Don’t Miss Your Chance: Maximizing Your Trade Show Success

When you are displaying at a trade show, you’ve got one shot to breakthrough. The show may last a weekend, and sometimes only a day, so don’t miss a single opportunity to engage with potential customers. Eye-catching displays, such as booth banners, backlit displays, and floor graphics, are a great start. Here are five other factors that impact your success. 

1. Pre-show marketing.  

Attendees visit only about 5% of the exhibits on a show floor. Getting them to come to your booth starts before the show even opens. Set up a strategic direct mail, email, and social campaign to create interest well in advance.

2. Focus on people first, logistics second. 

Logistics are critical to trade show prep, and it’s important to ask questions like, “What products will we take? What displays will we use? How will we handle transportation?” But invest an equal amount of time (or even more time) crafting smart, practical strategies for attracting the right people.  

3. Make your booth irresistible.

You have only a few seconds to capture the attention of attendees before they walk by. 

  • Use big, bold images, simple messaging, and lots of white space to make messages stand out, even from a distance.
  • Incorporate all of the senses, not just the visual ones. If you sell gourmet coffee, fill your booth space with the scent of brewing beans. If you sell fitness programs, crank up the music!
  • People remember what they interact with, so use product demos, touch-screen technology, video, and other tools to get visitors to engage with you actively. 

4. Emphasize demonstrations. 

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research found that the number one reason attendees remember a booth long after a show is a product demonstration. If your product doesn’t lend itself to booth demos, use flat screens, tablets, or other interactive tools.

5. Plan for follow-ups. 

Scan badges, let visitors sign up for sweepstakes, or create an interactive game that requires them to register. However you do it, follow up with visitors after the show, and keep the conversation going. 

You’ve made a tremendous investment in preparing for the show. Now get the most out of it! 

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