Businesses wanting to connect with prospective clients and increase their exposure should attend a trade show. However, as the events are often filled with gimmicks, it can be hard for a brand to stand out from the crowd.
To grab people’s attention and substantially increase your return on investment, you must develop a strategy that will ensure people are talking about your brand long after the event is over. Find out how your business can wow at a trade show.
Embark on Pre-Show Outreach
If you have a variety of clients or investors you would like to see at a trade show, you should embark on pre-show outreach. Utilize your email newsletters, website and social media platforms to promote your attendance at a trade show, which could encourage others to attend.
You also could send out invitations for VIP access or product demonstrations, or you could hint that your company will be making a special announcement at the event that could make them want to buy tickets.
It is important to generate a buzz about your brand prior to a trade show, which will ensure everyone keeps a look out for your stand. For example, you could utilize the power of social media to increase your engagement, as you could ask users the types of swag they might like you to hand out to attendees at the event. For example, you could provide:
- Custom t-shirts
- Office stationery
- Phone cases
- Messenger bags
- Kitchen accessories
- Baseball hats
You could even introduce a hashtag for the event, which you should encourage others to use once they receive your merchandise. Boost engagement by providing promotional items for trade shows that people will actually use, which can boost your brand recognition.
A sad-looking trade show table will encourage people to walk on by and connect with seemingly more interesting businesses at the event. To appear as a large, respected and professional brand, you should increase your trade show budget and invest in impressive displays that will make people take notice of your company.
For example, you should purchase bright and bold table cloths that will set your business apart from other tables, and it should feature your high-quality logo. You also can prove you mean business by erecting a zippered tent with a wall, which will encourage intrigue in attendees. Another option is to install full color backdrops, which you can add into a tent and they can create a fun atmosphere at your booth. Find inspiration by checking out these trade show display ideas.
Inject Personality into the Event
A bored demeanor will encourage attendees to check out your neighbors’ booths. It doesn’t matter if this is your first or 100th trade show, you must inject some personality into the event. So, fill your booth with colorful, helpful characters, offer interactive features, and go above and beyond to talk to others.
Train Your Team
Knowledgeable staff will be able to answer any questions attendees have with ease and can accurately describe your brand, products or services. To ensure you don’t appear unhelpful and unprofessional, you must train your team, so they will know how to answer a variety of questions to help people make an informed choice on your business.
While professional displays will ensure attendees cannot miss your table, you must find ways to secure and maintain their engagement during the event. It is, therefore, vital to come up with various trade show booth ideas to make people spend more time with your business.
For instance, you could advertise discounts on your products and services at the event, market your brand to other vendors by handing out free gifts, or host an interactive activity, such as a dance presentation, touch screen kiosks or the option to play with a gadget.
Checkout the Competition
Every brand should perform in-depth research before attending a trade show, so they can identify the caliber of brands they will be going up against. A dull, drab booth cannot only make people walk on by, but it will also prove you lack the professionalism and passion of your rivals. So, identify the types of displays, giveaways and activities your direct and indirect rivals often feature at an event and then develop a stand that blows them out the water.
To make people fall deeply in love with your brand, you should host a fun giveaway at the trade show. To encourage people to talk about your brand and invest in your products or services, you should provide unusual freebies that will make people stop at your booth when passing by.
For example, you could offer portable speakers, power banks or exercise bands, which are items people would happily take home with them. By identifying the best tradeshow giveaways, you could walk away from the event with more prospective customers, clients, investors, or business partners. So, the clever tactic could provide your business with a great return on its investment.
Create a High-Quality Video
A high-quality video will add entertainment value into your booth. Rather than talking to a member of staff, an attendee might be happy to watch your professional video to learn more about your brand or latest product. It could help your business to make waves at the trade show and secure many new customers or investors.
Give Away Reusable Bags
Many businesses like to provide trade show attendees with free swag, which can increase their brand awareness and customer base. The bigger the bag, the more contents a person will be able to carry during the event. If you want to promote your business across the event, you should aim to hand out large reusable bags. Plus, as attendees can reuse it time and again, you can trust it won’t end up in the trash once the trade show is over – so ensure it features your logo, web address and phone number.
Many trade show attendees will jump at an opportunity to play a fun game, so they can compete against one another to win a big prize.
There are a variety of simple games that could help you to draw a large crowd and boost engagement, such as:
- A Roulette wheel
- Jumbo board games
- Golf putting
- The Price is Right style games
- Grab machines
Make people queue up to play by providing a winner with a superb prize – and the buzz will undoubtedly make people take notice of your booth.
Secure Media Attention Before or During the Event
If you are launching a big product, making a special announcement, or featuring an impressive giveaway, you should aim to secure media attention before the trade show. Encourage press to cover your booth by publishing a press release many weeks before the event, which should provide information on why you’re attending the event and what you are planning to do.
You also should call up various media outlets that are expected to attend the trade show, as they might be more than happy to organize a pre-event interview. It could lead to you generating a bigger buzz at the trade show and increasing your brand recognition.
Offer a Free Phone Charging Station
It is likely many attendees will be busy emailing, texting and posting photos onto social media during a trade show, which can lead to their smartphones losing power. To encourage more people to your booth, setup a free phone charging station, and provide them with a relaxing lounge area so they can wait for their device to secure more power. It will provide your business with an opportunity to hand out literature, mingle with attendees and offer product demonstrations.
Trade shows can become more than a little busy, and many attendees might not have a spare minute to grab a bite to eat or a drink. You can, however, encourage people to stop at your booth by providing refreshments to refuel their mind and body.
Providing water bottles, bags of chips and free cups of coffee could increase the likelihood of people engaging with your business, so you’ll have a bigger opportunity to demonstrate a product or hand them a flyer about your brand.
Secure a Booth with Good Foot Traffic
The location of your booth can impact your company’s success at a trade show. Your position on the floor will ultimately determine your foot traffic, engagement and leads. So, if you’re hidden away in a corner, you’re going to struggle to connect with your target audience.
It is crucial to discuss your space with an event coordinator, so you can secure a booth that’s as close as possible to the:
- Floor entrance
- Main aisles
- Networking spots
- Lounge areas
- Food courts and bars
To ensure you don’t miss one opportunity during the event, you should learn from the experts to enjoy great success. Their advice could determine the trade show booth design, goals, and marketing tactics.
Draw a Crowd with a Celebrity Appearance
If you aren’t restricted by a tight budget, consider hiring a celebrity to make an appearance at your stand. It is a sure-fire way to draw a large crowd to your booth. If possible, book a celebrity who can perform during the event, and you also could request they mingle with attendees, sign autographs and take photographs. It cannot only make people take more notice of your brand, but it could help you to secure media coverage before and after the trade show.
Host Educational Workshops
Many attendees will buy tickets to a trade show to learn from other companies. For this reason, you should host educational workshops at scheduled times of the day at your booth, which will provide an opportunity to highlight your expertise and offer valuable experiences. You also should hand out cheat sheets and brochures following a workshop to encourage future engagement with your brand.
Add a wall into your booth and encourage attendees to write various comments or messages. It is a great way to make people take notice of your company and it can also help you to gather information about the attendees. You also should create a custom hashtag for them to use on their social media posts when snapping photos of the wall, which can lead to greater online engagement.
Gather Feedback from Your Team
Once a trade show has come to an end, it is crucial to have a team debrief. Bring everyone together to discuss what they believe did or didn’t work at the event and take many notes. By doing so, you can learn from your mistakes and build on your strengths to enjoy greater trade show success in the future.
Follow Up on All Leads ASAP
It is likely your team will have accumulated many business leads during a trade show. Rather than allowing days or weeks to pass by, you should follow up with prospective customers, vendors or investors as soon as possible. For example, aim to connect with individuals on the likes of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, or give them a call from the number on their business card. If you can turn a fraction of the leads into customers, the booth will result in a superb ROI.
A trade show will provide your organization with an opportunity to showcase its high-quality products and industry capabilities. Plus, it can also lead to face-to-face engagement, which could increase your customer base or help your company to secure one or more investors.
It is, therefore, imperative to provide the best trade show booth design at the event, so consider erecting eye-catching tents, flags and table cloths. You also should delight your guests by providing giveaways, games and fun entertainment, which could lead to your stand drawing a rather big crowd. Don’t forget to invite the media to cover your special announcement or celebrity appearance, either, and follow up on every lead once the event is over.