The best trade shows are crammed full of ingenious ideas and attractions, and it can be a challenge to stand apart. That’s why it is critical to apply fresh booth marketing ideas to help you pull potential vendors and partners to your site.
You don’t necessarily have to get too creative, either! The key is to make your booth a “go to” place within the trade show, so that people you aim to influence make the stop and stay long enough to learn about your work. The longer you can keep them there and the more positive of an imprint you leave, the better.
1. Offer Interesting Freebies
The top booth marketing tip is to offer free give-aways to visitors. The more prominent your marketing brand on the freebie, and the more interesting the freebie is, the more visitors you will likely attract. If visitors at the trade show see other attendees walking around with a fun give-away, they will ask them, “Hey, where did you get that?”. Everyone will want one and talk about you in the process.
Interesting does not mean expensive (though it can). Here are some ideas.
- Metal water bottles wrapped with your business name or a fun design that pops (with a more subtle logo, of course). Everyone uses these; they have a practical purpose and will attract visitors.
- Adult toys, such as fun stuffed animals, bobble heads, or even yo-yos. You can get very creative here!
- Clothes, from hats to t-shirts to logoed crocs or flip flops, have a practical purpose that is timeless and loved by any crowd.
2. Define Your Goals First
One of the freshest marketing ideas out there is planning around goals. Research shows that marketing campaigns are 356% more successful if they are planned well in advance.
Before you can execute amazing booth marketing strategies, you need to have goals established. What are you trying to accomplish with your trade show attendance? Make sure the goals are SMART, as in Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timebound. Here are some examples.
- 500 email sign ups by the end of the show.
- 50 business cards received each day.
- 2 meetings on the calendar for the week after the show.
- 10,000 attendees, 20% of total show, reach the booth as evidenced by give-aways.
If you’re looking for quality visits over quantity visits, you might focus your marketing ideas around attracting a particular subset of people. If, rather, you hope to build your social media base, you can focus on giving away freebies for a “like” or email.
3. Make the Messaging Pop
The colors and images you use and the words you select should all align with your brand and pop for the best trade show marketing. You likely have to step away from your business tag lines for your trade shows, because all of your competitors have a similar pitch!
What really makes you stand apart? Do you appeal to youth? If so, use trendy images and colors that convey that image. Create a new tag just for your booth that will resonate with the crowd, especially with the people who you want to attract.
For example, if you are attending food trade shows to market your new mustard product, you might shift your message from “the best for your burger” to “tangy tastes great”, or to “the yellowist of them all”. Every condiment at the show will be appropriate for a burger. Why is yours different?
4. Send Notice Ahead of Time and Special Invites
Again, planning is the key to all successful marketing. If you’re trying to attract a certain percentage of the top vendors in your niche area, you probably want to design a campaign to advertise to them beforehand. Offer coupons or special incentives for them to sign up to visit your booth for a higher percentage yield of visitation.
This type of advance notice goes hand-in-hand with virtual trade show exhibits. You can advertise more effectively before (and after) a show if you have a virtual show established online.
5. Use Your Best Representatives
If you’re trying to make sales, you need to ensure that your best representatives are in attendance to close the deal. Marketers can help with the presentation, but they do not always have that extra capacity to push the sales forward. Ideally you have a mix of these two skill sets available at all trade shows.
Another great aspect to have on your team is charisma. Sometimes you need your thought leadership or best front-facing representative available to really draw people in first!
6. Get the Crowd Involved
The best modular exhibits at a trade show will incorporate outlets to get people involved with the booth. This can be through interactive programs that involve them in product and service demonstration, or it can be through raffles, giveaways or games.
The key is to make your audience a part of the presentation, to help attract them to your booth, keep them longer, and imprint your product upon them. Even if you simply give a raffle ticket to every attendee that requires them to stop by your booth for validation, you’re inviting them to participate!
7. Apply Gamification to Your Trade Show Booth
Any kind of gamification can help boost attendance! Setting up a video game station at your booth can help attract attendees who are looking for a fun distraction. Virtual reality is always a winner, helping your attendees interact with your product or service in new ways.
If your budget allows, you can even pay coders to design proprietary games for your product or service, or integrate your product or service into an existing game with some of your marketing budget.
8. Incorporate a Wireless Charging Station
If you’re looking for completely new leads or contacts, you might consider incorporating a wireless charging station. People will stop by your site (and stay) just for a chance to charge. In the meanwhile, they can learn about what you do.
9. Focus on Your Branding and Giveaway Strategy
It’s important to not just have freebies, but also to have a conscientious strategy for how to hand them out. As noted, you might use them as a way to count how many people have attended the booth. You can also use them as a means to attract others in another event all to your site.
Think about sending out giveaway “drones” throughout the halls with your fun freebies. They can serve to direct people to your booth who might not have otherwise made it your way!
10. Analyze and Evaluate After the Show
What worked? What didn’t? If you set up SMART goals, you will be able to trace your successes and failures back to particular strategies after the show.
This is a critical component of trade show marketing because you are likely planning on attending more shows in the future! You want to constantly improve upon your practice, and incorporate even fresher ideas into your future shows to improve your impact.
The Best Booth Marketing – Keep it Effective, and Keep it Fresh
Trade shows are tricky! You need to keep your booth marketing ideas creative, while applying the fundamental basics of trade shows. This is how companies like Blazer Exhibits can help, with simple consulting for ideas or support in designing entire strategies to increase your trade show effectiveness before, during, and after events.