Interview: Michelle Goodall on Planning ‘Moral Marketing’ Campaigns
By Gemma JoyceFeb 18
Published September 25th 2014
When your company spends the money, time, and effort to display a booth at a trade show, it is vital to make the best of it.
Careful planning and research can go a long way towards ensuring a successful showing at your next trade show.
This article will highlight ways to attract visitors to your booth, detail ways to plan out a successful trade show exhibition, and explore some of the best ideas for trade show giveaways.
A trade show is a place where buyers and sellers meet. The benefit is that buyers come to a trade show looking to buy and wanting to learn about the latest and greatest that you have to offer.
The problem is the amount of competition you have in the direct vicinity. The way to overcome the problem is to take steps to ensure that buyers won’t miss your booth.
Here are 10 successful trade show tips to make visitors stop at your booth
Of course, the old business adage “location, location, location” stands here just like anywhere else. Most trade shows will offer prime location booths for an extra charge.
If you are willing to pay extra, look into this early. Most trade show’s prime locations sell out fast; some prime locations are even grandfathered in, so you may need to think even further in advance, like next year.
It also is something to consider when negotiating your contract. If you plan on attending a trade show long term, year after year, prime location is something you can try to leverage at that time.
Buyers are attracted to good looking booths. Use bright colors and put effort into the design of your booth. It will make all the difference between visitors stopping or walking by.
Make your messaging clear and able to be seen from every direction as well as near and far. Use clear signs and optimum lighting.
In addition to having that ‘right look’ and appealing design, your booth should be approachable. Smiling faces of professional booth attendants are important.
Have a variety of different display options to appeal to different people. Some people like flyers, pamphlets, and reading materials.
Other attendees are visual and would like to see a video demo on an HD screen or tablet.
Many will want to engage with the booth staff and ask questions. Make sure that plenty of booth staff are available at all times.
Consider having a booth host who is trained to answer some simple questions and direct buyers to the appropriate staff member in the booth.
You could try using entertainers such as a model, a magician, singer, or other type of entertainer that goes along with your company persona or theme of the booth or trade show.
Make sure to highlight your show specials so that buyers know that they need to buy at the show in order to receive the discount or special offer. Make sure your show special is posted and very clear.
Everyone likes to win something and contests, special promotions, or prize drawings will attract people to your booth.
Be sure that you require something of attendees in order to enter the drawing or qualify to win a prize such as a business card, or filling out a contact form or questionnaire.
Trade show attendees are usually not used to all the walking around.
Offering snacks and drinks will be much appreciated. Your drinks or snack offer should be in line with your company culture or theme. Water bottles and any packaging should come with your branding or business card attached to help remind them where they received it from.
Offer something of value to trade show attendees. This can be something like a white paper on the state of the industry, top 10 lists of products, newest trends. If most people who attend a particular trade show are from out of the area, you can offer information about the local area, such as top places for dinner.
You should already have a social media marketing plan in place for your trade show. One way to use social media is to engage with people who have checked in at the venue or mentioned the trade show on social media. Invite them to your booth and offer a special incentive through social channels.
Promotional products and branded gift giveaways are a staple at trade shows.
However, choosing the right promotional products to giveaway will ensure that your investment is worthwhile.
Make sure that the promotional product giveaway that you choose is something that is relevant to your brand and useful to the consumer. That is the best combination to ensure that they are kept for long periods of time.
Some of the most popular promotional products for trade shows include:
Carrying off a successful trade show involves a great deal of planning. Since trade shows are often a risk because of the cost involved and the short term, one shot deal nature of them, it is imperative to do enough to ensure their success.
Many of the 10 points we illustrated to attract buyers require research and planning ahead of time. If you regularly attend trade shows, you will form a routine; but even if you have a routine, be sure to constantly continue to innovate and improve it.