Ever wondered what industry insiders know about trade shows that you don’t? Expert knowledge comes with working in the trade show industry for many years. Those in the know have done their time, made mistakes, and worked out what leads to success.
You don’t have to spend a lifetime working out what’s best for your convention display. We’ve gathered together a valuable collection of insider tips, advice, and knowledge. Tried and tested, you can use this valuable advice as a blueprint for your trade show convention display. While you might not get everything right the first time around, you will find that your trade show experience can be more successful by using this information effectively.
Before the Show Date
λ Proper planning starts long before the day of the show. The key is to research trade shows that have your ideal customer in attendance and fits your business and trade show needs perfectly.
λ Be ready and waiting when booth booking becomes available. The best spots disappear extremely quickly, so have your computer on and the web page loaded. You’re aiming for places within your budget that have high visibility and footfall.
λ Once you’ve booked your spot, start making lots of noise about it on social media. Get people excited about a promotion or competition. These things give people an additional incentive to visit you on the day.
Plan and Perfect Your Booth Design
λ Your two significant restrictions for booth design are your budget and the dimensions of your booth. Therefore, the key to perfect planning is to create a booth design that fits within these two limits.
λ Your convention display should incorporate your brand and message seamlessly. By achieving this, you will instantly appeal to visitors.
λ Keep all your displays and graphics clear, concise, and easy to read. Don’t overload your banner stands with information or clutter them with unnecessary images. Use fonts that are simple and easy to read.
λ Think carefully about your floor plan and how you will arrange the furniture. Keep floor space free of obstacles that might look great but would make it hard for people to visit you.
λ Create a storage area so that you can keep supplies and personal items out of sight.
λ Do not use banners to cover your tables. If you require table coverings, using a clean, plain tablecloth is most effective.
Attracting Visitors to Your Booth
λ Excellent booth design incorporates an element that grabs people’s attention. An attraction or spectacle draws the crowds. The crucial part is ensuring the attraction is relevant to your business and works well with your brand.
Unrelated attractions only confuse people and dampen the potential impact of your message. For example, a head massage station works well with beauty or wellbeing businesses but would look entirely out of place in a technology or extreme sports display.
λ Information is valuable. Hold a seminar and put your expertise on offer to attract crowds of people who want to learn.
λ Freebies are essential to keep up with the competition, but make sure your freebie is desirable, or you could end up with a lot of unwanted pens or stress balls.
λ Have a tactile, interactive element. Products that people can hold or use, such as touch-screen displays, puzzles, or games, are all good ways to get people involved.
Research the Venue Thoroughly
λ Not knowing where you need to be or what you need to do on the day is only going to cause you – and the venue staff – frustration. Therefore, read your information pack thoroughly. Then reread it at least once.
λ Stick to venue rules and regulations. If you don’t, you could see yourself banned from participating in the current event and future events.
Make Friends and Allies
λ The best way to get insider information is by befriending fellow booth holders. They may be your competition, but, ultimately, you’re all in it together. Be friendly and helpful. You never know what doors it may open.
λ Be accommodating and pleasant to venue staff, too. Word travels quickly, so if you’re argumentative and challenging to work with, you’ll soon find yourself unable to get a spot at future shows.
λ Pick staff for your booth who don’t pressure people with hard sales pitches. You need open and friendly people who can chat with visitors naturally. Have them dress comfortably and ensure they take adequate breaks. Uncomfortable, tired, and grumpy staff is never a good look, especially not for a convention display.
Quality Leads Matter
λ Your aim is not to appeal to everyone. And the intention of the game is not to generate as many leads as possible. Instead, you’re looking for high-quality leads that fit your target audience. Take the time to identify your ideal customer and zone in on them.
λ Define your goals for the day. What do you hope to achieve? Increase sales, leads, or brand awareness? Understanding your goals will help you stay on track throughout the show.
After the Show
λ Hold a full debrief session after the show to determine what was a success and what you can improve next time
λ Follow up on leads while they’re hot. Strike while everyone is still buzzing about the show.
λ Use social media to talk about the day and the people you met. Shout out to other convention display holders that you liked. You never know, they might mention you in return.
Industry insiders know that running a successful trade show booth takes commitment and skill, but also attention to detail, preparation, and great design. By following these tips, you’ll be acting like a seasoned professional. And you will be well on your way to gaining a great reputation in the world of trade shows.