I’ve been to the spring fair many times over the years but this year was a little different, this year I attended as part of a film crew, although I wasn’t actually filming or directing, I wasn’t even holding a microphone, I was in fact there to listen to our clients objectives for this year.

After meeting with clients, company owners, marketing managers and a lot of really inspiring product creators here are three things I took away from this year’s Spring Fair event.

Your sales force basecamp

The exhibition stand does more than most people realise. I visited a number of people at a wide range of stands and some really stood out for me like the incredible cardboard foosball table at the LoveSpace.co.uk stand (we absolutely need one of those, portable and eco-friendly – what more could you want).

I also visited the incredible Bolsius stand by T2Display.com and that made me realise something that had never crossed my mind before. I knew the elaborate and attractive designs of exhibition stands are used to entice prospects and visitors but this year I noticed that the stands actually had one other critical purpose. These portable shopfronts need to accommodate a large number of sales staff over a long and highly important period of time. From delivering hot coffee to power-up the sales force to providing a break area to go and rest for 15 minutes before another four hours of greeting potential clients, the exhibition stand is truly a basecamp designed to provide what your staff and customers need, exactly when its needed.

Not every virtual sales person is a bot

It is impossible, even with 20 sales people, to talk to everyone who comes within the vicinity of your stand.  Of all of the exhibition stands I visited, less than 5% of them had a video playing.

Why would you use video on an exhibition display stand? Well, even if you have 20 sales representatives engaged with prospects then you still may have a lot of potential clients who want to know more about your company.

One stand stood out – I met the guys at StarEditions.com who had a display showing a short ‘about us’ video, it was engaging and contained key information about them which provided key information about the service they provide.  It was clear that adding video to the sales process clearly offers a number of benefits when at an exhibition or trade show.

Firstly its ideal for retaining visitors who might otherwise move on without finding out more about you.  Secondly, pre-selling to the people who enjoyed watching your video might even save you time because your prospects may have already had a number of questions answered so your staff have more time to spend with more potential clients.  Thirdly, it can provide a demonstration of your product without you even lifting a finger so prospects can see your product in action while you are concentrating on other features and benefits or talking to another prospect.

3D without batteries made me share

I’ve attended the Spring Fair many times over the last ten years and this year I decided to set some time aside to look around, in fact one afternoon I actually finished up early to investigate some of the wonderful creations and products coming to retailers soon. My first stop was one of our clients, Heaven Sends who had some amazing products ready for Christmas and Halloween 2017, in fact it is truly amazing to see how companies create innovative products every year. With so much choice across this year’s trade event it’s challenging to pick out the item that made me most excited but actually as a tech geek even I was surprised that the one thing that stood out most was not something with a octo-core chip or an augmented reality video.  It was in fact made of card, glue and clever designs. Meeting with John Sr Zhou managing Director of Kailiz was a real highlight, his company’s wonderfully elegant and ingenious 3D pop-up cards certainly have the WOW factor. In an age of accelerated technical capabilities it is enlightening to see a non-techy offering really stand out, every card he demonstrated made me experience a happy feeling, and I simply had to share this with you, take a look at Kailiz’s amazing 3D cards here

More ways to use video effectively and why it works

I do believe, however, that from everything I have seen at this year’s Spring Fair by far the most powerful way to demonstrate who you are, what you do, or the product your company sells is through video.  As well as all the reasons I’ve listed here, when you use this medium it’s really important to ensure that your promotional video is emotive in all the right ways to your target audience.  The ‘Happy Feeling’ made me connect with the beautiful kirigami cards and even share it with lots of people and the video display at Star Editions encouraged me to approach the sales team, now we have decided they are the right company to produce our company workwear.

As video becomes an ever increasing part of online and digital marketing plans, my visit to the Spring Fair this year emphasised a key point in the world of sales and marketing – video has a massive part to play in offline marketing campaigns too.  Its not just about web and social media where video can be effective but in the face to face environment too, it can be just as effective as a visual aid and an excellent sales tool on everything from exhibition display stands to Point Of Sale displays and plenty more.