4 Steps to Making Your Trade Show Booth an Experience - Boston

- Monday, April 21, 2014

According to a recent survey, 66% of senior management view exhibit marketing essential or important in the marketing mix.

You know there’s more to a trade show exhibit than setting up a booth and scanning badges. It’s a platform to put your products, services and brand on display in front of possibly thousands of people. Engaging your audience is essential to your program’s success. So what are some essentials for moving your trade show program beyond “booth” and into a face-to-face experience?

1. Bring your products to life with a hands-on experience.

From the second an attendee enters your trade show booth their experience with your company begins. Think about how your exhibit can engage their senses and pique their curiosity. This could mean designing special interactivity into the booth to in-booth activities including interactive games, education or live entertainment.

These days it has to be more than a passive walk-through of your exhibit. In fact, 59% of exhibition attendees want to see product demonstrations, and 58% like to have hands-on product interactions.

2. Build deeper connections with prospects and existing clients.

Trade shows mean business and those walking the trade show floor are typically looking for products and solutions to fix specific problems or issues. Actually, 92% of trade show attendees say they are looking for new products and 94% have purchasing power.

Does your product or solution help save money, speed up their network or increase revenues? Make it clear – on signage and in conversation—how your goods or services meet their needs.

To find out about their needs, you may want to dig a little deeper into the demographics and profiles of the show’s attendee base. The more you know about them, the better you can plan for them to know more about you.

You can also take advantage of the opportunity a trade show offers to learn more about your visitors. Qualify your leads carefully. Take notes above and beyond the basics and you have a profile to use to continue the conversation after the show. The more you qualify your leads at the show, the more valuable time, energy and money you will save afterwards. And, the greater your success in winning new business.

3. Give people a valuable reason for being at your event.

Provide a take away of value that they can’t get anywhere else: ideas, concepts, or propositions that give them something they can consider and weigh or immediately put into action.

Plan your approach, give them the dramatic highlights, but don’t show them everything. Leave them wanting more. This way you can make continuing the conversation with your company a positive experience that is worth the attendee’s time.

4. Go beyond email after the show.

Sending an email to thank prospects and existing customers for visiting your booth is completely acceptable and a nice way to keep a dialogue going.

But, for those qualified top leads and valuable VIP clients, you’ve got to go beyond the email. It means taking the right notes at the show so you’ll have a real reason to reach out. And if you can leave them wanting more, you’re on your way to a meaningful, long-lasting dialogue with your visitors.

Trade shows offer a tried and true business building opportunity. They create personal connections, allow for the opportunity to ask questions, and, ultimately, help build trust. However, they can fall flat without an effective plan for engagement and follow up.

Your trade show booth is not face-to-face marketing. Rather, your booth is the stage for conducting an effective face-to-face event. By adding interesting layers and interactive elements that enhance your brand, you’ll engage and intrigue attendees with a memorable experience they can’t get online, in an email, over the phone—or anywhere else.

For more information, contact The Exhibit Source.

Business 2 Community

Maximize your Trade Show Booth - Boston

- Monday, April 14, 2014

Even though the recession led companies to curtail trade show appearances, many of those companies have returned to exhibiting at trade shows for two simple reasons:

  1. It usually costs less to develop a viable lead at a trade show than through traditional field sales calls.
  2. Attendees at trade shows are often looking to buy now and have the authority to do so.

Because it’s trade show season, there’s no better time than the present to go over some trade show marketing basics so you can make the most of your budget. Let’s look at some of the primary questions you should be asking as you prepare to exhibit.

What should be the focus of your trade show marketing?

A better way to phrase this question is “What message or product/service thrust will enable you to gain the most traction in the marketplace or will enable you to generate the most revenue?” Such messaging may include:

  • Announcing a new product/service or new line
  • Announcing recent awards or recognitions (best in class, bestselling, etc.)
  • Reinforcing the differentiating factors of your products
  • Delivering new or useful information that your target audience will value

Once you have decided on a direction or theme, make sure it is reinforced in the trade show booth design as well as in all collateral and promotional items distributed at the show.

How do you get people to stop by your booth? There are many things you can do to drive people to your booth, and the following tactics have been proven to work for many businesses:

  • Send a mailer to the attendee list about two weeks before the show opens. Everyone sends emails these days, which makes mailers more visible and effective. The creative should be consistent with the message/theme of the booth and should promise attendees a reward if they stop by the booth. Don’t forget to provide a directional map of where your booth will be located at the show.
  • Make sure you have a booth near the front of the exhibit hall and to the right (Americans tend to look to their right upon entering a room). Another alternative is to position your booth near the restrooms or food vendors, both of which attract traffic.
  • Create a theme for your booth that distinguishes it from all the other booths. For example, Stanley tools once had a booth constructed like a hardware store with featured tools hanging on brightly branded Stanley racks. The booth directly related to the product and was definitely different from standard modular booths.
  • Offer a giveaway that relates to your product. Unless you manufacture golf clubs, don’t give away a golf club. Instead, tie your giveaway to your product so that the recipient has a chance to experience your product/service and become attached to it.
  • Provide mini-seminars or conduct product demonstrations in the booth and post times when these events will be held. Attendees are attracted to useful information as well as gatherings and will be curious as to what is being discussed in your booth.
  • Advertise or provide editorial content in the show program.

How should you prepare your trade show booth? The booth design itself should be clean, easy-to-read and relate to the overall message/theme. On average, you have under 5 seconds to catch a passerby’s attention, so the creative should function like a billboard, with a dominant image and very little text.

As for booth layout and staff, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Remove any physical barriers from the booth entrance; this can increase traffic by as much as 25%.
  • Prepare a script for your booth staff that relates to the audience at the show and their potential needs.
  • When it comes to attire, treat the situation as you would a sales call and have your booth staff dress one level better than the attendees.

For more information on creative trade show booths, contact The Exhibit Source.

Denver Business Journal

Create Your Dream Trade Show Exhibit - Boston

- Tuesday, April 08, 2014

A results of a recent campaign were released in which companies that choose trade show marketing shared their ideas for a dream trade show exhibit.

Participants answered up to five open-ended questions about their top wishes for their exhibit.

Below, companies share what they want and need to make their trade show programs soar, regardless of being restricted by tight budgets or limited resources.

  • Out with the old in with the new (builds): New builds are at the top of many exhibitor's wish lists. They are even taking a back seat to "greener" exhibit solutions sited in previous years.
  • Tech Inspired Solutions: Technology's ability to create interactive and exciting experiences is not lost on exhibit marketing professionals. They want more of it.
  • Practical Solutions: While exhibit professionals want the "Wow!" factor, they also want trade show booths that are practical and effective.
  • Quality Staff: Booth staff are the heart and soul of an exhibit. Marketing professionals want better programs to ensure staff are prepared and bring their "A game" to each and every trade show.
  • Sophisticated metrics: Measuring ROI is easier in theory, but tends to fall to the wayside. However, knowing that valuing a trade show program can boost both budgets and careers, event marketing professionals desire the ability to qualify, track and report results.
  • Better Partners: Last, but not least, event marketers want exhibit companies who intrinsically understand their business.

For more information on creating your dream trade show exhibit, contact The Exhibit Source.

Exhibitor Magazine

Trade Show Booth Design Needs To Meet Company Goals - Boston

- Wednesday, April 02, 2014

If you are planning to start trade show marketing, you need to figure out who to best utilize your space, and bring excitement to that space with your trade show exhibit.

Hiring an experienced trade show exhibit designer is the perfect place to start if you want a trade show booth with energy and eye-appeal which also expresses your value proposition. The first step for a successful trade show display is for it to quickly and concisely meet your goals, express your brand while having style and drama.

Depending on your budget, you then need to decide whether you want to buy or rent a trade show booth. Should you have a custom trade show exhibit, a modular trade show display, or a table top booth display? You then may consider rehabbing an preowned trade show booth depending on the look and feel you are after. Your trade show display design company can help you with these important decisions.

Your marketing goals are the starting point from which you begin to design your display, also incorporated are your logo and company message.

Work stations within the trade show booth can be set up to talk with potential customers or to discuss new product information with new or existing clients.

Your company’s trade show exhibit needs to meet the marketing objectives and goals of your company. For more information on trade show booth design, contact The Exhibit Source.


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