If you’ve ever been to a trade show for work or your own business, you know how difficult building an effective booth can be. From the booth you choose to how you staff it and what you wear, building an effective booth can make the difference between a successful show and an expensive flop. We’ve compiled a list of tips for building the best trade show you can.
If you hand out post cards, or any other common handout for that matter, be unique. Choose a different shape or size than what’s standard. Nothing will ruin your chances of being remembered faster than being the same. Business cards, post cards, flyers can all benefit from being unique in shape and size. While business cards have a little less flexibility because you want them to fit in your contact’s wallet, I always like using business cards with rounded corners. They stick out a little better and have an initial “wow” factor.
Pick The Right Booth Type.
Booths can be very expensive and bulky. Some companies spend tens of thousands of dollars for the flashiest booth with LCD screens and all the bells a whistle which take an entire day or more to assemble. Smarter businesses opt for pop-up style banners and backdrops which take minutes to install and cost significantly less.
We always recommend pop-up banners or banners used in succession for their sheer ease of use. An entire 10 foot backdrop can be easily transported in the back of a small car and assembled by a single person. They’re and affordable and transportable alternative to huge booths.
Staff Your Booth With The Right People.
There are lots of ways to staff your booth. Some companies opt to take their executive team and have meet and greets, while other companies hire talent or models to staff their booth. While all viable options, if you’re working on a budget, you might consider using your own employees. Either way, be sure to staff your booth with people who can talk confidently about your product or service.
The entire purpose of being at a trade show in the first place is to raise visibility or sell a product, so be sure to send a strong salesperson. If you’re hiring talent, you’ll want to make sure they know enough about what you’re selling or, at the very least, they can direct traffic to those who do.
Dress Those People Appropriately.
If you’ve ever been told to dress to impress or that first impressions are key, you’re already on the right track. Trade show presenters are at a disadvantage because they have a narrow window to make a good impression. Often times a good booth will draw passersby in and they may take initiative to ask questions, but many will be in a rush to see the other booths.
Dressing in line with your brand is essential to not get passed up. Whether you’re dressing your staff in embroidered shirts with your logo or suits, you’ll want to make sure it’s professional and on-brand.
Reach Beyond Your Booth.
For the most success, consider ways to reach beyond your booth. Most shows have strict rules about the aisles and require you to keep your staff and booth out of the aisle, but they don’t have rules about what attendees have on their person. By handing out bags or wrist bands with your brand on them, you can significantly extend your reach at a trade show. If your handout is good enough, it may even create a mini-fad.
I’ve seen it before at shows where a company hands out a custom-printed sword, or a surfboard cut in foam board, or some other fun item and it seems like everyone is carrying it around. Not only is that individual sure to remember the brand when they get home, passersby will probably remember too!