You know that hitting the trade show circuit would be beneficial to your company, especially since you are looking to grow. There is no better way – you’re introducing products, new and old, to hundreds of new sets of eyes, eyes that are actually interested in your industry. But where do you begin?
A lot goes into planning before you can set up your first exhibit booth. Here’s a handy guide to help you better navigate the process.
Location, Location, Location.
This is crucial, not only so that your trade show booth isn’t too big for the space you are allotted, but so that you stand out among the rest. Of course, some shows give selection precedence to those veteran trade show attendees. They will likely pick what they consider to be the ‘hot spot’ of the show, but don’t worry – this doesn’t mean you’ll end up with the worst spot in the house! In fact, there are some studies that suggest your location in the exhibition means nothing to the amount of traffic you’ll receive. It’s more about the type of impact your booth design has on attendees!
When you are choosing the location to set up your booth, you should decide where you want to be. Do you want to be in the middle of the action, or towards the back? Would you rather be in the front? Should you set up right next to your competition, or choose a location far away from them? How important is being close to the rest rooms or restaurant? You should also check out the lighting so you don’t get stuck in the darkest area of the hall. Stay away from supports and other obstructions like stairs and low ceilings, and if you have a unique booth design, such as a peninsula or cross aisle booth, you need to make sure your location supports such a design.
The Message You’re Sending
Now it’s time to take a long hard look at the design of your exhibit itself. This is important, as some people decide whether or not to stop and take a look at what you have to offer just from looking at your booth! First, you need to ask yourself if the booth is effectively communicating the image you wish to project about your company and products. You want to give life to your brand, as if it had a personality all its own, since people respond positively to emotional reactions conveyed by an exhibit. For example, you wouldn’t want a fun and whimsical booth design when you are a high tech, professional company. Someone should be able to tell what your company is all about in a short glance.
Are you looking for new leads, or are you looking to cultivate relationships you have with existing customers? The first goal requires an interesting booth that has plenty of space for people to wander, packed with information yet easy to get in and out of. The second goal requires more private spaces to consult one-on-one with your customers. Your ideal audience also dictates the message you send with your exhibit design. Try to decide the message that is going to effectively draw your target audience in before you have your graphics made up.
Whatever message your booth is trying to communicate, don’t forget the three-second rule – people should have a grasp of this message in the first three seconds of looking at your booth. The graphics you place around the booth that draw people in should clearly communicate this message – less is more!
A Word On Promotions
If you aren’t running any special trade show promotions, you’re missing out on an effective way to get people to stop by to see what you have to offer. It is said that the average trade show is attended by over 400 exhibitors. The average attendee will only visit about 21 of these exhibits, and has determined which booths they feel they cannot miss before they even set foot onto the floor. If you aren’t running promotions and advertising them pre-show, you are missing out on a big opportunity to get on someone’s must-see list!
Send out promotion details to current customers in an email, post about it on social media, and have prominent details featured on your website. Advertise the heck out of it, and be sure that you are offering something that is irresistible to your prospects. You want them to think, “I cannot miss this booth!”
Before you send them off to man your booth, you need to go over some ground rules for representing your company. You don’t want to draw people to your booth only to have them put off once they get there by the behavior of one of your employees. It is not that difficult, but here area few tips to go over with your booth staff:
Be honest. If you can’t answer a question, tell them so, and get their email address, assuring a more knowledgeable staffer will get the answer to them after the show is over.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep. This kind of goes along with being honest!
Don’t spend your downtime gabbing with other staff members. Sometimes, you can appear unapproachable, and if it’s true gossip you’re taking part in, they might be turned off altogether!
Greet everyone with a smile and warm handshake.
Teach them not to be pushy, and to ask questions that determine whether someone makes a qualified potential customer. Don’t waste time pitching a product to someone who won’t even find the product useful!
Of course, there are many other considerations upon entering the trade show circuit. Think over each decision carefully while keeping the image of the company in mind, and you’ll be just fine. Watch for a post regarding further considerations in the near future!
We at Blazer Exhibits pride ourselves as trade show experts. We can help you with every aspect of your trade show design, achieving the ultimate attention grabber! Contact us today to discuss how we can help!