Do you take your business to networking events, expos and trade shows? Do you want to learn how to increase your brand awareness at such events? Then read on as i share with you vital tips to optimizing your banner stands at business networking events.

I’m often astounded by the sheer number of poorly designed banner stands at business fairs and exhibitions. After trudging through swathes of potential events, preparing well-thought-through pitches and paying through the nose for a platform on which to showcase their business; it strikes me as careless that all of this effort can be so easily laid to waste by an amateurish banner stand design.

So just what mistakes are most commonly made? Quite simple; a poorly designed banner stand is one which fails in its purest purpose: to garner attention for you and your business. To fulfil this need and avoid total failure at the events, business marketing teams should work hand-in-hand with their designer to ensure that the following principles aren’t disregarded.

How to optimize your banner stands at business networking events and increase your brand awareness

1.            Ensure the design is clean and accessible

The banner design should always look clean and professional. Do not accept anything otherwise. Clear, short and bold text should convey your message, purpose and vision. Try to summarize the exact nature of your business in as short a space as possible. What can you provide passers-by that might interest them enough to stop and engage with you?

It’s also important to consider colour. What shades might you use to differentiate yourself from the other stands? Colour should be used sparingly but effectively. Don’t overwhelm potential suitors with a ‘trying too hard’ cacophony of colours that stinks of overkill. Finally, always feature your company logo on your banner stand. This might seem obvious but you’d be surprised how often it’s overlooked. Don’t waste an ideal opportunity to promote your brand image. If you feel the design isn’t as polished as it should be; send it back and demand the company revise the design.

2.            Quality speaks for itself

Source your banner stand from a reliable provider. You have to remember that you’re going to be promoting your business to experienced, professional business people. Such people will notice if the quality of material, printing or banner security isn’t up to scratch.

Having your banner fall on a visitor isn’t the sort of attention you’re hoping to find at business events! If you attend many exhibitions and fairs on behalf of your business, then look into finding a portable option. The important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t take shortcuts based on price. If you take shortcuts in your marketing approach, then potential suitors are perfectly entitled to believe you might take shortcuts in your other business practices.

3.            Include an effective call to action

How do you want visitors to your display to react upon passing? Tell them! An effective call to action can dramatically increase sign-up conversions at exhibitions. You need to communicate how the visitor stands to benefit from engaging with you.

What, exactly, will they gain by talking with you? If you’ve any incentives such as entry into a competition or exclusive discounts then make sure you communicate this through your banner stand. Active language such as ‘call’, ‘register’ and ‘donate’ will encourage potential customers to act upon any desire to engage with your stall. Try to create a sense of urgency through your language, for example: ‘for a short time only.’

The best advice is simply to get involved with the design process. Don’t outsource the work without a second thought; it’s important to optimize your business image for results at events. Otherwise, you’re simply throwing money away.

This was a guest post from Thomas O’Rourke on behalf of Marler Haley; provider of portable banner stands. If you have any comments or contributions, please get in touch via e-mail or Twitter.

Ajaero Tony Martins