As a business owner who exhibits at trade shows, you are well aware that these shows are costly but necessary if you want to stay on top of your industry. With so many fees, space rental, booth design, and promotional items, the costs quickly add up.
When it comes to your booth display, this is one area where you can’t afford to make any mistakes.
Want to see a return on your investment during your next big expo? Whether this is the first time you’ve exhibited or you’re trying to improve upon your last experience, this guide is for you.
Looking for an eye-catching trade show display for your next event?
Contact Big Printing today to get the exposure you need!
When it comes to your booth design, the best plan of attack is to define your purpose ahead of time. Even if your budget isn’t limited, the space you have to work with will be, so you’ll need to make every little last detail count.
What do you hope to achieve as a result of exhibiting at this expo? Here’s a list that can help you to narrow your focus.
A good rule of thumb is to expect each visitor to your booth to require 10 minutes and 50 square feet of space. You’ll want to plan to have enough time, staff, and space to make visitors feel like they aren’t rushed or crowded.
The more research you do ahead of time, the easier it will be to stay on budget and on task while accomplishing your goals for your brand.
Depending on the trade show you’re attending, there could be tens of thousands of people in attendance. Competition between the booths will be fierce, so you’ll need to make sure your booth stands out from the rest to attract the most visitors. Follow these tips to stand apart from your competitors.
Even though the internet can never fully replace in-person interactions, it’s a good place to start if you want to build excitement about your trade show appearance. You can document the process of preparing for the expo and share the details on social media and your website. Reach out to journalists who cover your industry and see if they’ll do a piece about your company. This is also the time to begin promoting online polls and giveaways.
Your competitors will also be posting on social media, giving you a chance to check out what they’re doing to make sure you’re doing it bigger and better. Are their booth displays tall? Make yours taller. Do they have fantastic promo items? Make yours better. The key here is to be eye-popping, vibrant, and to pique curiosity.
People are more likely to drop by to visit if they feel welcomed, so plan to have enough space to set up some comfortable chairs where visitors can relax. The average attendee will spend 8.3 hours viewing the exhibits. You may just find people showing up at your booth and becoming new customers simply because their legs were tired.
No matter how memorable your display is, it can’t take the place of the good old-fashioned business card. Your business card will remind trade show attendees who you are and how to contact you again long after they’ve left the expo. It’s worth the extra expense to make sure your card stands out, so go ahead and splurge to end up with a card that is a truly unique reflection of your brand. Your goal is to create a card people want to hold onto.
Plan to hand out brochures that will give trade show attendees a clear picture of who you are and what your brand stands for. As with your business card, this is not an area where you want to cut costs. Your brochure is your chance to create a lasting impression that will make people want to do business with you even if you haven’t had a chance to speak to them personally. You can slip your brochure into a promotional grab bag if you want to take a more subtle approach than handing them out directly.
You can showcase your online presence at your booth by having laptops or tablets available that will allow attendees to experience your website and shop for products. Make the user experience as simple and intuitive as possible by planning your presentations out in advance. Be sure to always have your website open on at least one device in your booth so people can browse it easily without having to wait. At an expo, any time spent waiting around is time during which you could potentially lose their interest to a competitor.
Gamification is one way to quickly capture attention. People love gaming, and drawings, social media challenges, freebies, and prizes are sure to get attendees’ attention. Create a hashtag that makes it easy to share posts and to connect them with other people in your industry. Give away branded promo materials people will want to carry and share to increase your visibility. If possible, try to give away items that are directly related to your industry or your customers’ needs.
How do you strike the right balance between showing your products off and being so crowded that nothing stands out at all? You’ll need to plan carefully to make sure you’re making the most of the space you have available. You’ll want to ensure your signage is the correct size for your space, and make sure it’s hanging at eye level. Design a layout that will give people plenty of space to experience your products.
If your products aren’t digital, have some items on-hand that attendees can use. Giving a demo of your products is fun and interactive, and it’ll give them a chance to experience our products firsthand. Want to draw a crowd to your booth? Schedule specific times for demos if you don’t have the time or staff to do individual demos throughout the day.
Exclusivity is one of the chief principles of the psychology of marketing. When people feel like they are getting an exclusive deal, they are more likely to respond. Create a discount code or other promotion that is available to expo attendees only. Whether it’s for a product they’ll need to purchase on the spot or for something they’ll order later on, they’ll appreciate the perks of being one of an elite group.
Let’s face it: all trade show attendees expect to leave with a lot of samples. People love free samples, and like business cards they are also a physical reminder of who you are and what your brand stands for that attendees can take away from the conference. Even if they’re too busy at the expo to try your product, they may still try your sample later, potentially creating another new customer after the conference has ended. To keep attendees coming back, make sure your samples are well-branded.
If you want your booth to go viral, consider staging a stunt people will want to photograph and take video footage of. Just make sure it’s well-planned, or you may go viral for the wrong reasons. When one group brought penguins to a trade show, it was a huge viral hit. However, at another conference, a stunt went wrong and resulted in an ambulance being called. When planning your stunt, consider every possible potential outcome and what it could mean in the long-term. After all, once you’ve gone viral, there’s no putting that genie back in the bottle.
Mood lighting isn’t just for romantic restaurants. If the conference center doesn’t have great lighting, you may need to bring your own to create the right mood and make your products easy to see. What kind of lighting should you strive for? Think warm, inviting, and intimate. You want people to feel good about spending time in your booth.
Every expo has different rules regarding wall displays, so the first thing you’ll need to do is find out what the rules at your conference are. You may want to use projectors, flat screen televisions, hanging signs, digital graphics, or even canopies to brand your booth. From light boxes to stretch fabric displays, there are many options to choose from. Working directly with a printer who specializes in expo displays is the best way to ensure you’re choosing the right options for your needs and budget.
If you spent over eight hours walking around a trade show and you picked up 20 promotional grab bags, would you carry 20 bags around? No, you’d stuff them all into the biggest bag, and that’s what the attendees at your trade show will do, too. Want to make sure your branding is seen? Have the biggest bags. People may show up at your booth just to get one. No matter how or why they show up, the important part is they’re there. Attract them with the bag, but keep them with the product.
Before you commit to an expo, find out what the rules are and do as much research as possible to make sure it’s the right space for your needs. With so many different conferences to choose from, even if one venue isn’t right, you’re sure to find another one that is. Once you’ve found the right space, follow these tips and you’ll be on the road to getting a return on your investment.