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A trade show is a place where buyers and sellers meet. Face-to-face interactions will never be outdated. Booths allow companies to take the message of their brand and present it to in-person audiences. Take advantage of the opportunity to exhibit and get your company and brand in the competition.
The benefit is that buyers come to a trade show looking to buy and wanting to learn about the latest and greatest that you have to offer.
The challenge is the amount of competition you have in the direct vicinity. The way to overcome this is to take steps to ensure that buyers won’t miss your booth.
These are the top things to remember as you prepare:
Define your brand
Provide attendees with a clear idea of what makes your business unique.
Whether your main selling point is affordability, quality, convenience, or something else, it’s important that your booth makes that feature clear and attractive to attendees. Ensure your messaging can be seen from every direction, as well as near and far. Use optimum lighting to highlight your message.
What products or services do you offer? How much does your product cost? How does one use your product? What makes you unique?
These are all examples of questions that you can answer using your display. When deciding on graphics and messaging, make sure they align with your show objectives and will clearly show your attendees why they need to stop in your booth. Anticipate what questions attendees may have about your products or services.
It’s not about you; it’s about them
Put yourself in the shoes of your clients and prospects. They’re not here to trick-or-treat. They’re here to find beneficial products, services and partners that will positively impact their businesses. If you were a prospect, what would you need to see to make you look, to make you stop and to make you take that first step onto your carpet?
Make yourself interesting to your target market. Something for everybody is an ideal way to have nothing for anybody. Pick the types of clients or customers that fit key criteria – most fun, most profitable, most volume – and set your booth up to speak to them first and foremost. Spirit them away from competitors with an environment they’ll feel comfortable engaging in. The colours you choose, the promo items you give, the experience you create, the staff you present, the attire you wear, the style of address you use all matter. If you are targeting an urban-modern customer and you are a traditional-establishment brand, consider changing how you display your products and how your staff speaks to meet that target audience.
Let your exhibit serve as a discovery place for attendees to learn why they should work with you. Sell without selling. You’re there to engage, not to convert. Visitors will not remember your words, but they will remember how you made them feel. Present your samples in new and interesting ways – showcase them, celebrate them. Thinking of branded items? Make sure that the promotional product giveaway that you choose is something that is relevant to your brand and useful to the consumer. Get samples first to make sure they’re not manufactured on the Island of Misfit Toys – like the pen that leaks or the flashlight that doesn’t. It’s better to hand out nothing than hand out garbage.
You are there to engage. You are there to make new friends. You are there to be relevant. You are not there to do anything else. Smiling faces and professional booth staff are important.
Nothing says, “I find you insignificant and loathsome” quite like having a mobile phone up to your face or texting while you are manning your booth.
Finally, show your expertise
Offer something of value to trade show attendees. This can be something like a white paper on the state of the industry, top 10 lists of products and reports on the newest trends.
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