As a vendor, a convention, trade show, or festival’s success really boils down to one thing. Your booth’s performance relies solely on the amount of effort you’re willing to put in.
If you slack off and just show up with a tablecloth and some sign-up sheets, you’ll plummet. But, if you take the time to create a unique strategy, you’ll be surprised by the results.
Since conventions and trade shows offer some of the best networking opportunities, you need to give them your all. Let’s talk about 6 ways you can take your exhibition booth to the next level.
1. Go Big or Go Home
This is not the time to sit by idly and hope customers come to you. You need to create a demanding presence- one that will lure in an attendee based on appeal.
For many, the first time they interact with a brand is a trade show or convention. You have 7 seconds before your audience formulates a first impression. Do you want them to say “WOW” or “Meh”?
Your exhibition booth is the deciding factor. The appearance of your booth ultimately reflects your brand imagery, in the audience’s eye. Even if you don’t have a huge budget, you should still consider going above and beyond.
Get crazy with lights, prizes, visuals, etc. Rent the large space and have the bodies to fill it. You should even have some music playing, and create a space for games. Check this site out for some inspiration.
2. Social Proof is on Your Side
86% of shoppers value real-life referrals over endorsements from celebrities and other big names. So, use that to your advantage by maintaining a busy booth.
Think about what happens when you’re walking through a trade show. You notice two booths- one with a line out the door and the other with about 2 or 3 shoppers.
Who do you feel more inclined to visit? Other than for convenience’s sake, you probably don’t have much of a desire to stop by the less busy table.
To help generate more buzz around your booth, have employees dress in regular clothes. Make sure they’re interacting with your exhibit and staff.
Also, you could give away some freebies for people to wear for later prizes. If a lot of shoppers are sporting the same gear, others may become interested, too.
3. Experiential Marketing
This is a great strategy for those who can’t afford to shell out the big bucks. Consider your brand’s identity, and build an experience that is reflective of it.
It doesn’t even have to be directly related to your product, either. For example, WATERisLIFE (of New Age Beverages) donates 100% of proceeds to fight the water crisis.
The product is bottled water, but a large element of their brand is this charitable giving. Their exhibit booth could invite shoppers to try and carry heavy jugs of water for several yards.
This gives the audience a taste of what villagers in underdeveloped countries must do to provide water for their families. A shopper would be immersed in the brand’s culture immediately.
4. Make Your Exhibit Booth Feel Like Home
Okay, not entirely- that would be a little weird. But, what we mean, is that you should do your best to give a warm welcome to attendees.
As we mentioned, that first impression is crucial. Your booth’s aroma plays a large factor in creating a pleasant experience.
Offer them coffee or tea, or fresh baked goods for free. Make sure you’re covering all the senses from sight to touch. (If you’re a food or beverage vendor, consider giving out some real samples for guests to take home.)
This kind of all-inclusive marketing really helps build an image for your brand. If your audience feels that you’re genuine and likable, they just may reciprocate back.
5. Graphics Need to Be Concise
Remember how we told you earlier that you need to be bold to draw attention? The one exception to that is your visual graphics. Sure- they do need to be alluring and enticing to an audience.
But, it’s equally as important that they’re simple and clear. If your graphics are too mysterious or ambiguous, they create a not-so-positive experience.
Trade show graphics should also be concise and cohesive to other visual displays. From tee-shirts and prizes to your backdrop, all of these elements need to work together.
So, if they’re not using the same graphics, they at least need to be closely related. Don’t confuse your audience by using a convoluted or ornate design.
6. Don’t Get Too Wordy
That last tip leads us to also mention the importance of your written elements. Your tablecloths, backdrops, banners, etc. all need to be clear and concise as well.
At any convention or show, the biggest eyesores are the displays with too much wording. Not only do they look unappealing, but also your customer simply doesn’t want to read it.
They have time to read a few words, at most, when passing by your exhibit booth. These descriptions need to be as direct and informative as possible, without getting too wordy.
Less is more, in this regard, so consider the message you’re trying to convey. It should be the most important element of your brand or product. Let your audience come to you to find out the rest.
Let’s Wrap This Up
An exhibit booth can really maximize your ROI, but only if it’s carefully planned. Make sure you take the time to prepare, so you’re not forgetting any small details along the way.
Visit trade shows and conventions before your own, and learn from the best. See what is and isn’t working, and apply that to your own preparation.
If you need help getting ready for your next big convention, you’re in the right place. Our easy-to-use search tool gives you access to thousands of resources.
From tent rentals to visual design, we’ve got you covered. Click here to start searching!