October 26th – Purchasing a trade show display for an upcoming show is going to be something of a gamble for businesses. On one hand, they are easily one of the most expensive advertising/outreach ventures most businesses will engage in. On the other hand, they have incredible potential for building leads, customers, mindshare, and overall awareness. Trade shows are definitely a “high risk / high reward” activity, but they can pay off many times over when everything comes together.
There’s no one single magic formula for making a successful trade show appearance, since there are so many different types of businesses and exhibition events. However, in our work over the years with so many exhibitors, we’ve definitely noticed some strategies that tend to increase one’s chances for success.
These are some of the top tips our Best Displays & Graphics team have compiled over the years.
Seven Ways to Improve Your Odds of Trade Show Success
- Attend the right shows.
The more research you can put into your trade show appearances beforehand, the better. Not all exhibitions are going to be equally rewarding, so much of the time, you can improve your odds of success simply by being more diligent in selecting trade shows with good attendance from people who are squarely in your target audience.
- Understand that bigger isn’t always better.
There’s a quite understandable impulse among some trade show attendees to try to rent the largest booth space possible, under the assumption that a bigger booth will necessarily bring more visitors. This isn’t always the case, particularly when looking at ROI. The costs of larger booths can scale upwards dramatically to the point it would be extremely difficult for them to bring a return. In many cases, giant extravaganzas are actually big losses done solely for the sake of publicity.
For a company simply looking to make an appearance and hopefully see a profit on the venture, a smaller but well-targeted booth is usually a better choice.
- Have smarter booth design.
If bigger booths aren’t the answer, smarter booths can be. Think carefully about every piece of display materials you’re putting into your booth, and how they reflect on your company. Choose items you put up to only represent the very best you have to offer that will appeal to the audience in attendance. Buy one or two flashy “showpiece” items, such as pop-up banners with integrated video\touchscreens, to draw people in. A couple great eye-catchers can do at least as much to create a crowd as a huge booth can.
- Don’t always use the same booth or design.
Change things up, particularly if you’re going to be attending multiple shows in one year. If the same attendees are seeing the same booth month after month, they’ll start to notice – and it’ll negatively affect their view of your company.
Try using customizable modular display kits such as FabFrame or Blueprint. They’re exceptionally easy to put together into a variety of different forms, making them an affordable way to change up your display each time.
- Lighting makes the difference.
We’ve mentioned it before, but lighting is one of our little secrets for putting together great displays. Mood lighting, spot lighting, colored lighting, strip lighting on the floor… It’s a great way of giving your booth a unique atmosphere and making it look visually distinct from other displays which are probably just using stock white lights.
- Social media strategy.
Social media can be your best friend when it comes to trade show success because it can be used before, during, and after the show. Use social media to promote your appearance heavily beforehand, to build awareness. Then provide live updates, Tweets, Vines, etc, during the show itself to draw in an audience. Afterwards, it’s a good option for contacting your leads and staying in touch with other connections you made.
It’s an incredibly versatile tool, and one which should not be ignored.
- In-Booth digital devices.
Keeping with the times is a big factor in trade show displays. Don’t overlook the potential in devices such as tablets. They can do everything from gathering emails, to encouraging social media connections, to displaying product demonstrations and other videos. They could even be interactive, with games or contests!
It’s just one more way to get people into your booth, interacting with your products. In the end, that’s one of the most important parts of a trade show appearance – making an impact.
Best Displays are leaders in the creation of trade show displays and accessories. Contact us today to learn more!