30 Sep Preparing For An Exhibition
Nicola Gillespie of Mesh Office Chairs has recently spent 3 days at the 100% Design at Earl’s Court, London show. I talked to her about how she prepared and her tactics while she was there.
Nicola, tell us about Mesh and what you do?
Mesh Office Seating (UK) Ltd are the sole distributors of a range of ergonomic office chairs. The chairs are distributed through a dealer network of office furniture retailers, architects and designers. My role is to help increase awareness of the Mesh range.
Is this the first time you have exhibited at a show like this?
This is the first time Mesh have exhibited at 100% Design and the first time we have had our own stand designed.
How did you prepare for the press and what did you do to make your stand look interesting?
Packs were prepared for the press and included postcards of each of the products, a brochure, a company biography and copy of press releases issued to-date. A USB flash drive (with the Mesh logo) contained a selection of images of each chair. These were kept together in a canvas bag which, like the USB flash drive, had been printed with the Mesh logo.
The Mesh team worked with a design company. The designer recommended using rotating podiums for three of our chairs which attracted attention to the stand. The stand was a simple black and white design. The chairs are available in a choice of colour options and the colourful chairs stood out well against the black and white. Beside each office chair we had the postcards for visitors to take. Each postcard provided key information relating to the chair and included the Mesh website. The postcards proved very popular due to their small size.
Tell us about the official press room…how did you take advantage of that?
The press room was a central location for members of the press to collect information about each of the stands exhibiting. Pre-show material requested press packs be delivered to the press room one day prior. Most of our pre-prepared press packs were delivered to the press room although some were kept back for the stand. I visited the press room each afternoon to ensure they had not run out of our packs.
Did any press come by the stand and what did you do with them?
Some press members did visit the stand. I introduced myself and provided them with a press pack. I encouraged them to try the chairs and introduced them to a member of the Mesh team to guide them through the functionality of the products.
How did the press packs go. Did you use them all?
The press packs were re-stocked two days into the show and I was very pleased at how well they went.
What are you doing to follow up now the show is over?
On the first day of the show we set up a system to register any visitors to the stand. We noted those requesting immediate follow-up, or those requesting mailing of a brochure or any other requests.
What did you learn from the experience?
As this was our first show we all learnt little things from the experience relating to our own individual areas of expertise. For my part, I wish I had contacted preferred publications/press with an invitation to visit our stand before the show. I would do this in the future.
Do you think it provided good value for money overall?
The interest we gained at the show looks promising and we have increased brand awareness so yes, the show provided good value for money overall.
Any advice for someone contemplating exhibiting?
We did have a considerable amount of packaging due to the size of our products i.e. pallets and large boxes. The area around the stand needed to be cleared for the carpet fitters so my advice would be to plan much more time for set up than you think you need.
Finally, wear very comfortable shoes and be prepared for long periods standing!