Creating the Right Trade Show Experience

When you think of trade shows you attended, which ones were the most valuable and why? It might be because you were drawn into the booth by the attractive design, signage leading you to the booth, and/or advance publicity. Part of that positive experience may include the personnel manning the booth who engaged you while you were there. You probably remember the booth because of the follow up after the show.

On the other hand, you may remember some trade shows that were memorable in the wrong way. Perhaps you encountered an overly aggressive salesperson from the booth. Or on the other hand, you saw booth representatives sitting behind a table staring at their smart phones. They seemed to care less if you might be interested in their product or services. How do you make your trade show booth and experience for your company memorable in the right way? Read on.

Is Smaller Better?

You’ll recall that last month we covered the planning part of trade shows; the advance work that is necessary and how to promote your booth on the Internet and social. Creating the right trade-show experience starts with your booth. While a 10′ x 10′ booth may not seem like much space, you can still fit in creative elements. You can include retractable banners, an LED screen showing videos, and brochures and other promotional materials. Please note that small booths are not necessarily a bad thing. Consider there is less space for prospects to wander in and out of your booth without getting noticed. You will have more opportunities to engage them quickly.


Going Big

Having a mid-size booth such as a 20′ x 20′, a 30′ x 30′ or larger is a dream of some companies. It allows ample space without having to squeeze into a tiny space. To draw attention to your booth, it’s a good idea to have ceiling banners that guests can see from far away, especially if you are exhibiting at a very large show. If you have the space, have a seating area for guests to rest their feet so you can engage them in conversation. Possible other ideas are a relaxed office area where you can have meaningful discussions or negotiate with customers one on one. And since you have the space, incorporate technology to promote your product or service. Large screens with company videos or better yet, interactive technology that will capture the attention of would-be customers are great ideas. Other good ideas are prize giveaways, free food and beverages, and company-branded merchandise.

Plan for Success

Whether you have a small, medium, or large booth, it’s important to really think through all aspects of booth design. This includes graphics and colors that are consistent with your brand. You want to be sure you have personnel that look professional and are trained on what to say and what not to say. As mentioned at the beginning, it’s also extremely important to follow up with prospects after the show. Provide prizes and company-branded merchandise in exchange for their email address. Build your network and stay in touch with frequent emails.

If the details of setting your company up for a successful tradeshow are overwhelming to you, we’re here to help.

Images courtesy of Air Conditioning Contractors of America Association, Inc. (ACCA)

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