Trade shows can be a hectic and crowded environment. There are many exhibitors vying for the attention of attendees, often using every tactic possible to draw attention to their company and their products. So, how do you cut through the noise and stand out at a trade show? Here are some tips to help you out.
Exhibit Design – Of course, your exhibit design will be a primary factor determining the amount of attention that you get at a trade show. The way your table displays are set up, the graphic displays and more will not only have a large impact on how much attention and interest you attract at a trade show, but what kind of attention you attract. You want to make sure that your exhibit design fits with your brand and your company’s image. It’s not always best to just have the flashiest and most outrageous trade show display. Sometimes standing out means doing what others aren’t doing (and at many trade shows many exhibitors will certainly be taking that route). Consider an automaker who recently set up an exhibit that was a large rectangular space with white daylight bulbs covered in plexiglass and two cars inside. It stood out precisely because it was a refreshing and intriguing escape from the bright flashing lights and designs on the rest of the show floor.
Clear and Concise Messaging – Trade shows are great because they offer a captive audience and a chance to demonstrate the utility of your company’s products or services and a forum to build your brand. But, just because you may be able to set up a 20-minute comprehensive demonstration of your products, followed by another 10 minutes on your company’s history, doesn’t mean that you should. A better tactic is to design your exhibit so that you have one quick message about your brand and products that can be understood instantly. Make this a recurring theme, it should be the one thing that anyone who stops by will get–whether they are there for a minute or half an hour. You can then design materials, videos etc. that provide more detailed information as background for those who are more interested.
Focus on your booth staff – You can have the most amazing exhibit design in the world, but if the people who are staffing your booth are uninteresting or unprepared it won’t make any difference. It’s absolutely crucial to pick individuals to staff your trade show displays who are the best ambassadors for your brand. They should be instantly likable people who are prepared and enthusiastic about presenting your products and services to attendees. Don’t skimp on hospitality for your staff on the days before a big show. They should be well-rested, focused and excited to show your stuff off to attendees when the big day arrives. An engaging and enthusiastic staff person can draw in people and business just as fast as a well-designed display.