or improperly packaged stand is that it can get damaged en route. Broken or missing components can mean that it is no longer possible to set up your stand correctly, which will then necessitate the purchase of replacement parts – an added cost which your budget doesn’t need. Graphics and banners that should last years can also get marked or damaged, and will certainly end up looking tired more quickly, again necessitating premature replacement and additional expenditure.

In a wider sense, damaged, incomplete or worn out stands will result in your graphics looking far from their best at your tradeshows and exhibitions – or may mean that you have no graphics at all – which of course can have a hugely detrimental knock-on effect for your brand, image and reputation, both from your customers’ and potential customers’ viewpoints, and from that of your competitors.

As well as padded carry cases, we offer a wheeled flight case option for many of our stands, which give your equipment further protection and can make for easier transportation. For more information on our cases and for tips on keeping your stands looking their best, email one of the Exantia team on info@exantia.co.uk, or call us on 020 8507 1612.


Faster than Building a Banner Stand

Banner stands are incredibly easy to set up – you can literally get one out of the bag and ready to go in under a minute. So that got us thinking about what else can be done in such a miniscule amount of time.

In actual fact, this blog post began as 10 Things you can do Faster than Build a Banner Stand… but we were struggling to think of all ten without straying into the realms of the absurd!

What we did come up with was:
1. Boil a kettle (though you probably wouldn’t have time to make a round of coffee for your team)
2. Make a paper aeroplane out of a discarded memo
3. Sign a colleague’s leaving card
4. Delete a spam email
5. Get out of the office during a fire drill…

Things like ‘build a Lego house’ and ‘rewind a video’ didn’t seem quite so relevant – but you see our point!
And now, here are five things you can build faster with a banner display on your exhibition stand:

1. Relationships with clients – customers will spot your stand from a distance and know that you are at the show before they’ve even come over to say hello – and when they do, they’ll be all ready to speak to you about your business’s latest developments

2. Brand image – banner stands help to get your logo and brand values out there for all to see

3. Client base – new customers will be attracted to your stand

4. Reputation – banners give your business a professional edge that helps to put you ahead of the competition

5. The value of the exhibition – the four points above mean that the show will have been made more worthwhile, just by having a banner display on your stand!

Banner stands can be branded with your graphics and message, and all of our banner stands are supplied with a padded carrying case to make them as easy to transport as they are to set up!


Promote your business with an A-Board

Exantia_A_BoardA” Boards are a fantastic, cost-effective way to promote your business: they’re high-impact, portable and couldn’t be easier to set up – plus, their contents can be changed as often as required, so they’re ideal for displaying information that needs to be updated on a regular basis.
And if you’re not quite sure where an A Board would fit into your business, here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Gain passing trade: Because A Boards take up relatively little space, and can be moved around easily, placing them on the pavement outside your premises can be a great way to attract passing customers – hence why they are so popular with businesses such as shops and restaurants.

2. Enhance your stand at trade shows: A Boards can complement banner and pop up stands very effectively; for instance, they can help to drive your message or brand home, or can be used to outline the benefits of your business in bite-sized chunks – for example, as an easy-to-read, bulleted list.

3. Advertise special offers: Posters can be loaded or unloaded from A Boards in a matter of seconds, so things like limited promotions or special offers can be advertised with impact, without making it necessary for you to commit to a long-term display.

4. Display messages to customers: In addition to advertising promotions, A Boards are a quick and easy way to communicate with your customers, saving them the hassle of having to search for key information. For instance, you could use an A Board to direct customers to your car park, or to let them know your opening times. You could also use an A Board to display daily schedules, rotas or instructions to your staff.

5. Use your positive press: You want to make sure that you make the most of any kind of positive press coverage about your business, and displaying reviews or news snippets using an A Board makes for a brilliant way to let your customers know just how great you are!

For more information on A Boards, contact a member of the Exantia team on info@exantia.co.uk, or 020 8507 1612.


Destinations Holiday & Travel Show

Exantia_destination 3Earls Court, London, 4th-7th February and NEC, Birmingham, 5th-7th March

Presented by The Times newspaper, Destinations proudly proclaims itself ‘the essential event for travel inspiration’. Now in its 16th year, there are few events on the show circuit that can be said to have such a wide-reaching appeal as this one: quite simply, Destinations attracts anyone with a passion for travel, and will offer ideas, tips and expert advice to suit every taste and budget.

The show is split into world areas for easy navigation, with a special area dedicated specifically to adventure travel, and hundreds of companies will be exhibiting at both the London and Birmingham legs of the event, which makes it a great alternative to travel agencies or the internet for getting travel tips. Many of the companies in attendance will offer exclusive show discounts and special packages, so it’s also the perfect place to book your next trip – be it vacation or voyage.

To keep things lively, the World Entertainment Stage is set to include showcases of Brazilian Capoeria, Colombian and classical Indian dance, whilst in the Meet the Expert Theatres high-profile explorers, adventurers, travel writers and photographers will take the floor to regale visitors with tales of their own adventures and expeditions. Topping the bill in London will be the likes of Countryfile presenter Julia Bradbury, whilst speakers in Birmingham will include Mark Carwardine and Simon Reeve, as well as self-proclaimed ‘gastronaut’ Stefan Gates.

Advance tickets are £8 for Birmingham or £10 for London (plus booking fee), but there is also a ‘Late Night’ option available for London, which allows you to access the show on Thursday 4th February after 5pm for just £5. Kids under 12 can attend either show free. To book your place, visit www.destinationsshow.com


What are your reasons for exhibiting?

Trade_Show 1This week, Exantia is launching a new blog series which will provide hints, tips and advice to help you to ensure that your marketing budget is well spent, and that the conferences and tradeshows that you exhibit at deliver the anticipated results.

Before you confirm your attendance at any event, ensure it supports your marketing objectives. Consider the reasons why your company wants to attend – are they consistent with your overall marketing strategy and objectives, and is the event the most appropriate and cost-effective channel to meet those objectives?

Here are 7 reasons why companies typically attend a conference or exhibition, and ways in which you can ensure these objectives are met. It is of course possible for one event to fulfil all of these objectives:

1. Thought leadership: Can you get one of your management team on the conference programme? Conference organisers are always looking for good speakers. There may also be opportunities to run a workshop the day before or after the event, or even during the event itself.

2. Increase your profile: What are the sponsorship options? There will be a huge number of opportunities to get your brand in front of exhibition visitors – this is only limited by your budget.

3. Attract new customers: What is the exhibition visitor profile in terms of job title, industry, geography and purchasing responsibility? Ensure it matches your target customer.

4. Meet existing customers: Do your existing customers plan to attend, and can you get them complimentary exhibition passes? If you have an international customer base, an event can present the perfect opportunity to organise additional meetings, whilst your team and customers are in the same city.

5. Launch a new product: Will your product launch get the attention it deserves? Remember, the largest players in your industry will almost definitely be launching new products, which may dominate press attention. If you are a launching a niche product, what can you do to stand out from the crowd and get the attention you deserve?

6. Keep up with competitors: Will they be attending this year? Don’t assume that because they were there last year, they will be again. If this is your only reason for attending, you should question your decision.

7. Meet the press: Which journalists are going? Can you get the press list in advance and arrange meetings? It’s the perfect opportunity to build personal relationships with industry journalists and to secure coverage in the months after the event has finished.

Once you have decided that the event is the right one for you, the next step is to book your exhibition space. In next month’s blog, we’ll provide you with a checklist to help you choose the best exhibition space for your company.


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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