There are many reasons to consider partaking in a trade show. The number one reason is the fact that you will get to meet potential clients as well as network with other professionals. As beneficial as trade shows are to your business, just showing up at the venue and winging it won t cut it. As important as a well-designed trade show booth is, a plan of action must be in place before even entering the event to be a success. Most businesses plan for months to come up with the design of their trade show exhibits as well as what their objectives are. Before you can even jump into designing trade show displays for your upcoming event, it is important you have a plan in place. Knowing the following information will help you design the perfect display booth for your upcoming trade show.
Have a Goal
Knowing what you want to get out of the event will make it much easier to track your success once the show is over. Do you want to get a certain amount of sales leads? Are you a new business that wants to increase public awareness of your company? Or are you trying to get your newest products or services recognized? Whatever it is you are aiming to accomplish at the trade show exhibits should be clarified and passed along to the rest of your staff. What ROI do you want to obtain? What vendors do you want to visit? One question I often hear is How do I measure my success from the show? By having a clear goal you want to accomplish and documenting everything that happened at the show, you will be able to determine if you met your goal or not. Talk to the trade show organizers and get a list and map of all of the vendors who will be at the show and where to find them. This way you will be able to plan which ones you want to see and where they will be located. Also, make sure a clear goal is set and communicated to your staff.
Know Your Target Audience
The same portable or modular display design won t work for every target audience. Instead, you will have to personalize your show display and marketing material around the wants or needs of this audience. Whether it is business professionals or young adults who you are trying to get attention from, it is important your trade show materials be designed with them in mind.
Let Your Audience Know What Problem Your Product/Service Can Fix
Most attendees are going to be more interested in how products/services can help them. Make sure the benefits of your products are clearly stated on all of your trade show booth and marketing materials in order to attract more interested people to your display system.
Know How Much Space Will Be Needed
Before diving into the design of trade show displays, you need to know how large your booth space is. Once that is determined, decide if you would like to have any activities take place at your display booth, such as demonstrations, presentations, etc. If you would like to have activities take place, more room is going to be needed.
Whether you are using portable trade show displays, such as pop up displays, or exhibits with an open layout, such as truss systems, it is important to know the previous information in order to make your trade show display a success.
Make the Most of Your Display Booth
Prepare all of your marketing materials and visual aide ahead of time and be sure to have plenty of marketing handouts on hand. Do your best to ensure your display booth can show off your visual aides to as many visitors at once as possible. Brand your marketing material and visual aides to coordinate with your trade show display and business objectives.
Dress for success
There is a fine line between comfortable and trashy. You re going to be cramped in the trade show venue for hours among hundreds of other exhibitors. Depending on your industry and the standards of the show, it may not be reasonable for you and your staff to wear formal business attire. Nothing makes me more miserable than wearing a business suit in a 100 degree building. However, wearing shorts and tank tops won t cut it either. It is important to look professional while still being comfortable. If the employees at your business wear uniforms, have the booth staff wear uniforms. Comfortable shoes are also a must, since many venues have hard concrete floor. Adding trade show flooring to your display will be a godsend to your feet, since most flooring is padded, enhancing the comfort for both your staff and visitors.
Don t Forget the Business Cards!
Bring a stash of business cards to the event to hand out. If you will not be at the event, make sure you have a booth staff that will be outgoing and not afraid to introduce themselves to other professionals. Also, don t lead other professionals on by making them think you will be doing business with them. Try to only talk to businesses that will be doing business with you, or vice versa. For those of you who like the word free , you are sure to walk away with a heavy load of free stuff by talking to these other business professionals.
Trade shows have been proven to be an effective marketing tool, whether you have a small or large business. One of the best parts of an exhibit is the fact that all participants will be equal competitors and they are coming to see you! The ones that will stand out the most are those with well-designed trade show exhibits that are willing to introduce themselves without being too pushy, are knowledgeable and excited about what they sell, and who are well prepared. Go in with a plan and what you want to take away from the event. Your company and your bottom line will be happy you did.