The Critical Role Storytelling Plays in Your Trade Show Exhibit

The Critical Role Storytelling Plays in Your Trade Show Exhibit

Apr 23, 2019 | Trade Show Exhibitions

The Critical Role Storytelling Plays in Your Trade Show Exhibit

Storytelling plays a significant role in branding and brand awareness. The brands that have an authentic story behind them are often the most successful.

Have you ever left the movie theatre or finished a book while feeling very emotional? A tragic movie can leave people in tears, while an uplifting book can prompt tears of joy. Movies and books inspire strong emotions and captivate their audience from start to finish through the art of storytelling. And so can you.

Every single book and movie tells a story. Some have managed to tell these stories better than others. Those creators that have mastered the art of storytelling create stories that are remembered long afterward and are watched or read again and again. There is something solid and dependable, yet also surprising about the building blocks they use to create these tales.

Storytelling is a great skill to have if you are aiming to sell your brand. Once you have understood a few elements of storytelling, you can apply these to your marketing to attract and engage your audience on a level it will love. Stortytelling allows you to captivate an audience and take people on a journey.


What does storytelling do?

Most products available nowadays have many competitors. If you visit a large supermarket, you will be familiar with row upon row of similar products with (often minor) variations.

Let’s take peanut butter as an example. How does someone choose which brand of peanut butter to buy? There are so many different brands on offer that it can be extremely difficult to choose. Some customers will be driven by price because they don’t know or recognize the difference between brands. Another way to differentiate a brand, however, is to give it its own story.

If you produce a peanut butter that has a compelling story behind it, the chances are that the story will resonate with them and they’ll be more likely to remember your brand and have positive associations. Appreciating what your brand stands for, they will be a little more likely to take your product off the shelf.

Let’s say you wanted to create a 100% natural peanut butter like the one your Mom used to make. It reminds you of your childhood and sharing peanut butter sandwiches with your siblings. Your Mom cared about the quality of the food she gave you. Because most peanut butters contained preservatives, she created her very own peanut butter that only had high quality and natural ingredients in. You’ve now taken her special recipe and used it to create a superior peanut butter that everyone can buy and enjoy.

This kind of story is simple but powerful. It personalizes the brand, giving it a beginning, a middle, and an end. And it encourages potential customers to become a part of the story through their purchases.

The story of your brand will resonate with people when it is authentic. In the peanut butter example, the play on childhood nostalgia is a powerful element. The detail around the natural and quality ingredients is also important because people want to know they’re providing the best for their families too.

When thinking about your brand as a story, consider the personal elements of your business, its origins, and its journey.



How to find your story

You might already have your brand in place but haven’t yet perfected the story that accompanies it. If you’re planning to attend trade shows, now is the time to think about your story and develop it, so it embeds into your marketing strategy.

Finding your story isn’t as difficult as it may seem at first. Note that we’re talking about finding your story, not creating it.

First of all, you need to consider the following:

  • What was the inspiration to sell or invent your product or service?
  • What goes into the making or manufacturing process? Is it special or unique?
  • What emotion or feeling do you want people to feel when they use your product?
  • What is the customer journey?
  • What kind of company are you? Are you traditional, modern, family-based or futuristic?
  • Is all of the above genuine and true? (Note that this answer should be yes. If you have to answer no, then go back and correct your answers to the preceding questions.)
  • Is your story clear and easy to grasp?


Applying the story to your branding


Now you have your story in place; it’s time to embed it into your marketing. The message needs to be consistent throughout; otherwise, it’s not going to gain the desired traction.

All your staff must also be trained on the story. They should be able to tell it with conviction.


Using your story at trade shows

Trade show booths provide a great medium for telling your story. This is your opportunity to really go to town and use a variety of different methods to allow visitors to experience your brand, its origins, and its values.

Most trade show booths get lost in a sea of competitors all doing and selling almost exactly the same thing. Use your story to help you stand out.

Think about using the following:

  • A well-designed booth display that tells the story in a concise and exciting way.
  • Dynamic displays that use complimenting colors to convey the emotion of your story.
  • lighting, one or more screens, music and other technology to enhance the story experience.
  • well-trained staff, banned from using sleazy sales tactics. Make sure, however, that they can all tell your story with conviction.
  • Freebies, giveaways, or competitions that work in harmony with your brand story
  • Customer testimonials that explain why they chose and love your product


Weaving your story into your marketing is an investment. A brand that inspires strong emotions will inspire fierce customer loyalty.

With a strong story, you will easily attract visitors to your booth at any trade show. A well thought out, cohesive display will captivate audiences and help them to buy into and believe in your brand.

An authentic story is easily told with passion and conviction allowing you to ditch the sales pitch and focus on what inspires you the most. By taking that passion to a trade show, you will stand head and shoulders above the competition and you may enjoy far more success overall.