STAGING A DISPLAY
An effective display should stop people, arouse their interest, stimulate their thoughts and cause action. Most fail to do this.
Too many displays are cluttered and contain conflicting messages.
Displays should contain a simple message – the fewer the words the better. People are lazy readers and eager lookers.
You need a good reason why people should stop and look at your display. You are competing for their time. If you don’t stop them your display has failed.
The best five tips for staging an effective display
* State your aim clearly
What message do you want to get across? Write it down in one sentence.
What actions do you want your viewers to take? Write this down in one sentence.
Now you are ready to start planning your next display or exhibit. Most displayers have too many messages and clutter up their exhibit causing a confused message.
* Arouse interest
It is essential to stop people to see what the display is about. Use gimmicks to get attention. If you don’t stop them – you are wasting both time and money. Free drinks, free samples, free advice all have a place to stop people and get their attention.
* What’s new?
People want new information not information they already know.
Active displays are better than photos and blocks of text. People doing things, live animals (especially young animals) and working machines and models all create interest where people stop to see what is going on.
Displays are competitive. To get attention your display must be different from others.
* Keep the message simple
Use basic English and simple words. Keep your words to a minimum.
Use quality visuals to tell the story.
Large clear lettering allows people to read the message from a distance.
Use strong basic colours to get attention and these are best for clarity.
* Involve your viewers
Encourage people to compete in events or take part in competitions and raffles. Give worthwhile prizes and handouts.
Aim to make appointments with interested people for follow-up calls if you are selling a product or a service. Make sure you keep any appoints you make. Don’t make promises – make good.
* Make the area attractive
Keep the exhibit fresh, clean and tidy. Be different to other displays. If you are using living plants or animals, keep changing them.
Attendants should be obvious, neat and well groomed with a uniform to distinguish them.
Attendants must be well trained and knowledgeable about the services and the business and any products sold. Roster them for regular breaks so they are always fresh, enthusiastic and helpful.
Of all the things you wear your smile is the most important.
“If you don’t stop them – you are wasting both time and money.”
SOURCE: For more on this topic see: “Persuasive Ways” first published by Moss Associates Ltd, New Zealand and in Chinese by Shanghai People’s Publishing House and as “Secrets of Persuasion” by Cengage Learning Asia. (Available as an e-book from Amazon.com.) Also available as “Getting Your Ideas Across” from Kogan Page, U.K and a Hungarian translation published by Bagolyvar Konyvkiado, Budapest.