How can a trade show exhibit boost sales and pump up your PR value? If done correctly, trade shows are an excellent way to get your name out there and, better yet, put a real and likable face with that name in the eye of the public. But how you handle trade shows makes all the difference in your success. Here are five ways to make your trade show booth a resounding success.
1. Choose the Right Trade Show
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Even the best products aren't an ideal match for just any trade show. Look for shows where people most likely interested in your product are going to attend. However, that doesn't mean you should not think outside the box. For example, if you're touting the benefits of your new vitamins and supplements, an obvious choice is a health and fitness trade show. But you can easily spin this into a home and garden show if you focus on how these supplements can help mom keep up with everything she has to do, such as work, raise a family and keep an active home. Make your product relevant to attendees.
2. Get the Word Out
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Social media is a powerful tool to generate interest and score attendance. Use SEO to inform people what show you'll be setting up at and all the reasons why they might enjoy attending. Link your website to accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking sites, but don't forget the power of the blog. Send out press releases to bloggers in your industry. Make the press release informative and engaging, and bloggers are likely to spread the word.
3. Train Your Personnel
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Once you get people to your booth, it is critical to make a good impression. If your personnel can't handle their questions, don't fully understand the product or can't articulate the benefits to consumers, all your advertising efforts are for nothing. Train the people scheduled to work the booth and let them practice answering questions, demonstrating the product and explaining the benefits.
4. Make the Display Visually Appealing
Image via Flickr by Phil Manker
Trade shows are festivals of sights and sounds, lights and action. If your booth is to stand out and be noticed, you're going to have to effectively compete with them. Everything in the display needs a cohesive color pattern and design, and the overall look needs to be eye-catching and exciting. Is this something you'd cross the room to get a better look at? One technique is to create questions in viewers' minds - intrigue them with unanswered questions to help lure them to the display.
5. Give Out Lots of Goodies
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Pens and pencils, key rings and frisbees: we all know the typical loot handed out at trade shows. Think outside the box to create interesting trinkets and swag your visitors will want to keep and things to keep you on their minds. Some companies have success with logo thumb drives, T-shirts, product samples, CD cases and other items visitors won't find at every other booth at the trade show. Hold drawings for larger giveaways or host a retweet contest where attendees can win trips and larger prizes. Trade show giveaways can be a great way to stick in your customer's mind.
The key to a successful trade show is thinking like attendees. What would make you go out of your way to visit a display or check out a product? What would keep this company or product on your mind after a busy show where visitors saw hundreds or thousands of other products and companies? Aim for that.