For the second consecutive year, we were contracted by Capita to design, manage and build a 15mx17m island stand at the BETT Show 2016. As with previous years, Capita had a coveted position as the first stand seen from the main visitor entrance which meant we had to ensure the branding could be clearly seen from all angles of approach.

Unlike the year before however, we were now required incorporate a total of 4 separate Capita business divisions in the space; Capita SIMS, SIMS Independent, Capita Managed IT Solutions (MITS) and Micro Librarian Systems (MLS). All 4 of these divisions needed to be included in the stand design in a way that differentiated them as separate businesses but with the whole visual look and flow of the stand to be cohesive and complimentary of each other.

The space needed to be navigated easily and allow sufficient room for a large team of working staff to host a high volume of visitors at all times. It was an environment that encouraged them to stay on the stand for a longer period than in previous years to maximise engagement.

Capita’s main objective at this show was to increase awareness of the breadth of solutions, products and services that they can offer, subsequently leading to new business sales as well as up-selling to existing customers across all four brands.

The stand needed to showcase their products for easy demonstrations (on PCs and tablets) and support the conversations had around services and solutions. We also needed to ensure that the stand worked hard to convey the right message to an extensive target audience including School Senior Leaders, Primary Teachers, School Governors and ICT Managers.

MLS who had previously had their own stand at BETT were also joining Capita in sharing stand space for the first time. In order to enable a smooth transition for this first engagement, the MLS section was deliberately created to be similar to the previous design in terms of space, layout and orientation but synergised with Capita SIMS with use of colours and shapes.

Working in partnership with Capita we created a design solution that was fit for purpose based on all aspects of the design brief, through an organic and evolving creative process. We worked on a ‘less is more’ approach to this year’s stand which included multi-sided banners that we suspended for maximum visibility.

Inclusion of a ‘knowledge hub’ (formerly referred to as a presentation area) was created with flexible seating arrangement this year to be used as a multi-function space; presentations, informal group discussions and one-to-one meetings all took place in this space.

Utilising the full brand palette, across the entire space, using specific colours for associated business units and clear definition on the stand, the overall feel was bright and colourful, the graphics perfect for the show context with strong classroom based photography and visually fun icons accompanying their clear, concise messaging.

Throughout the show Capita leveraged social media pre, post and during the event to drive footfall. Their message was very simple – ‘Join us on stand B190 to find out how we can help you to empower staff, inspire learners and improve outcomes.’

Further visitor incentives included a competition to giveaway daily book prizes as well a visit from an inspirational school speaker worth a £1,000. To be in with a chance of winning we asked visitors to tweet @CapitaSIMS the following ‘I feel empowered in school when….’

During the show, Capita SIMS were also awarded Best ICT Tool for Teaching, Learning and Assessment at The BETT Awards for their SIMS Teacher app.