Wednesday, April 01, 2015

How to Make Your Trade Show Booth One of the Best

One thing that always baffles me is the fact that so many businesses and companies rent exhibitor space at conventions, trade shows and events and put so little effort into making it noticeable or attractive to those passing by. I can't tell you how many booths and exhibits I've walked past at conventions and how may other people I've seen walk past because there was literally nothing about the booth that grabbed my attention or made me interested in what the company was and what it was selling. 

It seems like most companies that rent exhibit space stick to a 3-step process that is so old that it makes Methuselah look like a teenager. This process sees exhibitors put up the same posters or graphics that they had last year, throw up a table with some pamphlets and a treat or two and a business card basket and then they give out a "prize" that has probably nothing to do with their business or their brand.

So how do you differentiate yourself and your trade show booth from the rest? How do you ensure that the people passing by will do the opposite...not pass by but stop by and actually show a vested interest in what you have going on? Well for starters don't fall back on these 3 steps. Sure it can be easy to sink back into the mold you've created, but that just won't cut it in today's market. Take the following tips into account and you should have a trade show booth that people will talk about and remember. 

Before the Event

Booth Location - If at all possible try and direct where exactly your booth will be set up. Naturally you will want to select a location that lends itself to heavy foot traffic. Lots of people tend to gather near doors, food areas, bathrooms and big-name vendors so selecting a spot near these areas will give you an edge over your competition.

Stay Up-to-Date - This is the exact opposite of the three-step process above. If you are recycling the same old things people will automatically assume that you, your company and your brand aren't keeping up with the times. Everything you use should look new and clean and your display should incorporate technology, like monitors, video walls, projectors, designs and graphics. Put some work and effort into coming up with things that are creative and that support your brand and products. 

During the Event

Go with the Flow - Having a solid flow and path in your booth is paramount! The one thing you never want to do is have people coagulating your booth. Having a good, solid flow allows people to come in and out without blocking traffic. Don't do things like put a table across the front of your booth and impede the foot traffic through your booth.

Training and Energy - You would think that this would be commonsense but alas it still happens. Make sure your staff is well-trained and confident on the objectives your company has. These people should know your services and be well-equipped to answer any and all questions and to assist people with anything they may need. Oh, and try to have some fun! If you and your staff are having fun then so will your attendees. 

Give People a Reason - Why should anyone stop at your booth over the booth right next to yours? That is one of the biggest things you will have to tackle during your event, giving people a reason to come to your booth over another one. On top of that, give people a reason to stay at your booth. Having people linger a little longer gives you the opportunity to have a personal conversation with them. 

Keep the Power Flowing - Charging stations are perfect accessories for any booth. Everybody will be on their phones, tablets and laptops during the event and they will definitely need a place to charge their devices. Having a charging station allows people to charge their devices and also gives them a great reason to be in your booth. While their device is charging they really have no choice but to take a look at what you have to offer. 

Get on Social Media - Social media lounges are growing in trade show popularity. These have things like comfy chairs, coffee and large screens live-streaming social media channels. Having a social media specialist post information about your company along with useful information can really add a lot to your booth. In addition to that, you can also set up a system to reward those who post about your booth while they are hanging out. 

Digital Document Libraries - Being useful to your clients is a key method to increasing your brand. Digital libraries allow you to capture leads while engaging the user and offering them real-time information about the trade show and other valuable content. Digital libraries incorporate things like interactive kiosks, touchscreens, tablets, iPads and other mobile technology.

Conclusion

Given the staggering amount of companies that don't put any effort into their trade show booths whatsoever, following even a few of these tips could put you miles ahead of the competition. Plus, think of it this way. You want people to come to your booth but people also want to go to booths as well. Nobody goes to a convention just to walk around and not visit anything. Not putting any effort into your booth does a disservice not only to yourself but also to the people who paid money to be at that event.  

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