Exhibition Strategy Taken to a New Level With Merit 360

Keycraft Exhibition Stand


Keycraft gained the advantages of Merit 360°, our unique approach to powering exhibition projects

How to measure ROI from exhibitions and what are the most effective means of creating a great customer experience at shows? These are two of the main questions posed by businesses seeking to gain the greatest benefits from their event activity.

So, it was no surprise that they were among the challenges presented by Keycraft Global when they gave us the opportunity to take their exhibition strategy to a whole new level.

Comprehensive research and analysis

Events play an important business development role for Keycraft, who partner with retailers around the world to create commercial opportunities with toys. And showcasing their range of new brands and best-selling children’s products was a crucial element of their growth plans.

To achieve maximum effectiveness, they chose to gain the advantages offered by Merit 360°, our unique approach to powering exhibition projects. It blends strategic marketing insight and consultancy with build and design excellence and project management expertise.

Keycraft’s ROI objectives were:

  • Identify the key metrics to measure and how these change depending on the type of event.
  • Create a process to record, track, and analyse the results to prove ROI.
  • Train staff on how to get the required results.

The stand objectives were:

  • Increase the way we interact and engage the visitors with the brand and products.
  • Understand the importance of hospitality to the visitors and create a way to include this on the stand in an effective way.
  • To create a more effective stand layout, which increases flow and supports the brand structure.

Keycraft Exhibition Stand by Merit Display

Promotion objectives:

  • Create an effective pre-show and post-show promotion campaign.
  • Have activities during the show that contribute towards the complete promotion programme for each stand.
  • Introduce a way of encouraging VIP visitors to use the stand.

Show objectives:

  • Explore opportunities for other events that Keycraft could attend, including own shows and smaller industry leader type events.
  • Find a way to improve the global logistics for the Keycraft exhibition programme.
  • To have a better understanding of competitors’ activity at shows.

To help meet the objectives, we conducted comprehensive research and analysis before providing a range of recommendations using the findings and our extensive experience of achieving success at events and exhibitions.

Our activity included:

  • The development of customer personas.
  • Customer and visitor interviews.
  • Analysis of previous shows.
  • Assessment of competitors’ activity.
  • Identification of trade show opportunities.
  • Tactical recommendations.
  • Identification of the best metrics to measure ROI.
  • Development of an ROI calculator.

Keycraft Exhibition Stand by Merit Display

We also provided a range of recommendations related to social media and other promotional activity, data capture methodology, stand design and layout, and the best means of engaging with visitors.

Murray Smith, Marketing Manager at Keycraft, said: “Working with Merit has influenced us in the way we think about exhibitions. For example, it has helped us with hospitality and customer interaction by creating strong brand areas throughout the stand without compromising the overall Keycraft look and feel.”

Better brand experience

The Merit 360 process particularly helped Keycraft to enhance interaction with customers.

Murray said: “For Living Nature, we’ve created a better brand experience with the jungle theme, plants, large realistic looking animals, and sound effects in the background. That’s been great and produced a lot of feedback from customers. Adding those effects has really helped to promote the brand.”

“Also, the Play Table has been really good for promoting GoGoPo and the Goo Bands. And the Slime which is such an on-trend product at the moment. We’ve had kids and YouTubers coming along and playing with the slime, taking videos. It’s been really great.”

Our ideas and recommendations also made a big difference to the layout and the design of the stand. For example, we proposed a vertical tiered structure to the Keycraft branding to better engage with visitors.

Murray said: “The separate and strong brand areas within the stand has been really key. We’ve brought these to the outside edges of the stand and used colour-coordination. We’ve also added carpet coordination and hanging brand signs. The signs have introduced a level of branding for customers to see from the distance. Then they get to the stand and see the product in real life. That has been really great, too.”

For Keycraft to measure ROI, we recommended some key metrics. They included:

  • Leads from types of retailers.
  • Leads from tourist attractions.
  • Number of face-to-face meetings.
  • Orders taken at the event.
  • Number of targeted impressions.

We also developed an ROI calculator to enable the data to be accurately interpreted.

Murray said: “ROI has always been a difficult one for us. Exhibitions are such a difficult thing to determine whether they’ve been a success or not. You go with gut feel. But now with the ROI Calculator, we can say with confidence, looking at the results and comparing between exhibitions, exactly whether an exhibition really did work for us. It also gives us key data and facts so that we know exactly where to put our investment in the future.”

“The Merit 360 process has really helped us. Using a lot of data and insights into exhibitions and how they work, we’ve now developed a sound strategy for the coming years.”