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Display and Presentation Buying GuideContents

Introduction

Why choose display and presentation equipment?

Questions to ask before shopping for display and presentation equipment

Choosing display and presentation equipment

Types of display and presentation equipment

How to deliver a top-class presentation

Creating eye-catching visual displays

General best practices when buying display and presentation equipment

Further information

 

 

Introduction

Visual displays of all kinds are invaluable to business. It’s important that you promote yourself, your service and/or products and offer clients and customers a visually stimulating representation of your business.

There are all kinds of ways to visually display your business, from leaflets and posters to video and animated projections; and there is a vast array of equipment at your disposal to do it. In fact, there are so many kinds of display and presentation equipment out there that it can be tough to know what to choose!

Luckily, this buying guide will help. We’ll explain why you should be using display and presentation equipment, including why visual communication is such an efficient way to get your message across. We’ll then start to narrow down the choices available to you.

It’s a good idea to have a clear understanding of what your requirements are before you start shopping, so follow our list of questions to ask yourself and you’ll start to get a picture of what you need. Once you have, we’ll break down the wide choice of display and presentation equipment available to you, including the many advantages each has to offer.

We’ll drill down on the types of material available for noticeboards and whiteboards and explain the variety of leaflet dispensers available including what they’re best used for. To help you get your visual communication skills on track, we’ll offer our favourite tips for delivering top class presentations, and information on how best to use visual displays.

Finally, we’ll cover best practice when shopping for your display and presentation equipment. It pays to keep yourself covered, particularly when shopping online, so read up on our red flags to watch out for and how customer reviews can reveal some interesting details about both products and suppliers.

While there’s a lot of choice out there, this buying guide will help you narrow down your options so that you get the best equipment for your needs at great value.

 

Why choose display and presentation equipment?

Whether you want to display information to clients or customers or are just looking for a way to communicate information to your staff team, choosing the right equipment is key to making the right impression.

Perhaps you’re giving a presentation and you’re considering visual displays of some kind. How about making it dynamic and interesting using a projector and screen with a PowerPoint presentation, video clips or animations or just facts and figures presented in a clear, visually-appealing way?

If you’re in the retail business and want to present leaflets or products to your customers, you need a way to do this that is eye-catching and appealing enough to draw in the crowds.

There’s a wide range of types of display and presentation equipment available for a variety of purposes, but they all have one thing in common; the visual element. But why is this so important?

Visual communication is faster

The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text due to its immediacy. Even when we’re fluent in a language, the brain is constantly decoding that information and looking for context, whereas the brain is hardwired to understand visual information more effectively.

That means your message gets across to customers, clients and staff way faster if you use images and visuals instead of chunks of text. Display and presenting images to people will engage them faster and the experience is richer for the consumer.

They say time is money and people are more likely to scan an area for information. Presenting leaflets, creating a visual display of posters or projecting images onto a wall is all going to be a better experience for your audience and will get your message across in the fastest time possible.

Visual information is retained

Visual information isn’t just received and understood faster, it’s also retained for longer periods of time. About 50% of visual information is retained up to 2 weeks later against on 10-20% of text or spoken word. That means your message stays in the minds of your audience (and is more likely to be communicated to others in return).

It gets a clear message across

Both textual and verbal communication can become muddled; wires can be crossed, ideas miscommunicated and subjects interpreted wrongly. However, with visual communication, that idea is set in stone. The ways in which it can be received are far narrower, meaning you have much more control of your message.

Collaboration in a team or the delivery of a message to stakeholders can be managed far more effectively through video presentations or leaflets than it can be with a long-winded speech or a text-heavy handout.

Use your branding

Like most business, you’ve probably invested heavily in your branding and corporate identity. Don’t hide it away! Make the most of it by using it across different modes of visual communication. Use projection screens to animate your brand and project it through the lobby, produce high-quality leaflets for a display stand or choose brand ambassadors from your team to appear on posters; whichever way you do it, visual displays and presentation are an opportunity to show off your branding.

Make effective use of your visual information

It’s worth sitting down to consider a plan of attack for your visual information. Working through this buying guide will help as it will open up the vast range of display and presentation equipment available to you. Even if you had something specific in mind, it’s worth letting new ideas come up as you read through it.

A connected, integrated approach to your visual information is always the best way to go, so consider how you could combine projection with display stands and posters to make the most of your space and communicate your message.

Creating an effective visual marketing campaign

There are three main factors to think about when crafting a visual marketing campaign: authenticity, targeting and tone.

Authenticity:  This means ensuring that your visuals are in line with the values represented by your brand and it also means not nakedly chasing a new demographic with a style of marketing that jars with your corporate image.

Customers are sophisticated consumers of visual information and they can spot a fraud from a mile off. Stay true to yourself as a business and you won’t go wrong.

Targeting: This is about making sure you’re aiming for the right audience, which also affects the delivery network you use. If you’re aiming at over-65s, an Instagram campaign might not be the best approach, while if you want to reach a younger audience, leaflets alone might not cut it.

Work out your intended demographic, understand how the consume marketing and other information, and target your campaign directly to them.

Tone: This factor is about the message you are communicating. What are you saying emotionally and does that match with your customers’ expectations?

Some things to look out for here are topical events, politics and humour. Any or all of these can (and have) been used to great effect in the past in marketing campaigns, but they also carry a massive risk. If you get them wrong, you run the risk of looking outdated, insensitive or downright offensive.

Be careful to find the right tone for your visual marketing campaign so that you bring your customers along with you and don’t turn them off.

 

Questions to ask before shopping for display and presentation equipment

Some of the questions that may help you to understand your needs include:

What kind of information do you need to present?

You can display all kinds of information, from visual to textual, animated to still, paper to digital. If you’re looking to present company information to stakeholders, you might need different equipment than if you were presenting it to customers, for example.

Is the information in the display likely to change regularly, or will it remain broadly the same over time?

What media do you need to present or display?

If you have paper leaflets or posters, you’ll need different equipment than if you have digital media like PowerPoint presentations or videos clips.

Will it be a temporary or permanent display?

Do you intend to install a permanent display, perhaps in a lobby or reception area? Or maybe you’re looking for display equipment that can be used at a trade show that only lasts for one or two days. Alternatively, maybe the information is completely dynamic, such as notes taken during a meeting or conference.

Think about the time the information will need to be presented for, how it can be changed or altered and whether you can wipe it off and start again or need an entirely new display system if things change, for instance.

How interactive do you need it to be?

From whiteboards to projections, displays can be interactive. Even a leaflet dispenser involves someone physically going over and picking up items. However, you might also be looking for some kind of display that can be viewed from a distance and which you don’t expect people to go up to and interact with.

Who is the information for?

Your core audience will play a large factor in determining the type of equipment you choose. If you are displaying products or information leaflets to customers, you’ll need them to be clean, tidy and in good condition. If, on the other hand, you are presenting posters to customers, they’ll require less regular maintenance.

However, presenting a series of quarterly budget spreadsheets at a board meeting while require a different approach altogether. Understand who your audience is at this stage and you’ll begin to narrow down the options for the equipment you need.

Choosing display and presentation equipment

There’s a massive range of display and presentation equipment out there and choosing the right items can be tricky. If you’ve already answered the previous questions before reaching this stage, you’ll have started to narrow down your requirements which will help immensely when it comes to choosing equipment.

Now it’s time to break that equipment down into categories, as we look at what’s available, what their intended purposes are, and some of the advantages and disadvantages of each

Types of display and presentation equipment

Whiteboards

Whiteboards are a tried and tested means of delivering information that is dynamic and changing. They are dry-wipe boards which can be re-used again and again and as long as they are properly maintained will last for years.

They are ideal for presentations where notes need to be taken or information presented that is subject to change, or for displaying information that will change on an hourly or daily basis, such as a whiteboard on the staff floor that is updated with sales figures.

Whiteboards are available in a range of materials and types. General whiteboards are available to suit every budget and you can also purchase dual whiteboard/noticeboards, which are split into a whiteboard and a felt or cork pin board. These are ideal if you have dynamically changing information as well as notices that you need to stay up for longer.

You can choose from wall-mounted boards or mobile boards on wheels or casters, ideal for storing away when they’re not in use. Whiteboards are also available that are pre-printed with, for example, weekly or monthly planners, maps or grids.

If space is an issue, there are whiteboards that fold out from one board to three in a row, giving you ample room to take down all the information you need. You can also choose external whiteboards that have an enclosure that protects them from the elements, for use outside. These are lockable too, for extra security.

Noticeboards

Noticeboards are useful for temporary information that needs to be changed less regularly than with whiteboards. They are great for staff notices, updates team building or any other kind of information that you can pin up, leave for the necessary time then get rid of when it’s no longer needed.

Eco Friendly Board

If you’re conscious of your company’s environmental credentials, you can opt for eco-friendly noticeboards that are made with recycled materials. They won’t cost much more than other boards and are made to the same high standard.

Glass Drywipe Boards

Glass boards have become more popular in recent years because they are hardwearing, don’t ghost the same way as whiteboards can over time and look fantastic! They are available in clear, frosted or coloured glass and some high-end models even double up as projection screens, allowing you to interact with projected digital materials.

They are left completely clean after use, meaning that they require less maintenance and can be more confidential and all of the models we offer at Equip4Work come with a fantastic lifetime surface guarantee.

Flipchart Easels

Flipchart easels might seem a little old-fashioned when compared with newer styles of display surfaces, but they still have plenty of advantages. Perhaps the best of these is that, unlike with whiteboards, you can hold onto your materials once your meeting is over.

That can come in handy for evaluation, feedback or training purposes; the content of the meeting is retained in the flipchart pad, yet the easel is available for use by someone else right away.

In/Out Boards

In/out boards are ideal if you have a lot of staff, particularly those who take appointments. With interchangeable name plate modules meaning they can be regularly changed, these boards allow you to display who is in the office, who is out or who is busy with a meeting or appointment.

Ideal for healthcare, education, public sector and more, they are available in a variety of styles and colours, including some with tamper-proof modules. You can also opt for a whiteboard that is already pre-printed with an in/out table on it.

Planners and Maps

Planners and maps of all varieties are available. These are pre-printed whiteboard or magnetic boards meaning you don’t have to go to the trouble of drawing on a planner only to have it smudged or wiped off. The planner is permanent, the information contained with is dynamic; perfect!

Choose from weekly, monthly or annual planners, or maps of the UK and Europe, ideal for sales and fulfilment companies.

Chalkboards

Chalkboards have been largely replaced by whiteboards in classrooms and offices across the world, but for some, they remain the visual display board of choice. They have a number of advantages; firstly, the use of a dark surface means that information is clearly visible on it, ideal for accessibility and secondly, chalk is available in a vast array of colours.

Many cafes, restaurants and retail stores use chalkboards because of the choice of colours available; they are ideal for beautiful, exciting, temporary displays of offers, discounts or events.

Poster Display and Signage

Poster display and signage is available for internal or external use. You can choose from pavement ‘A’ frames, free-standing poster displays or wall-mounted and counter top units. If you are displaying advertising or other important visual information, you could also opt for backlit illuminated displays that show off your posters perfectly.

Display Cabinets

Display cabinets are ideal for showing off your products to customers. With halogen lighting options, lockable displays and low level glazed display cabinets to choose from, there’s something here for every product display purpose.

Not only that, but display cabinets can also be used in the office. You could show off photos or awards in a striking displaying on the staff floor or reception.

Concertina Display and Room Dividers

Concertina screens are incredibly versatile. With a range of sizes, styles and colours to choose from, these can be used with pins or Velcro to display information, product photographs and more in reception areas, trade shows or any other place where you want to set up a temporary visual display.

They can also be used effectively as room dividers; why not double up the use by having your room divider also be a visual display? Some models also have acoustic properties to absorb sound; ideal for sectioning off areas of an open-plan office.

Leaflet Dispensers

Paper visual materials will always be useful, even in the digital age, and it’s important to make good use of this. Whether you’re sharing leaflets on local activities or brochures about your latest products, leaflet dispensers come in a wide variety of styles.

You can choose from rotating, free-standing dispensers, wall-mounted units or table top dispensers to suit your need. There is a massive range of choices here in terms of materials and colours, so there’s something to suit every need, from standard plastic dispensers to stylish metal wave dispensers, perfect for reception areas and showrooms.

Projection Screens

It’s entirely possible to project onto a white wall if you have one, but even the whitest of white paint absorbs some of the light. It’s ideal then to opt for a quality projection screen which will reflect back most of the light, resulting in a crystal-clear image that can be viewed from anywhere in the room.

Portable projection screens stand on a tripod and roll up for easy storage, while wall or ceiling mounts screens looks great and can also roll away after use.

Projection Furniture

Don’t forget about projection furniture! You’ll need somewhere to seat the projector during your presentations, so choose from a multi-media projector trolley, projector stands or mounts or overhead projector trolleys.

T Card Planning Display Systems

T-card systems are tracking systems, often used for job workload tracking or for clocking in and out.  They consist of a board with an array of slots and packs of coloured T-shaped cards that slot into the board. They are versatile and stand out, helping you to keep track of information that needs to be updated dynamically.

AV Mounts and Trolleys

Today’s flat screen and LED TVs and monitors are a world away from the old cathode ray tube TVs, with crystal-clear displays that mean many offices are dispensing with projectors completely. If you use TVs or monitors for the purposes of displaying information during presentation, AV trolleys are a great idea.

They are portable and have storage space for holding DVDs, stationery and other items.

Busy Rail Deluxe Sliding Rail System

If you need a variety of display boards for your workplace, you might want to opt for the incredibly flexible Busy Rail system. Consisting of rail that goes along the wall, the system comes with a variety of optional extras that hand from the rail, including whiteboards, projection screens, noticeboards, leaflet dispensers and flipchart easels.

This means you can use any or all of these at one time, but they don’t need to be displayed permanently. When no longer in use, just unhook the board and put it in storage. The rail itself has a low profile so even when not in use, it won’t be a distraction.

Materials/surfaces

While there are a broad range of types of display and presentation equipment available, the most commonly used are boards. These come in a wide variety of materials depending on the type of board you choose and each of these offers its own benefits.

Whiteboards

Melamine: Melamine is resin-infused paper which is then applied to an MDF or particle board substrate. It is the most common and is a budget material, but check the specifications to make sure it is a “reduced ghosting” type of surface or you’ll find the ink marks build up over time, requiring heavy maintenance.

Painted metal: Usually aluminium or steel, these boards are smoother than melamine and wipe away easier. Steel boards are magnetic giving you the ability to use magnetic signs, holders and markers.

Hard coat laminate: This is similar to melamine but is smoother and less porous. This means they are more resistant to staining over time.

Porcelain/enamel on steel: With a fired ceramic surface, these are very smooth and hard-wearing. Ideal for industrial environments.

Noticeboards

Noticeboards are usually available in two varieties; felt or chipboard. Either can come with a wooden, plastic or aluminium frame. Both types can be used with pins for attaching notices, while felt boards can also be used with Velcro attachments.

Glass boards

Attractive and hard-wearing material that is highly scratch-resistant which makes them perfect for industrial environments or if you’re looking for something that is sleek and modern to fit your office design aesthetic.

Chalkboards

Chalkboards can be made of any board or surface painted matt black. Most common types use a wooden or aluminium frame with an MDF substrate and a smooth matt black surface.

Choosing a leaflet dispenser

The type of leaflet dispenser you choose will be broadly defined by where you intend to position it and who your audience is. Here are some of the main types of dispenser available and the best ways to use them:

Revolving leaflet dispensers

These are either freestanding or table top units and because they are designed to revolve, they have a smaller footprint, allowing you to maximise the number of leaflets you can show in a space. Wire units are light and portable while opaque dispensers can act as attractive visual focal points in their own right.

Mesh units offer an aesthetic somewhere between wire and opaque styles and have a professional look, ideal for modern reception areas.

Mahogany revolving units are also available and are perfect for an executive look. They are also durable, making them useful in waiting rooms or executive offices.

Freestanding leaflet dispensers

These forward-display all of your leaflets and can be either one or two-sided, depending on the space you have. Some models have casters allowing them to be wheeled into a number of locations which makes them flexible in a variety of spaces.

Brochure stands are perfect for showrooms, exhibition stands and point of sale displays. Customers can comfortably leaf through a brochure at the stand.

Wall-mounted leaflet dispensers

If space is at a premium, you could opt for wall-mounted displays. Available in the same choice of styles as revolving dispensers, they also come in a variety of sizes and configurations. While most models affix to the wall with screws, you can also choose dispensers with Velcro spots that can affix to any loop nylon surface.

 

How to deliver a top-class presentation

Let’s face it, when it comes to delivering a presentation with a visual component, most of us use the granddaddy of presentation software, PowerPoint. However, if you’ve ever been to such a presentation, you’ve probably seen one, if not all, of the cardinal sins of presentation committed.

An over-reliance on text (that the presenter just reads from word-for-word), boring graphics and dull clipart, or an array of slide transitions and sounds that distract from rather than enhance the message; each of these on their own can make a presentation tough to sit through. All of them together and you potentially have a disaster on your hands.

Here are some top tips for using PowerPoint to create a top-class presentation:

Don’t rely heavily on text

A PowerPoint presentation projected onto a screen is inherently a visual medium. This should enhance your spoken-word component, not mirror it or get in the way.

The one thing you should never do is type of your presentation word-for-word then read off the screen. As soon as the slide goes up, the audience will skim read the content, meaning that by the time you start saying the words, they’ve got all the information and will become bored.

Bullet-points are fine, but if you don’t need them up there, why not replace it with an image or infographic that adds to what you’re saying? If you’re communicating figures, don’t use pie-charts and graphs; instead, look for bold infographics that communicate the message in a more effective way.

For example, if you’re telling the audience that 1 in 10 of your customers are responsible for 50% of your sales, stick ten stick-figure icons on screen, colouring them all white except one that’s in a bold green. It’s hard to miss the message, plus it enhances what you’re actually saying.

It’s more likely to stick in the memory too, plus the colour choice symbolically relates to money. With this one choice, you’re making a simple image work hard to communicate and your audience will respond well to it.

One ideal method for keeping an audience engaged is to have a slide appear with a surprising image that appears unrelated to your topic, but which makes sense once you start speaking.

Humour is useful too, but don’t overdo it; too much slapstick and memes will soon turn cringey instead of witty.

Don’t just use the templates

PowerPoint is designed for anyone to pick up and use without training, so Microsoft helpfully supply a large number of templated as standard. However, these tend to be overly corporate and “safe”. Change the layout to suit your presentation and don’t be afraid to let the negative space in the background enhance your contents.

Play around with combinations of colours (flat colours being infinitely better than textures) and use contrast to make sure your message is well-received.

Microsoft defaults to the Calibri and Cambria fonts; they’re useful for most purposes but we see them every day when we open Word. Don’t be afraid to use different combinations of fonts (sans-serif and serif can work really well together in the right proportions) but never, ever use Comics Sans, and steer clear of Times New Roman.

There’s one single font that works in almost every occasion, never looks outdated and has impact whether it’s Normal, Bold, Italic or any other flavour, and that’s Helvetica. If you want your presentation to look clean, modern and classy, this should be your go-to if you don’t want to risk choosing the wrong font.

Never use transitions or sounds

This might seem like an overly prescriptive tip, but trust us; animated slide transitions and ‘bong’ noises will not make your audience warm to you. More often than not, they’re received as childish and worse, could be seen as an attempt by you to cover up for a lack of confidence or content.

Avoid anything gimmicky and let your words and visuals speak for themselves.

Think BIG

Remember that what you’re viewing on your PC screen is going to be projected in a much larger scale. You might think that you’re letting your text breathe by putting one bullet point per page, but translated to the big screen, it could just get lost in all that negative space.

Try to think bigger; use one word instead of 6, and use a massive font, making the most of the screen real estate. It will catch the eye and communicate your message with no room for confusion, it breaks up the rhythm of the slides if used sparingly and it transforms text into a visual image.

Align objects

While you might be aiming for a dynamic display that changes with each side, it’s always good to have an invisible, underlying structure to work with. On top of that, audiences respond uncomfortably when they see objects out of alignment.

Luckily, PowerPoint has an underlying grid that you can use to align all the objects on your slides. You can align objects in relation to one other, such as text to images, as well as arrange objects in relation to the overall slide.

You can also select all of your objects and instruct PowerPoint to evenly distribute them across the page, either vertically or horizontally. This will let the software do the hard work of making sure that you have the right balance of white or negative space and will project objects from appearing to “pop” out of alignment when you switch to a new slide.

Present websites correctly

The tried-and-tested way of showing websites in PowerPoint is to create a hyperlink on a slide and open the browser from there, switching out of PowerPoint in the process. But just because it’s always been done that way, doesn’t mean that it’s the best option.

On PCs, you can use PowerPoint add-ons that allow you to imbed whole webpages or YouTube videos inside your slides, saving you from interrupting the flow of your presentation as you show the site.

Take your own hardware

Where possible you should take the hardware you created the presentation on, for optimum results. While PowerPoint should work between different versions, in actually fact you can find unexpected results when using a slideshow created on a newer version with an older one.

If you have a laptop, take that along with you and ask for it to be hooked up to the AV equipment such as the projector. That way you can be certain the presentation will run as expected. It’s always a good idea to have a quick dry run of the presentation once you’ve connected the laptop up but before the audience arrives, just so there are no surprises.

Presenter View can really help

If you’re projecting onto a projection screen, you can use your own laptop screen to display the presentation in Presenter View. This will show you a different screen from what’s being projected, with the ability to add notes, a timer or clock and a presentation display, which can include a preview of what slide is coming up next.

However, while it can certainly help to have this information handy, try not to become overly-reliant on it. You want the presentation to seem fluid and natural, so try not to read off the notes but use them as a prompt instead of a crutch.

…and finally

Remember that no matter what visuals or extras you use to enhance your presentation, your audience is by and large there to hear you speak! Make sure that you are positive and energetic, don’t read off notes and keep them engaged with eye-contact.

You don’t need to look straight at the audience members either; a good tip is to look at the tops of people’s heads. They won’t know exactly where you’re looking and will instead assume that you’re engaging audience members directly.

 

Creating eye-catching visual displays

Whether you’re creating visual merchandising for a store window, setting up a leaflet area in your waiting room or creating an audio-visual display for a modern reception area, creating the right visual display is crucial if you want to draw in the crowds and present your brand in its best light.

These don’t have to be overly complex, either; something as simple as choosing colours that pop can be enough to attract people to walk past. However, if you’re willing to put in a bit more effort, you could create something that is visually draw dropping and which people just cannot walk passed without stopping to find out more.

Plan in advance

The best visual displays change regularly to prevent them becoming boring, staid or outdated. Sit down a month ahead of your intended changes and plan it out in full.

Think in themes

The best way to plan visually displays is to choose a thematic hook to build it around. Something distinct and simple that can be expressed in one word is usually the best option; think ‘summer’ or ‘fresh’. This will help you to decide on colours and other features.

Choose your equipment

Whether it’s a projector casting animated visuals onto a wall or a sleek, metal brochure holder containing information on your latest products, choose the right equipment to present your message, using this buying guide to help.

Limit the information

You might think it’s a good idea to cram as much into as small a space as you can, but often it’s better to limit the amount of information you display. Think leaflet dispensers with blocks of only three different types of leaflet grouped together instead of 100 single leaflets whose visuals and colours all clash.

Create a focal point

Either using colour, shape or signage, create focal point that draws the eye. This would usually be your higher price point; if it’s a dispenser with leaflets for your products, draw your customers’ eye to the most expensive one.

Keep the display at eye level

Unless you’re planning a dynamic display that moves around, for example a rotating version of your logo projected across the corner of two walls of a reception area, you’ll want to keep your display as close to eye-height as possible.

That way you’ll catch peoples’ eye as they walk past and they won’t have to stretch or bend to see more detail.

Use a limited colour palette

Too many colours will clash and your message will get lost, confusing your audience. Stick to a limited colour palette of contrasting or complementary colours, perhaps choosing one stronger accent colour.

Put the customer in the frame

There’s nothing more psychologically enticing to the brain than seeing that other people have enjoyed a service, product or store. Use images and photographs of previous customers to show that you have already delivered, and include testimonials where you can.

Keep it clean

Whatever kind of display you opt for, it’s important to maintain it. A leaflet dispenser that contains yellowing, crunched out leaflets or is gathering dust will only repel customers, not attract them. Similarly, a window display that looks great until you get up close to see the sill littered with dead flies is not a good look.

Don’t overfill it

Dispensers containing too many leaflets will get untidy very quickly, spilling onto the floor. Windows that are packed with products send mixed messages to the customer and can look desperate.

However, a leaflet dispenser that needs regularly refilled can look enticing to a customer because it looks popular; just remember to refill it regularly too so it doesn’t look unkempt.

Change it regularly

Coming full circle, remember that it’s important to change your visual displays often. If you can do it monthly, that’s the ideal, although less regularly works too; just make sure that your customers aren’t seeing the same display day in day out for a year. It just looks like you don’t care.

Keep it interesting, keep it exciting and you’ll look like a dynamic business that’s constantly coming up with new ideas.

 

General best practices when buying display and presentation equipment

Whenever you make any kind of capital purchases for your business, you should exercise caution, especially when shopping online, and the same is true when purchasing display and presentation equipment. You want the best products at a great value price from a trusted supplier, so you should follow best practice when buying.

Here are some of our top tips for purchasing display and presentation equipment the right way:

Research retailers

Whether you’re buying from a well-known high street brand, a tried and tested preferred supplier or a retailer you’ve never bought before, you have to protect yourself, especially when shopping online. You’ll want to ensure you buy from a reputable, legitimate supplier before doing business with them, and luckily, there are some simple ways to make certain this is the case.

Some of the key warning signs to watch out for when you are shopping online include:

  • Security flags or warnings in your browser or anti-virus software. Most modern browsers will warn you if the site you are visiting has been flagged as untrustworthy or dangerous in some way.
  • Most modern, reputable retailers will post reviews and customer feedback on their sites. Be wary of sites that don’t, as well as sites with an overwhelming number of bad reviews.
  • Reputable businesses will display their registered office address and a phone number on their website. Avoid those that don’t, or which only have PO Box addresses.
  • Websites are one of the key forms of marketing for most business nowadays and retailers make a lot of effort to get them right. If the site has bad spelling and grammar, broken links or images or a very poor standard of design, try someone else.
  • If prices seem too low to be true, they usually are. Check for the catch.
  • Avoid very young or new businesses or websites.

It’s very easy nowadays to check the authenticity of a site thanks to the ‘whois’ lookup service. Using this, you can check a URL or IP address to find out who the registered owner is, the country of origin and their contact details. If those details are hidden behind a host, try looking elsewhere.

Some scammers will clone entire, legitimate websites in order to phish for credit card details. Thankfully modern browsers usually pick up on this, but if your gut tells you something isn’t right, back away.

It’s also worthwhile being wary of very young or brand-new companies. While they can probably offer you great prices as they try to undercut their competitors and gain a foothold in the market, their lack of trading record could turn into liquidation within a short space of time. If that’s the case, you run the risk of your warranties and guarantees becoming null and void, forcing you to replace items entirely if they are faulty or become damaged.

Always read the reviews

Customer feedback and review can be a wealth of useful information on both products and the retailer. While it’s reassuring to read a lot of 5-star reviews, the 1-star reviews can be the most rewarding. You might find out about some drawbacks of the product that you won’t see anywhere else.

However, don’t assume that a bad review means it’s a bad product. Often customers will choose the wrong item for the job and blame the manufacturer or retailer when things go wrong. Make sure you read a selection of reviews, good and bad, and check the overall average rating. Bad reviews can also be an opportunity for retailers to shine; how they handle a complaint could actually make you trust them more.

Compare prices from a number of suppliers

It’s never been easier to compare prices once you have a product in mind that you’d like to buy. Price comparison sites and browser add-ons can do a lot of the work for you, but it’s also easy to simply visit a variety of sites and compare. Always make sure you get a few quotes before committing to a purchase.

It can also be worth getting in touch with your prospective supplier to discuss products in more detail and if you do, why not ask them for a discount? If you’re a first-time buyer or are opening a credit account, some retailers will be willing to offer you a discount as a way of engaging you for further business in the future. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

We always look out for the big headline prices because they catch our eye. However, you should always make sure that you’re paying what you expect when you reach the checkout page. Some common unexpected charges you might see include:

  • VAT: This currently stands at 20% in the UK, which is large chunk of the asking price. Some retailers will advertise with VAT included, some without; make sure you know which is which.
  • Import or export tax: Often overseas retailers can offer what seem like fantastic bargains. However, many overseas products will be liable for an import/export tax. You won’t find out how much this in most cases until you take delivery, so if you’re set on buying overseas, do an online search to see if you can get an idea of what the fee might be.
  • Delivery: At Equip4Work, we offer free delivery on the majority of our products to mainland UK addresses. Some of competitors, on the other hand, will charge expensive courier fees for delivery, particularly of large items.
  • Admin: It rare to find an admin fee charged these days, but you should still be on the lookout for it, just in case. Some retailers will try to apply this, particularly if you’re paying by invoice, so double-check.

It’s worth remembering too that price isn’t everything. You’ll also be looking for excellent customer service, high quality items and great warranties and guarantees should something go wrong, so factor these in when you’re making a decision.

 

Further information

At Equip4Work, we have clear photographs of all of our items and full specifications, with upfront pricing. However, if you need more information on a product, there’s a particular specification you can’t find or you’d just like some advice on choosing the best display and presentation equipment for your business, our Sales Team would be happy to help.

Just get in touch with us by calling 08444 999 222, email us at sales@equip4work.co.uk or complete the contact form on our site and we’ll get back to you.

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Last Modified / Updated on: May 31, 2018 at 11:10 am