Trade shows and in-person marketing events are great opportunities for lead generation and further establishing your brand. Making a positive and lasting impression is important, as well as communicating your message clearly. Both can be accomplished with a well thought-out trade show booth.
Here are some planning and design tips to make your next trade show booth a success!
Stay true to brand’s identity and value proposition.
- Represent your brand accurately, consistently and in your own voice. The most successful brands are the ones who know who they are, understand which direction they are going in and are comfortable relaying that to the world. Don’t fall for trendy gimmicks that don’t match your brand’s character.
Location, location, location!
- Scout out the trade show venue as soon as possible. Determine which areas will have high traffic. Typically these would be near entrances, elevators and stairs, and usually mean steady traffic. Food areas offer only periodic traffic and the attendees probably won’t be focused on you at that moment anyway. Avoid pillars or columns or any structure that could impede the view of your booth.
Focus on the message your brand is trying to convey.
- What do you want people to take away when they leave your display? What kind of experience do you want to create? Are you looking to build your contact list or are you seeking more qualified leads? Be comprehensive in what you offer at your trade show booth, but make sure it’s not overwhelming. You want attendees to walk away feeling confident that you are an expert in your field and that your services and products will help them. Remember: don’t sell, be helpful!
Decide what feature products you want to display.
- Oftentimes businesses get so excited about showcasing all of their products that they end up overwhelming attendees. Carefully decided upon the main message you want the guest to take away from your booth and choose feature products and collateral materials that are intuitive, easy to understand and clearly communicate your objective.
Bring professional designers on board!
- We can’t stress this enough! Sure you could put something together quickly, but a good graphic designer will help you communicate your message in an effective and attractive manner. Don’t skimp on the design! People may not comment on your amazingly designed graphics, but they sure will notice if they are bad!
Explore your options. Check out modular exhibit systems.
- Trade shows range in price, size and type of display. Modular systems allow greater flexibility in terms of size and function. Add or remove modules to fit the show/booth design. If your goal is product promotion, you may need larger spaces to showcase them. And don’t forget that the floor area is also valuable real estate for brand advertisement!
Appeal to the senses.
- To engage an audience, you first need to draw interest and get them in front of you. The best way to do that, even on a trim budget, is by appealing to the senses but not bombarding them. Clean and clear visuals, dynamic graphics and complimentary lighting can go a long way in highlighting your brand’s core message.
- How can you expect other people to enjoy your showcase if you aren’t bringing the enthusiasm first? Some advance planning can help you avoid some minor but all too common trade show pitfalls. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, make sure you and any of your employees have eaten, and stay hydrated! Also ensure that you have a game plan for how you plan to interact with attendees. Don’t forget that everyone will need a break or two so it helps to have multiple team members staffing your booth. This way there will always be someone ready to greet visitors!
- Nothing can diminish the effects of a great trade show experience more than not following up! Plan ahead and decide how you will collect and record lead information, the way you plan to follow up and which member of your sales team will be nurturing the lead. Sounds simple, but you would be surprised how easily information can get lost or misplaced after a trade show event.
"Attendees spend limited time on the exhibit floor at most trade shows. Be sure to conduct effective and targeted pre-show and at-show promotion, so your prospects and customers have you on their agenda."- Exhibit Surveys
Let your booth be the star of the show!
Whether you plan on designing your own trade show booth yourself; or hiring a professional, remember these key points on creating an awesome trade show booth experience. Proper budgeting and planning are what make for great performances at trade shows. Decide on your core goals and message. Excite attendees but don’t overwhelm them. Be true to your brand identity and most of all, have fun! It’s not every day you have such large numbers of your target audience standing in front of you and your offerings! Make the most of it and maximize your ROI.