Comments from Justin Hawes, MD of Scan Display

1. For increased brand activation at a trade show or exhibition, and maximising ROI, what new products and services are on offer in terms of stand schemes and allied products?

The Modulbox is a new cost-effective ‘exhibition stand-in-a-box’ which is proving very popular among our clients. They like its quick set-up time and versatility (it can be used both indoors and outdoors).

The Modulbox is manufactured locally which ensures that prices are kept competitive in relation to conventional exhibition stands. We used the Modulbox to create Scan’s stand at last year’s Markex show in Johannesburg and its innovative, modular design received rave reviews.

2. What are the latest solutions to generate traffic to an exhibition stand?

We have seen a marked increase in the use of both fabric and LED lighting on stands. Both are cost-effective materials that can be used to dramatic effect on a stand.

Fabric is being used more and more to replace traditional stand materials such as wood and laminates. It saves clients money as they are able to re-use fabric panels over a couple of exhibitions. Fabric is also very tactile and draws people to a stand – many people cannot seem to resist touching or brushing an eye-catching piece of fabric.

LED Lighting
LED lighting is also a popular way to bring traffic to an exhibition stand. It provides a warm, white light which is very appealing to the human eye. It is also a greener option as LED lights are low cost, burn at a lower temperature (therefore are safer) and use less electricity than conventional lights. Although the initial upfront cost is slightly more, LED bulbs last significantly longer than conventional options, making them cost-effective in the long run.

Lighting has become a key design element when creating an exhibition stand with many stands using light colour washes over the whole stand for maximum impact.

(See attached picture of Stand with colour washing)

3. Discuss five crucial points that all exhibitors should consider when choosing to exhibit at a trade show or exhibition.

Five crucial points that exhibitors should consider when choosing to exhibit are:

  • What is your objective behind exhibiting at this particular exhibition?
    Before committing to an exhibition you need to be clear about what you aim to achieve by exhibiting. For example, if you are looking to generate leads, what procedures will you have in place to qualify and collect leads on your stand?
  • What pre-show promotions do you have planned?
    You cannot rely solely on an exhibition organiser’s marketing efforts to get visitors to your stand. You need to tell your existing and potential clients that you will be exhibiting at the show and why they should visit you there.
  • Does your stand design match your objectives?
    Your stand design must help you fulfil your exhibition objectives. For example, if one of your objectives is to meet and talk to clients face-to-face you need a meeting area on your stand where you and a client can sit and talk.
  • Are your staff properly trained?
    Your staff needs to be specially trained to man an exhibition stand. For example, they need to know how to interface effectively with visitors, how to qualify leads at the show and how to manage any electronic equipment on the stand.
  • What post-show follow-ups are scheduled?
    Exhibiting is a wasted exercise if all the leads collected are not followed up on timeously. Likewise any networking connections that were made need to be explored and strengthened to reap the full benefit of exhibiting.

4. What are the industry trends for 2010?

One of the strongest trends we have noticed is that clients are re-using stands. Re-usable fabric panels are becoming a popular choice for decorating the stand, rather than vinyl panels which are easily scratched.

Clients are also looking for portable stand options, with many choosing to do the set-up themselves.

5. As exhibiting continues to be a costly business, what are your suggestions to companies that simply cannot forgo exhibiting this year, yet their marketing budgets are severely strained?

Clients need to work closely with stand designers to come up with creative solutions. There are always more economical options and clients should not be afraid to ask for them. Graphics can be re-used and should be designed with this in mind.

I still believe that exhibitions offer the best value for money when it comes to marketing media. They provide clients with an opportunity for invaluable face-to-face communication with existing and potential clients.

If clients take the five crucial points (above) into consideration, and exhibit in line with their set objectives, exhibitions can be a very effective and economical marketing tool.

Scan Display

Dear fellow EDPA member,

Scan Display is one of Southern Africa’s largest exhibition, event and display companies. Since its formation in 1996, Scan has grown its distribution network to include a head office in Johannesburg, branches in Cape Town, Durban and Gaborone, and partners throughout Southern Africa. Last year Scan became the first African member of the EDPA.

Scan’s product offering extends from custom-built stands to the full range of exhibition services.

International business currently accounts for twenty-percent of the company’s annual turnover. In just the last couple of months, Scan has worked with high profile international clients Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim and US exhibitions companies, the Giltspur Group and Freeman.

I will be attending the 2009 EDPA Annual Conference in Palm Springs at the beginning of December and it would be great to meet with you there. If you would like to set up a time to chat, contact me on +27 11 447 4777 or [email protected].

Alternatively, visit for more information about our range of products and services.

We look forward to partnering with you on your African projects!

Best regards

Justin Hawes
Managing Director


On average South African shopping centres have around 30% of wasted retail space. This is the view of Justin Hawes, MD of Scan Display, which was exhibiting at the recent South African Congress of Shopping Centres (SACSC) in Johannesburg.

Hawes says, “While we believe South Africa shopping centres can and do compete on a global level we believe that most still have large areas of untapped retail space, for example in passageways and ‘dead-areas’. “Hawes believes that these areas could be transformed into income-generating retail space through the placement of free-standing merchandising units. With this in mind, Scan Display recently launched the Retail Merchandising Unit (RMU).

These units create significant additional income for shopping centres and because they can be custom designed to fit in with the look-and- feel of any centre they add to the overall shopping experience. They are also ideal for smaller traders who do not need large retail spaces. The RMU is manufactured and marketed locally by Scan Display under licence from international industrial design company, SddRETAIL UK. SddRETAIL UK operates world-wide and has won numerous international awards for design excellence.

Danny Grayson of SddRETAIL UK says, ”We view South Africa as an important emerging market and are pleased with the positive impact the upcoming 2010 World Cup has had on infrastructure spending and development. “Hawes adds, “The partnership offers South African retailers international design and expertise at local manufacture prices. Our policy is also to use locally sourced materials where possible.” At SACSC, Sdd RETAIL UK and Scan Display exhibited the creative potential of their Retail Merchandising Units with a unit that was designed specifically with the 2010 Soccer World Cup in mind. (See attached picture).

For more information, contact Justin Hawes on +27 11 447 4777 or [email protected]. Alternatively visit