Category: Business

4 Ways Technology Can Improve Your Exhibition Stand Design

When it comes to the different formats of exhibition design it seems that this world is changing and new elements are being used to help gain attention and build better sales conversations. Within this article, you will learn of four unique methods you can use to capitalise on the potential to gain attention and promote brand recognition to your target audience at trade shows and other areas where you will be using an exhibition stand. When it comes to setting yourself apart as a business and a brand from the crowd and to create a compelling presence, you will want to integrate technology to maximise the number of leads generated at exhibitions without having to maximise the usage of an on-stand sales team. By continuing to read this you will discover different examples for exhibition stands that include things like video, iPads, virtual reality, holographs, touch screens and other technologies that improve the presence and impact of your exhibition stand design.

Impressive Colourful Exhibition Stand

The following four suggestions can improve your overall branding and marketing power and will help keep you at the leading edge of your competition. If you do not yet fully understand the ability and benefits of exhibition stand technology, pay attention to the following techniques. These are being used by the top marketing firms and companies to bring about a much greater branding effect and to increase customer engagement as well as capturing leads. If you want to maximise the usefulness of exhibition stand marketing then follow this list of suggestions and brainstorm ideas that can work for your own brand or marketing needs.

1. Gain attention, create desire & engage customers

Using the latest technology can help you to bring about a larger buzz around your stand. You want to be remembered and using the best technology will make your stand the centre of attention at an exhibition and will provide a much needed long lasting and positive impression for your brand. You can also use technology to capture leads as well as visitor data and other information. Your options when utilising technology are really only limited by your imagination and budget. Using things such as interactive screens, walls and flooring, as well as motion sensor technology, can capture the attention of customers and connect them with your brand. You can also utilise location-based tools to engage with visitors. You can do such things as send offers and promotions to customers on their smartphones as just one small example of what you can do.

2. Use technology to increase brand connection

Using technology like leaderboards and apps can easily improve the exhibition experience and deliver a greater impact. You can create an engaging stand and use technology to collect important digital data and customer information. When you choose to invest in exhibition technology you can have your sales team focus on speaking with visitors while the tech aspect can provide detailed statistics and information you can use for future events. You can do things like capture names and emails of your visitors, phone numbers, social media information too. We are in a much more socially connected world and utilising the latest technology can help make a greater impact on your return on investment with exhibition stand marketing.

3. Create a better visitor experience with technology

Embracing technology such as apps and digital touch points can give your attendees different sales and marketing information without having to carry it around with them. You can use digital technology to collect data about visitors including capturing leads and to help increase communication between the brand and visitors before, during and even after the show has taken place.

4. Simplify your return on investment calculations

Being able to find out the actual success of your trade exhibit is not the easiest task. Sales will typically be sparked the day of the event but won’t take effect until later in time. With technology, it allows you the ability to measure engagement, capture analytics and provide the opportunity to follow-up and target visitors and leads which is integral to discovering your return on investment.

Exhibition visitors want an engaging experience that is entirely unique and is memorable. Using technology as a backbone of your trade exhibit is important. Being able to engage your visitor on different sensory levels and engaging their emotions is important for branding and making an impact. Technology can play a big part of the success of your exhibit so be sure to integrate it into your strategy.

Cat A or Cat B Office Fit Out – Which Is Right for Me?

The term “fit out” refers to the process involved in making a building’s interior suitable for people to start living in it, or working in it, in case of a commercial buidling. Once the base construction is finalized, there will still be a lot of work to be done within the building. Some developers offer options with regards to fit outs, as some clients would prefer to have everything completed so that they just move in. On the other hand there are others who prefer to see to some of the design and completion of the interior on their own.

Different Types of Fit Out Categories Illustrated. Image credit: Morgan Lovell

The Difference Between Cat A & Cat B Fit Outs

Once the developer completes the framework of a building, there will still be plenty of work that will need to be seen to within the building itself. The exterior will have been completed, and the building is watertight, but one would also need to see to the installation of various services, such as electrical, mechanical and plumbing.

Besides, the floors and the walls will need to be seen to. Completing these works, typically falls under the definition of a Cat A fit out, which is basically the next step after the Shell and Core fit out. There will be the bare essentials seen to. The office space or commercial building will have the heating and air conditoning, the lighting and any electrical outlets installed. There will also be suspended ceilings, raised floors and toilets. The interior is basically usable and quite ready for one to move into. However there will still be more work to be done with regards to customization.

Some business owners will place a great deal of importance on the look and style of their offices or premises. Once a Cat A fit out is completed it will not include any personalised decorating, fixtures or unique fittings. It will be very basic and bland. For those who want the interior to have a unique look and achieve more of a branded personality, then a Cat B fit out will be required.

Some see to these final touches on their own whereas others immediately opt for a Cat B fit out which will be adminstered by the developer after thorough discussions regarding the owner’s preferences. A Cat B fit out will thus include the furnishings, the doors and window treatments, any partitions, more elaborate lighting fixtures and fittings, as well as the floors. The offices, meeting and conference rooms will have the equipment required for their operations installed. There will be reception desks, coffee and tea points, kitchen and communcal areas completed. There will  thus be the company brand impressed on whoever visits the building as the interior decor will have been carried out impeccably to achieve a particular brand image.

How to Choose Between a Cat A & Cat B Fit Out

The choice depends greatly on one’s budget and personal preferences. Some prefer to have the project completed from start to finish. In that case a Cat B office fit out applies. Others may want to take up some of the work with regards to the finishing touches of the building, and so they might prefer a Cat A fit out.

Reactive or Proactive Maintenance – Which is Best?

Choosing a suitable cost-effective maintenance plan for your company

Maintenance – a word that sparks a sense of uneasiness and tediousness, yet something that any business needs to see to every now and then. Be it a computer that is not running properly, or a machine that breaks down, maintenance is basically a normal business operation and it needs to be seen to from time to time. Replacing, restoring, fixing, reinstalling, and various other tasks are involved in the maintenance routine. The main goal is to ensure that the particular asset can be preserved from failure or breakdown, so as to continue to make use of it.

In this field, there are two main viewpoints. There are those who feel that it is best to fix a problem when it arises. That is the approach advocated by Reactive maintenance. Then, there are those who prefer to think ahead and carry out some maintenance procedures to prevent the machine from failing or breaking down. This is Proactive or Planned Preventive Maintenance. Both these maintenance approaches have their advantages and disadvantages and there is no way where one can say that one is better than the other in all respects.

Understanding the pros & cons

Reactive maintenance is carried out when a need arises, or when a certain fault is identified. The main goal in such a case is to try to resolve the issue as soon as possible as in the meantime operations such as production may end up being halted to the breakdown or fault. There might be way to continue operating, but in most cases there will be a loss in productivity, efficiency and sometimes in sales involved. So response and repair times are critical aspects of reactive maintenance. Having said that, reactive maintenance is an approach that is preferred by some organizations nonetheless. Many feel that there is no need to spend time and money on carrying out assessments for nothing, as generally faults or problems identified during a proactive maintenance assessment are minimal.

Reactive Maintenance Impact. Image credit: Blogspot

Speaking of a proactive maintenance approach, it is important to point out that this will be carried out by establishing a plan. This will include a schedule where specific pieces of equipment are evaluated or assessed so as to check if any components or parts need to be replaced, and if there are any problems that need to be resolved before they get worse. The purpose is obviously to predict problems so as to prevent them from actually occurring. In such a scenario, should there be a problem, it will generally be a small and manageable one. There would also be the advantage of not having to go through the pressure and limited time to try to fix it. Repairs and replacements can be done at ease, or scheduled to be carried out at a later date by a skilled person.

Abnormality Reporting is the Key to Proactive Maintenance. Image credit: Maintenance Phoenix

With a proactive maintenance approach you will be able to have more peace of mind and fewer disruptions. If regular checks are carried out chances are that you will not be encountering serious problems. Quick fixes are generally all that will be required, and so there is no need to disrupt workers and operations due to large problems or breakdowns.

There is thus a lower risk associated with proactive maintenance, and naturally this is conducive to a safer and better working environment. It is also important to note that when equipment is maintained regularly it will be running optimally, and often there will be energy savings associated with this. However with preventive maintenance there is often a great deal of planning involved, as well as the risk of spending up more money due to over maintenance. There is more money and more work involved too to lead such regular inspections.

Therefore there are clearly pros and cons associated with each method of maintenance. For those who are not sure which approach is most feasible and effective for their business, here are some tips to help you make a good choice. Reactive maintenance is generally suitable when it can be performed on components which are somewhat easy to replace or inexpensive. So if your business does not have high-tech machines and most maintenance can be carried out without worrying about collateral damage or safety issues, then reactive maintenance should suffice. Reactive maintenance is also suitable for those businesses that cannot plan a preventive maintenance schedule due to high costs or a lack of feasibility. On the other hand, with a preventive or predictive approach, you will have the advantage of improving the efficiency and life expectancy of your assets, as well as anticipating problems before they actually occur. You benefit from improving your reliability thanks to assets that are almost always running in proper conditions. However, there are still going to be cases where you will need to fix a machine there and then, despite all the planning and costs involved with your predictive maintenance schedule. So in some cases predictive maintenance may prove to be costly and rather unfeasible. At the end of the day you will need to make a decision based on what seems to be best for your business in terms of costs and practicability.

How to build a Plywood or MDF Workbench

Having a workbench is really great as it can serve so many purposes. If you are a DIY lover you certainly appreciate the practicality of a workbench.

From the much-needed storage space that if offers for your tools or extra pieces of wood, to having a solid area where to see to small jobs, a workbench is a welcome addition to your workshop. However, you may not have one yet. Chances are you had made up your mind to buy one, only to find that the prices charged for readymade workbenches are quite high. So why don’t you just build one yourself? It is really not that complicated, and you could surely use one. Here is how to do it:

Materials Required

Acquire the materials you need. Basically a full sheet of plywood or MDF cut to size measuring 8” by 4” and between 18mm and 24mm deep should do the trick. If you have the possibility of choosing between plywood and MDF, it is recommended to opt for plywood as it is a a lot stronger when compared to MDF. Plywood is more moisture resistant than MDF and it will hold together better. You will also need six stainless steel corner brackets, and a box of self-tapping wood screws.

A Circular Saw is Perfect for Cutting Plywood or MDF. Image credit: Highland Woodworking

Tools Make Light Work

Get the tools, namely an electric circular or handsaw, an electric jigsaw and an electric drill with a 2mm wood drill bit.

Getting Started

Now that you have all that you need, let’s start cutting. You need to have all the parts that will make up your workbench cut out in the right dimensions. Start with the sides of the bench, which should be about 80cm long and 37cm wide. Then cut the back panel of the workbench, at 112cm by 81cm, and the horizontal middle shelf, which should be of the exact same length. Next, cut the top of the workbench, and finally the centre vertical shelf support, which although being the smallest piece, it will be holding every other part in its proper place more robustly.

Now that all the parts are cut out, you can start assembling your workbench. To make things easier, it is best to attach the brackets to the side panels and to the centre shelf support. So, lay each panel flat, mark with a pencil where each bracket will be attached (about 5cm from the edges), and drill the pilot holes. Then, attach the brackets to the panels. You will find this very helpful when you reach the final step of the assembly process as they will be already in their rightful place and you will not face any problems trying to attach them while the frame is already done and restricting your view and accessibility.

Next, mark halfway along the length of the centre shelf. Drill two pilot holes where it will be attached to the support panel. Then, attach them to each other.

Now you need to attach the side panels of the workbench. Carefully mark where the pilot holes will be and then drill and attach neatly. Repeat with the other side. At this point you should have an H-frame. It is best to have someone helping you especially to hold the parts in place while you drill and attach.

It is now time to attach the back panel of the workbench. Place the frame onto its front, and lay the back panel in place. Make sure it fits snugly to the frame. Drill carefully and attach with wood screws. For more sturdiness screw the back panel to the centre support too. You can also drill screws through the back panel into the shelf panel as well for an even sturdier result.

And at last we come to the top of your workbench. Lay the constructed frame onto the back, place the top panel in place, and attach it by screwing it through the L-brackets that had been attached previously.

A Simple Plywood Workbench Project. Image credit: This Is Carpentry

Final Finishing

And your workbench is now complete. You might notice some rough edges here and there where you cut. Use some coarse sandpaper to sand them and gain a smoother finish. To make your workbench look even nice, you can also stain it or colour it with appropriate wood paint. In case you will be placing it outdoors, make sure to use a good quality exterior wood paint. Allow it to dry, and give it another coating for a neater look. Once it has dried up well, you may then fill it up with tools, materials and any other items that were lying around in your workshop until now. Your compact workbench is a practical addition to your workshop, and it did not take long or cost much to build didn’t it?! You can also have the pride of having managed to build it on your own, apart from having saved money too.