If you’re going to invest the time and money in a trade show booth, it’s important to make sure you get a solid return on your investment. Trade shows can be a powerful way to gain publicity and attract customers. However, they’re also very competitive and you need to make a strong statement to get people’s attention. Let’s look at some trade show booth ideas that will help you stand apart and get noticed.
Preparations Before the Trade Show
Preparing for the trade show is just as important as the event itself. Before you even begin to make plans for designing your booth and choosing what to bring, learn as much as you can about the trade show. Look over the website or any printed materials you have about it. Make sure you’re familiar with the target audience for the event. Familiarize yourself with the space and layout so you can make the appropriate preparations. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask the organizers.
Spread the word about your booth as widely as possible. Talk about it in blog posts, social media, and any other channels on which you’re active such as direct mail, videos, podcasts or webinars. Remember to mention it in your emails or business newsletter as well. Give your readers, visitors and followers a good reason to attend the show. Provide coupons and tell them about special discounts they’ll receive if they attend. Paid advertising can also help you spread the word about the trade show. With ads, it’s especially important to emphasize special benefits and discounts that attendees will receive.
Make Your Booth Stand Out
Your main challenge at a trade show is getting people to notice you and stop by rather than passing you by for the next booth. Everything you display makes a statement so give careful attention to all of your tools and props. Your display table is very important when it comes to making an impression. Take some care in arranging the items on your table in a neat and eye-catching manner. Choose a cover or tablecloth that shows everything in the best possible light.
Your table is a big piece of your booth real estate, and you want to leverage that. Brandables can custom design a table cover with your logo on it, which will really help you grab attention. We can also make you a retractable banner, which will look great and it’s easy to set up, take down, and transport.
In addition to tables and banners, it’s good to have one or two other displays to capture people’s attention. A presentation board with information and interesting images can be placed in a prominent position. Make sure your company name and logo are visible. Visuals are extremely important for getting attendees to notice you. A video monitor playing a short presentation on a loop is a good supplement to your printed materials and personal engagement. A slide show is another possibility.
High quality promotional products by Brandables are a must if you want to maximize trade show engagement. Everyone likes freebies and unique branded gifts are one of the best ways to make your booth appealing. There are a wide range of promotional products that you can use.
Wearables, such as polo shirts and caps are always good choices. These items are wonderful branding tools. When people wear branded clothing, they carry your company name far and wide. For similar reasons, bags and backpacks are also useful. Like clothing, carry bags are practical and also give you a chance to get your logo seen by people all over. Almost any type of golf swag will make you popular at trade shows. Many business owners and entrepreneurs are avid golfers. Giving away golf-related items such as shirts, hats, towels, umbrellas, golf balls and more provide you with a wide range of possibilities. Here are some other ideas, which are all available at Brandables.
- Water Bottles
- Screamer Pens
- Poker Chips
- Sports and Beach Towels
- Stadium Cups
- Lip Balm
Another possibility is to bring food and/or beverages. This is obvious if your company makes something edible or drinkable. However, no matter what you sell, people always appreciate snacks and refreshments. Use your imagination and think about what your audience would most appreciate. Unique branded gifts help to attract people to your booth, builds goodwill and have people carrying around items with your business name and logo on them.
Trade Show Engagement Tips
Now that we’ve looked at some ways to attract people to your booth, it’s time to focus on strategies to keep them there and get them interested in what you have to offer. It’s important to engage with people in a friendly and helpful way. Even if you’re not a natural salesperson, keep in mind that your job is to introduce people to your products. In most cases, you aren’t actually selling at this point anyway. You want to pique their interest and make them want to find out more. If you anticipate a busy day at the trade show, it’s a good idea to bring help. People aren’t going to want to wait to speak to you if it’s busy. Having an assistant is also useful for times when you want to leave the booth.
A trade show is an ideal environment to make new contacts. In addition to giving people items to take away with them -free stuff, brochures, your business card, etc.- ask for their contact information as well. Getting their phone number, email and LinkedIn or Twitter link makes it easier to connect with them later. A good way to end a conversation with new contacts is by asking, “What’s the best way to contact you?” or “How about if I give you a call sometime next week?”
Another, less direct way to get people’s contact information is to run a contest. Guests enter by filling out a form, either on paper or electronically, or by leaving a business card. Give something away that’s related to your business or at least that will appeal to your audience. Placing a prominent sign announcing the contest gives you another way to attract attention. At the same time, you’ll be collecting contact info you can use later.
Make the Most of Your Trade Show Presence
We’ve looked at some trade show booth ideas to help you attract more attention and make stronger connections with the people you meet at these events. If you spread the word far and wide before the trade show, create an appealing and eye-catching setup, bring some high quality promotional products and start useful dialogues with prospects you’ll increase your chances of making some valuable connections and acquiring new customers.