Stand and Deliver

Booking a stand at a wedding show or other exhibition is a great way to get your message across too many people. However, it is likely that the show will feature some of your competitors too. How do you make sure that your stand gets noticed?

The first impression the visitor gets is a hugely important one. Your stand needs to be visually stunning. Flowers are what you do, so your flowers must be perfect, of course. They need to be centre stage and impactful. Don’t rely on your folders with pictures of different bouquets and arrangements to get your message across. You need the real thing, in different styles: bright and vivid, cute and pretty, sustainable and natural.

However, you will need to frame your stand to create a space that is all about you. Printed banners and pop-ups will create an instant backdrop and are low cost these days. Business cards, printed on recycled or even flower seeded paper that grows, can make a lasting impression. They can be sourced via your printer or graphic designer: use your unique business branding and imagery to set the tone.

You’ll also need somewhere to hold more detailed conversations with your potential customers once they’re engaged, so a small table and a few chairs is a good idea. Don’t go for the large rectangular tables usually offered by exhibition venues: they are too big and look impersonal. Better to have a small round folding table – a garden table, for example.

Having a beautiful stand is only the first step in winning business at a show. What you do is even more important: I’ve seen so many show stands fail because the people staffing the stand are too passive. Sitting behind a table waiting for people to approach you is never going to succeed. You need to get out there at the front or even in the aisles, with a friendly smile and an inviting opening greeting. Make eye contact with people: most will respond positively – they are there for a reason.

Your opening gambit is important. It might be the offer of a glass of fizz (but remember that many will be drivers so supply non-alcoholic alternatives) or the chance to win something they value – ten table posies or a corsage for the mother of the bride. Be relaxed and chatty with them. The last thing they want is full-on sales patter so let them talk about themselves at first. When they’re comfortable, ask them if they have thought about what their flowers should be like – and then you can draw them in to a more detailed conversation.

You’ll need to have things to give to them to take away – so handouts and perhaps freebies. Your handouts should be specific to the market you are tackling, so all about weddings for a wedding show. You may well do funeral flowers and gift bouquets but that’s not what’s on the mind of the people at the show and will dilute your message.

Handouts are important. The quality of the paper on which they are printed as well as the design and colours used will all combine to deliver a message about you and the service you provide. It doesn’t have to be a multi-page brochure but should reinforce what you are saying to them and signpost them to your other marketing channels such as your website or social media pages. Maybe think about flower/greenery crib sheets – colour groups, seasonality, home-grown or imported, etc, for them to take away and read.

Freebies don’t have to be expensive – they are just a gesture that helps to make you and your stand memorable. A single flower with your business card attached or mini cupcakes decorated with

flowers, or pads of post-it notes overprinted with your details – people love pads! Printed usable postcards, featuring your work, are a nice idea too.

Having a presence at a wedding show is expensive, of course. Not only do you have to pay for your pitch on the day, but you also need a whole range of marketing materials to create the image and messages that best promote your business. However, you should see these as an investment in your business – a necessary expense that when used


Art Nouveau and Art Deco: Bold Design Styles from the Early 20th Century

There are so many distinctive design styles that you can use to make your project distinctive, whether in print or online. It can be difficult, however, to know exactly what style of design appeals to you personally, so we thought it would be useful to highlight two early 20th Century design styles: Art Nouveau and Art Deco.

Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau was the earlier of the two styles, appearing in the late 19th Century. It followed on from what was known as the Arts & Crafts Movement. Its key focus was the natural world, taking inspiration from plants and nature. The use of these natural elements was taken to a new level with long flowing lines, swirls and tendrils giving the shapes a stylised and interlocking look. Colours used were strong and vibrant, often with gold embellishments.

The characters depicted in Art Nouveau had soft lines, loose clothing, and flowing hair. Popular users of this style included Gustav Klimt and the Scottish artist Charles Mackintosh. This was also the era of Tiffany, who produced lamps and shades with colourful interlocking glass panels and designs.

The Art Nouveau movement lost popularity around 1910, as it began to be replaced by the new and very contrasting Art Deco era.

These days Art Nouveau designs are often used for invitations, greetings cards, gift wrap and many other decorative items. It provides an attractive basis for business design and print, with a soft-edged but boldly coloured style, making it particularly suitable for high-end products and services where luxury is the message to be conveyed.

Art Deco

Art Deco removed the natural influences of curves and embellishments and came from a world of straight lines, symmetry, geometric shapes, chrome, and steel. Shapes and forms were still exaggerated and elongated but used lines and crisp edges. This mirrored the new fashions of the time. The Great Gatsby movie summed up the style perfectly!

The Art Deco movement was all about being modern as the world accelerated. This was the time when futuristic machines like the car and aeroplane were taking over. However, the style also had classical influences such as Ancient Egypt.

By the 1940’s use of Art Deco was in decline for homes and fashion. However, in recent decades, it has made a strong comeback as a graphic design style, with a look that can now be described as timeless. Today many brands and printed projects incorporate elements of Art Deco due to its eye-catching style.

We find Art Deco is a hugely fashionable design style for invitations, programmes, and business events. The fonts are crisp yet decorative and the graphic elements are dramatic yet subtle. Use of Gold or Silver foil printing designs, especially on a dark background, are especially decadent and classically elegant ways to bring your project to life.