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Trade Show Exhibit Conversion Tips

How to convert trade show attendees into prospective clients

When you are at a trade show or marketing event, the attendees are looking for relevant information for the industry you are representing.  So how can you quickly capture the visitor’s attention and achieve a conversion?

The answer is not complicated, and you will find by resisting all the urges to cover every square inch of your trade show exhibit with unnecessary messaging you will see improvements at your next event. Let us take a look at how you can achieve better results at your next trade show in just a handful of steps.

1. Make sure your message is relevant

Most trade show exhibits are covered in messaging that is a mish-mash of all the capabilities their business has to offer. Everyones exhibiting goal is to convince as many of the attendees that their product or service is the best choice available.  This is a given for just about every exhibitor.

Less is always more when it comes to trade show exhibit messaging. Focused to-the-point headlines and images that show the benefits of your product or service the better the chance of conversion you are going to have.

2. Provide a fluid experience

Form and function should be consistent with your brand standards first. Harmonizing your exhibits visuals with your website, collateral, and campaign-specific imagery will help reinforce your conversion goals.

Post-show emails or informational brochures can spark memories of your products, knowledgable staff, and your exhibits presence at the show. All of these will contribute to the overall success of your attendance.

3.  Get to the point. Do not bore the attendee

Very few people like to spend more than a few moments trying to understand what you are about and what you have to offer.  When dealing with trade show attendees, many times they are on the clock and have to get as much relevant information for their needs in the shortest amount of time.  Wading through 100 bullet points and 30 images will just force the viewer to leave and they probably will not engage in any interaction with your trade show team.

Remember – let your printed / digital collateral and exhibit staff take on the product or service details and lead potential clients to proper channels of conversion. Your efficiency will speak volumes as an organized operation! 

4. Focus attention

Simple bold headlines that clearly and concisely highlight your product or goals will win over viewers quickly, and help the conversion process. Quality and strong imagery that is not lost in multitudes of words can be just as powerful and lead the audience into your exhibit space to explore or ask questions. Let your marketing team really stretch their creativity with short and powerful content. Your trade show exhibit will thrive from these simple tips.

5. Traffic and segmentation

If you have multiple goals for your week on the show floor, create an A/B campaign with a different set of graphics if possible for certain days! This will enable you to measure your most effective messaging, colors, and imagery. By the end of the show, you should have a pretty clear idea which marketing effort was the winner. This is great information for your advertising team to have to develop new campaigns.

6. Quality Staff

Bring your best and brightest employees to staff your trade show exhibits space. Those exhibit staffers are the ones that are going to represent the brand and spark one-on-one interactions that lead to valuable conversions. If you bring team members that are not enthusiastic, it can potentially cause damage to your trade show goals and ROI. Besides, who wants a “B” team? Everyone wants the exhibit staff who are on task, organized, and willing to answer all questions with a high level of professionalism. Quality business relationships are forged at the root level with these very simple steps.

I hope this gets your thoughts on the right track for your next trade show booth design or marketing event!

Written By: Matt Smith

Matt Smith has been a professional Graphic and User Experience designer for over 28 years who works closely with trade show and event companies in the San Fransisco Bay area and Denver Colorado.

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