How to Set up the Best Booth for a Trade Show
The best companies in the world spend thousands of dollars on designing a booth for a trade show they take part in. While for some, it might seem crazy — why would anyone want to spend so much money on something that lasts just a couple of days? — marketing specialists know that for brands, trying to get exposure, those events are like magic shows.
Just think about it. At trade shows and expos, customers connect with companies offering products and services they have been looking for. You do not have to chase clients; they come to you themselves. No wonder trade shows are so popular!
But with the rise in demand, the competition at those business events became just as fierce. Now, it is not enough to be there — you should do your best to stand out.
So, if you want to come back with not leftover flyers and empty blanks, but clients and partners, up your trade show booth game.
Ready to charm the visitors?
1. Get your corporate T-shirts on
Sometimes, by trying to make an impression with intricate stands, you might forget to take care of your team. It is a terrible mistake, because people, representing your company, play an equally important role in the attractiveness of your booth.
Studies show that employee uniform increases brand recognition and customer satisfaction. As both are probably amongst the goal, definitely introduce at least a simple dress code. So, even if usually there is no need for your team to be all dressed up, a trade show is the time for you and your team to finally use those corporate T-shirts.
2. Start early
Trade shows and expos are seen as a more traditional marketing tactic. It does not mean, however, that you should forget about the existence of social media altogether. As a marketing specialist, know that the best strategy is using both traditional and digital marketing when promoting your brand. So use them for when you are preparing a booth for a trade show!
You can open a poll and ask what kind of merchandize your audience would like to get on Instagram. You can put ads on the news about you attending the trade show. And of course, you can send an email confirming your participation. Using social media and other digital marketing tools, you can put your booth on people’s ‘must-see’ list way before the expo is open.
3. Give away what you would want to get
If you are a regular at expo shows, you should have countless branded pens and flyers. You might also know that most of them end up in a trashcan before they even get to people’s homes and offices. So if you do not want that to be your merchandise’s faith, be creative with your giveaways.
To spice up your booth for a trade show and stay in people’s memory give away something you would want to get. How about cool stickers? Or can you create branded puzzles? You can give away balloons, socks, and chocolates.
If you don’t want to spend too much money on the giveaways, you can turn your posters and leaflets into fun comics, educational infographics, and crosswords. The thumb rule is to give something visitors would want to keep. Other than that, the only limit is your imagination.
4. Nothing less than excellent
While ‘You should never judge a book by its cover,’ is an unquestionable truth in most of the cases, it is not for trade shows. Most of the time, the first impression is the only one you get.
Considering that many people come in contact with your brand for the first time at the expo, saving up on your booth is not a good idea. Bad quality materials, difficult-to-read texts, and pixilated images subconsciously signal to your visitor it is how you treat your customers. And we doubt it is the message you want to be sending.
So, use the ‘cover’ to reflect your spirit and corporate identity to not lose the momentum. Go big and be ambitious with it. The good news is high-quality displays are durable and can serve you for years, making them a worthy investment.
5. People attract people
Have you ever stopped to look at a street artist only because people were gathering around? We bet you did. Booths for a trade show work in a much similar way.
If there is a line at one of the stands, people would naturally gravitate towards it. As a brand, try to capitalize on this natural tendency.
Keep people near your display. Offer coffee or water and set up comfy chairs with a table to help people relax. Use a VR headset to showcase a corporate video. Make your stand Instagram-worthy by printing a mascot or everyone’s favorite movie character. Hand out cool branded T-shirts and brief your team on how to small talk with the visitors.
Get the buzz going and to become the cool place to hang out at a trade show. If you do so, the place in people’s memories and hearts is guaranteed.
6. Videos are everywhere… and for a reason
Marketing specialists LOVE video and do so for a reason. On social media, video content has been consistently outperforming all other kinds of content, including texts and images. Unsurprisingly, the same goes for trade shows. A nicely put-together video clip with the things you would want your customers to know about your brand can go a long way.
The best thing about the promotional video is the exposure you can get. No matter how large is your team at the expo, it cannot physically communicate with as many people as a video can. So, let it speak to you!
7. Make yourself visible
Unsurprisingly, the location of your booth for a trade show makes a big difference. Of course, it does not mean if you cannot afford to rent an expensive location, you are doomed. But it will be much harder to gain attention will be much harder.
So, if you can, choose locations that accumulate traffic flows. Generally, those are the ones near the entrance, intersections, and yes, cafes and toilets. But if those are way out of your budget, you can always rely on good old guerilla marketing techniques. And who knows, if you do well you might end up causing unexpected traffic yourself.
The art of preparing the best booth for a trade show
Trade shows, expos, conferences, and similar events are becoming more and more popular, and their popularity is not unreasonable. They deliver on their promise and help companies all around the world improve brand awareness and gain new customers.
So, if you are taking part in one, do it right. Learn from the best and improve every time. Set yourself up for success and will not have to wait long. Trade shows give you a chance to shine and are worthy of the time and effort you put in them.