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www. exhibitingmagazine. co. uk July/ August 2010 - EXHIBITING 47 top tips S o, you've invested lots of time and money in creating a beautiful exhibition stand to show off your latest products. It reflects your brand image, highlights key features and includes a host of samples to try. You think it's great. So what? None of your efforts matter unless they have an impact on visitors. How did you make them feel? Do they ever think of you beyond any short interaction? Did your work touch anyone outside the select crowd visiting that day? When an experience affects us strongly enough to change our behaviour, we talk about it; and millions of us are now talking about brand and product experiences, not Exhibiting that is worth talking about Word of mouth evangelist, Molly Flatts, gives out some tips on how to get everyone talking about you. Molly Flatts just around the dinner table, but across a whole range of social media platforms from Facebook to Twitter to Mumsnet. I've seen study after study telling us that independent word of mouth is the single most important factor influencing what we buy. By listening to this groundswell of public conversation, brands can see whether they're having any impact on consumers' purchases, loyalty and recommendations beyond that initial contact. The good news is that exhibitions are great word- of- mouth triggers: real time, face- to- face events affect us emotionally more than a virtual viral ever will. However, exhibitors need to stop thinking that they know what people want, and listen to what visitors actually say. Everything visitors experience should be conversational and spreadable. To understand what that means in practice, try these eight top tips for exhibitors wanting to harness the power of word of mouth: ?? Start looking at social media: even if it's just through Google alerts, a Twitter search or a look on relevant forums, everything starts with knowing what your reputation really is. ?? Build some anticipation: send some personalised assets out to desirable visitors, so you have a relationship before they even arrive. Spread a codeword via Facebook or Twitter that earns visitors a free drink or product, for example. ?? Give a personalised experience for a few key brand advocates. Find those top few people which have a passion for your products. Maybe offer a VIP invite, with a limo ride to the event, champagne and behind the scenes access to the team? ?? Give your exhibition a life: take lots of photos, videos and audio clips and upload them online. You could even hold a parallel online exhibition, with a team member answering questions live on a forum or doing demonstrations. ?? Open the conversation yourself: hand people cards with the URLs of your online presences and encourage them to ask questions and give feedback on you once they get home. Ask them for their own social media presences, so you can follow up in a social environment too. ?? Disrupt expectations wherever you can: why not greet people with an unbranded space, with nothing but comfy sofas inside, and just invite them to have a conversation about what you do? ?? Think outside your industry: browse some discussions about other relevant events online and see what got everyone talking. How can you use those tactics yourself? Molly is president of WOM UK, an organisation representing the word of mouth marketing industry in the UK. She can be contacted via the dep ed.

For further details please contact the sales team on: T: 0870 600 6061 E: sales@ theo2. co. uk The British Music Experience is a permanent exhibition dedicated the history of popular music in Britain. Using state of the art interactive and iconic memorabilia you can explore how rock, pop, dance and other genres were formed and have in ?? uenced the last sixty years of British society and culture. The state of the art ?? nale space is versatile and ?? exible making it suitable for an array of events: ?? ?? inners for up to 260 ?? Theatre style conferences for ?? 00 ?? ?? rinks receptions for up to ?? 00 We are now able to offer exclusive private viewings of the exhibition. Guests can view the exhibits and dance the decades with a glass of champagne. " It's amazing, I don't want to go home. It's really interactive, I love the smart tickets and I can't wait to recommend it to my bosses as an events space."- Linda Wadkin, PA to the Chief Executive of Courthaulds " It's an excellent venue and I loved the fact that corporate hire of the Finale Space included access to the exhibits. It is a fantastic space for live events but also stylish and effective for private hire - just the type of venue we'd be interested in using from a bespoke perspective." Jennifer Campbell, Senior Consultant at Style de Vie Unique The British Music Experience - Hire the perfect space Jennie. double@ aegworldwide. co. uk T: 0208 ?? 6 ?? 21 ?? ?? Gemma. stone@ aegworldwide. co. uk T: 0208 ?? 6 ?? 21 ?? 2