The benefits of exhibiting at a trade show are endless. You already know that millions of deals are done on the trade show floor every year, but did you know that the leads you generate and the success you will realize begin at the very early stages of designing of your booth? See below for our top tips in ensuring that your booth stands out on a busy and competitive show floor.
The importance of booking as soon as possible cannot be stressed enough. There will always be another exhibitor waiting to get their application in at 12:01 on the day that applications open, so don’t wait for weeks and weeks to go by to get in the game (and risk missing out on the best spots!).
Plan Your Booth Location Logically
Contrary to popular belief, the front entrance is not always the best location. Traffic can actually be quite heavy and people may pass the first few booths to get away from the bottleneck. Think outside the box in selecting your location: grab a spot in other high traffic areas, such as near attractions on the show floor or food concessions.
Expert tip: Go visit the venue yourself ahead of the event to gauge how the show floor traffic moves.
Cluttered booths look disorganized. If an attendee walking by can’t figure out what it is that your company does within a few seconds of looking at your booth, they are bound to move on. Keep it simple and focused. Keeping your literature minimal is also is a great way to have more space for attendees and conveys your respect for the environment…its win-win!
Games and Contests
This can provide a much needed break for attendees and is an easy icebreaker to begin conversation. Walking the show floor as an attendee can be intimidating at times and a welcoming, engaging booth is easier to approach than a booth that only displays pamphlets and eager salespeople. Branded giveaways keep your marketing going long after the trade show has come to an end. Flashy lights and prize wheels that make sound can be used to draw attention. Once you have the attendee in your booth, use the time that they are playing the game as an opportunity to learn about them and their business needs.
Expert tip: Be sure to include your company logo and marketing on as much of the design as you can. Bonus points if the item is something wearable like a backpack or hat that they will wear throughout the event!
Samples, Samples, Samples
Giving away samples is crucial, especially if you’re in the food, beauty or health industry. Most people are pretty loyal with products that are tried and tested as well as items that they are currently enjoying. Shake things up by allowing them a free sample of your product, especially if your product is more difficult to describe in words. If your product is too big or expensive to give away for free, have large samples on hand that attendees can see, touch and experience in your booth.
Expert tip: Bring the end result of your product as opposed to the product itself, when appropriate. This allows people to see exactly what their own result would look like in using your product.
Don’t Miss Out on Photo Opportunities
Most people love the chance to take a good selfie documenting their experience at a convention. From photo backdrops to props for pictures, attendees enjoy a way to share their experience online. If you are able to give them an emailed photo, this is a great way to obtain their contact information and give them a take home that they value. Headshot stations are often a big hit as the image can be used later in their LinkedIn profile or business cards. Once again, don’t forget to brand your backdrop, printouts and props!
Connect with Attendees after the Event
Having lots of visitors attend your booth is incredible, but don’t forget to find a way to follow up on your leads after the show has wrapped up. We recommend investing in a lead retrieval device (you can usually purchase this through the event organizers) to connect with booth visitors after the show.
Have a BIG Social Media Presence
Most events already have an official hashtag. Use this early and use it often! Promote your attendance of the event on your social media channels, your company website and in your email signature. Be sure to post at regular intervals and ensure that your posts include your booth number. If you have a prop that attendees would like to pose with such as a comical mascot or visually appealing backdrop, be sure to ask attendees to post it with the hashtag and you can re-post their picture to your own channel as well. Check out what attendees are saying on social media and reach out to them to invite them to come visit your booth!
In conclusion, be unique but be authentic! Match your design, giveaways and other creative additions to the theme of the event. Trade shows are a big investment of company resources- make your experience worthwhile and ensure the biggest R.O.I. by taking your time to plan early and bring in as many creative minds as possible!
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