Maja Kenney is the MD and Founder of Black Iris Exhibitions , a company based in the UK, that design and build bespoke stands and stage sets for exhibitions and conferences. Their work, over the last ten years has taken them across Europe, creating a range of stands including some very creative builds for a plethora of brands. We asked Maja a few questions about how to make the most of your exhibition presence.
Of all the builds you’ve done, which is your favourite?
We had loads of fun building a stand for Tolo at Toyfair 2013. Obviously a toy manufacturer meant we had lots of toys in the workshop. The stand was very colourful, we built a shed to show off their garden tool toys and we commissioned a 3D polystyrene interactive toy, supersized and displayed next to the actual toy.
Name one thing that makes a really great stand?
The staff. If they are engaging, smiling and know what they are talking about they will deliver a great experience to every visitor on the stand even if their stand is not the most attractive at the show.
How can you make a table and pop up stand look great?
Err… Invest in a table that is different to the 6ft trestle one you get from the venue with a tablecloth on it. It’ll make all the difference. You can get some nice modular ones that fold and fit in a boot of a car next to your popup.
Could you give two tips that could encourage people to visit a stand?
Keep the stand and graphic design clean and sleek, use bold colours and don’t put things on the edge of the stand that block off too much space and deter people from coming on your stand. Scheduled product presentations are always a great crowd gatherer.
What is your best cost saving idea?
Choosing LED lighting, saves on having to order too many sockets.
What is the single most important thing to think about before an exhibition?
Your follow up strategy – you cannot just turn up at a show, hand out a load of literature and expect people to get in touch with you just because they have visited your stand. You must have a follow up strategy in place before you go to the show otherwise it will just be an expensive exercise with no return.
What is the worst thing you have seen at an exhibition?
A4 posters printed on an office printer and stuck to the shell scheme with sellotape. Don’t laugh, sadly it happens all the time.
What’s the quirkiest thing you’ve seen recently?
Using live plants on the stand wall to spell out a word. Very clever!
By Deb Jowett Google