You never get a second chance to make a first impression. This saying is so true that it has become cliché, but it’s a saying that should serve as a motto for your trade show program. Although every trade show booth varies by size and approach, the most successful exhibits share a few common qualities. Here is a look at what we think the top trade show exhibits have in common.
Your Work Starts Before the Show
If you’ve done your job well, you have started your show organization a few months before the show’s official opening. During this stage, you should have prepared your budget, organized your booth, and arranged all of the logistics, among other things.
Have you thought about actively promoting your booth?
While you should definitely prepare a marketing campaign and contact your existing customers and prospects, there is more you can do to create a buzz about your booth. You should start looking at influencers in your own industry – experts, spokespeople, or bloggers. Networking with people whose ideas impact your industry could potentially help you attract the right prospects to your booth.
Proactivity is an Asset
There are many elements that come into play when you exhibit at a trade show and that will influence the amount of traffic you get.
The size of your booth, its location, its design, and the music you may or may not play are all important elements that could positively or negatively impact the number of people who enter your booth. For most of these components, you had a chance to optimize them before the show but once it has started, it is too late and you must accept the outcomes.
Don’t worry, there is still one essential aspect you can control and improve throughout the show: your behavior. Make sure to refresh yourself on the classic dos and don’ts of a trade show booth and stay conscious of what your visitors are looking for.
Have a Meaningful Message
You have only a few moments to create a first impression. It’s often said that a customer should be able to work through a trade fair stand in about three minutes, and be able to pick up the main messages of your campaign even without talking to anyone. Usually, the goal is to make the product appeal on a personal level by knowing what your customers are looking for.
- Make your message relevant.
Put yourself in the event visitors’ shoes: would you care about this brand?
- Make your message solid.
A message does not just list features of the product. It should be concise, clear and consistent – and, if possible, powerful.
- Implement your company’s message consistently and have a theme.
It’s ideal to communicate your idea seamlessly and coherently and it’s a crucial aspect of event management. It’s beneficial to create a theme, and the theme should be based on your objectives. That theme can then be brought to life throughout the event. For example, invitations, giveaways and even the entertainment within your booth. Trade shows should be used as a tool for communicating the selling points of your company’s products, but should also transmit your company’s values and create brand awareness.
Train Your Staff
It may sound like a no brainer, but your event staff can make or break a trade show experience. The most successful exhibitors are upgrading their brand ambassador training programs. Every brand implements a slightly different strategy, but the goal is always the same: to guarantee attendees receive excellent service from your event staff.
It is essential to provide your team with top-notch booth training before the show. Essential team skills can include how to greet visitors, how to qualify leads, how to capture leads, and how to end a booth conversation comfortably. It is important to get all the pieces aligned correctly as well. For example, ending a booth conversation at the right time frees a member of your team to then handle a new prospect. Qualifying a lead helps focus only on prospects with high potential, and so on.
Make it Interactive
Top trade show exhibits allow attendees to physically interact with your brand, which is crucial to making a lasting impression. If booth visitors have an entirely lifeless experience, the amount of brand messaging they remember is slim to none. Instead, ensure that some features of your booth allow involvement from the attendee. Increased interactivity and input can increase how much information from the experience is remembered, according to research. Incorporating technology into the experience is one of the most effective ways to make it happen. From augmented reality to hands-on product demos to simple photo ops, interactive engagements are definitely a must for top trade show exhibits.
Keep it Clutter-Free
For the majority of attendees, cluttered exhibit spaces are a huge turnoff. Messy booths make it hard to understand what the brand is trying to convey, and even worse, reflect badly on how the brand as a whole operates. To keep things organized and welcoming, effective exhibitors offer well-organized event spaces that minimize clutter and clearly identify the path attendees are meant to follow.