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How to Stand Out at a Trade Show (and not die trying)

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Trade shows are an important element of any business marketing plan. Through them, a company can reach hundreds of potential new customers to help increase business, and although every company works differently and has different marketing goals, there is one thing  every company should be after: getting more exposure and being memorable.

It is proven trade shows are one of the best platforms to present your product or service to your audience, to measure what the market demand is, and to check what your competitors are doing. Exhibiting at a trade show will allow you to track and measure ROI, qualified leads, sales, follow up sales, and traffic to your booth, all of which will help your business grow.

But with so many strong competitors participating at the same trade shows, how can a company stand out from the rest?

As difficult as it might seem, standing out is not that hard. Here are 4 simple rules you need to follow to increase your visibility at trade shows.

Rule #1 Choose the Right Booth Theme & Don’t Be Boring!

If you really want to stand out from the crowd at a trade show, you have to keep in mind no matter who your clients are, people like innovation and originality, so the worst thing you can do when planning your trade show exhibit is to be boring. Be original, be creative and follow your gut. There are many ways in which you can advertise your products or services and provide a memorable experience to your customers or soon to be customers.

Your trade show success is measured either in people enrolled to use your service or products, or by how memorable your company’s trade show booth was. If your theme booth sticks into the mind of an attendee, it would be easier for him to go back to your company to check out your services with more detail. So take a risk, be creative, go for a booth theme that’s original and will help you create memory retention in all attendees.

Rule #2 Plan, Integrate, Execute

If you want to make the most out of your trade show exhibit, you need to plan your booth theme design depending on what you want to achieve in each trade show, integrate it to your general marketing plan, and execute it at least for a year. This will give your customers the chance to identify you easily each time you’re showcasing at a trade show and will reinforce your branding.

It’s not uncommon to find companies who spend large amounts of money creating a theme for a show and then abandon it at the end of the first trade show. This is not only a huge loss of business capital, but a wasted opportunity to integrate an element to your marketing efforts to help you reach out to more people and make a huge difference in your business.

Rule #3 Create an Experience

One of the most important things at trade shows is drawing attention to your booth, be it through providing remarkable customer service (which is by the way a must at all occassions!) or by creating a remarkable experience.

A unique booth theme will help you create the desired experience for prospective clients. Whether you’re looking to create a history based theme, or a gallery-like setting, there are many props you can incorporate to help strengthen and create a unique theme to provide attendees with an attractive experience while visiting your exhibit and get the recognition you’re looking for.

Rule #4 Commit

There is one ingredient that’s key to success in all areas: Commitment. To be able to create a memorable and attractive boot theme, you need to commit with creativity and originality, and aim all efforts to keep it throughout the year in each trade show your company participates in. One thing is planning the base elements of an exhibit, but another very different is to keep on adding or changing elements to attract different customers each time, and separate your exhibit from the rest of the participants.

A good idea is to attend trade shows being held for different industries, to get ideas of what you could integrate in your next exhibit, or just to check the strategies other companies are using and determine if they work or not.

At Scantech Graphics & Displays, our team of designers and production staff will help you find the best solution to fulfill your trade show objectives and provide you with a wide array of options on custom exhibit components to help your brand’s marketing goals.

Give us a call and allow us to be a part of your success!

2 Responses to How to Stand Out at a Trade Show (and not die trying)

  1. Jane Fox says:

    This is all great advice on standing out. Obviously if you’re investing in going to a trade show, you also want to invest in making it worthwhile. One question: is there any kind of signage that you think works best at trade shows? I’ve been thinking of using banner stands, personally, but I’d like to know what you think.

  2. It’s true that the more interesting exhibits at trade shows really stand out because they have the right theme. I think that you should find a way to truly showcase your business brand in that theme so that you can leave a good impression on your potential customers. I may even be wise to consult with professional exhibit builders who can help you achieve this kind of engaging exhibit.

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