Trade shows are an excellent way to boost your business. They give you the opportunity to meet new customers, make big sales, and connect with other companies with a shared vision. They also give a great chance to check out the competition and maybe pick up a few new marketing ideas. But going to a trade show costs money, so it is important to think of it as an investment. You need to pay for plane fair, hotel costs, and of course, the price of having a booth at the trade show. That makes it that much more important to get the best results out of your trade show booth. You want to make your booth dynamic and exciting so that it attracts new customers. If you are strategic and creative, your investment will pay off exponentially! Here are some ideas to get you started!
Get the basics right. Before you try to make a booth that stands out, make sure you are making a booth that works. Don’t forget the basic necessities for a good booth. Lighting, for example, should be great. A dark booth is not inviting! Keep the entry space to your booth accessible – don’t put a table in front of it. Make sure your sign is professional and polished and provides your company name, and if the name doesn’t make it obvious – what your company does. (“Rick’s Pickles” doesn’t need an explanation but “Services By Rick” does.)
Make your freebies creative, conceptual and convenient. When you walk out of a trade show with four new tote bags, ten new pens, and thirteen travel mugs, they all start to blend together. Many people just pass them along to friends, and the company sponsoring them gets none of the intended exposure. So why stick with these boring old toss away items? Think more creatively. Keep the concept relevant, either to your company or something else – the physical location of the conference for example. And make sure that whatever you are giving away is easy to pick up and take with you. Going to a trade show in Hawaii? Whatever company you are, you could consider handing out chunks of pineapple on toothpicks – tasty, healthy, and memorable – just keep a little trash on the floor for the toothpicks.
Use social networking to bring people to your booth. Most conferences and trade shows these days use social networking to get the word out. Some have Facebook pages, others have Twitter accounts, and a lot have both. Create a hashtag for your booth and display it so people who pass by can search for it on Twitter. Tweet exciting promotions and use any conference hashtags that are being used. Take pictures of what is happening and what you are giving away, and share them on your accounts.
Be friendly and interesting but non-invasive. Customers walking through trade shows are bombarded by sights, sounds, and smells. Everywhere they look there is something being handed to them or somebody inviting them into a booth. Obviously you need to be friendly, too, but try a different, more creative strategy than the same old tired lines. “Hi, would you like to hear more about LASIK surgery?” is not creative. “What if I told you you would never have to wear your glasses again – would you like to hear more?” is a big improvement. But at the same time, you need to learn accept no as an answer. If somebody isn’t interested in your product, they won’t become more interested if you become pushy. In fact, it will probably have the opposite effect.
About the Author: Thomas has been an independent writer and business professional for over 20 years. Amongst his most often covered topics is NimlokOnline’s top trade show displays. When he isn’t writing, you can find him spending time at home with his family or honing his guitar skills.