‘Tis the season for more than pumpkin spice everything.
Fall is a popular time for trade shows, and if your brand or business is scheduled to exhibit as a vendor, your booth is going to be your main platform for engaging face-to-face with your audience. Treat it as you would your website or your storefront—with attention to detail and plenty of energy.
Here are six ways to make your booth the main attraction, even without the babe:
Use bright colors.
You’ll need to stand out in the sea of booths that make up most exhibit halls or trade show floors. One way to do that is with bright colors in your booth design. Neon colors, bright color combinations, lights, bold, clear signage—use what you need to in order to command attention and turn heads.
Give a quick impression of your brand with an image or bold statement.
When you’re contemplating the design for your trade show booth, remember that most visitors are walking by quickly. They spend just a few seconds looking at any one booth, so you need to make a good impression within seconds. You also want to communicate your brand’s story in an instant with a compelling image, a quick statement, maybe a provocative question—anything to interrupt their brain function and get them to stop or at least pause.
Demo your product or service.
Show and tell is not dead, folks. Make them remember you by giving them a feel for what you do; it’s so much more impactful to demo your product or service than to simply explain it with a brochure or slide deck. Sure, you want materials they can take away, like flyers, brochures, business cards, catalogues, or whatever is appropriate. But there on the trade show floor, you have an opportunity to engage customers with a live demo—have the necessary equipment and supplies ready and get down with your demo self.
Trade shows are long and manning a booth for hours can take a toll on even the most diehard extroverts. But dig deep, my friends, and come out from behind your cell phones and laptops. Working a trade show means being personable, friendly and ready to interact with prospects at all times. Of course, great swag helps—it gives you something to pass along to your prospects, it can be a great conversation starter, and (of course), it’s branded, so it’ll keep you on their minds long after the last booth in the exhibit hall has packed up its chachkie.
Throw a contest.
No matter what your budget is, a contest or promotion is a great way to grab attention, generate interest and possible leads. You can be as elaborate as giving away a vacation or simply use your own products or services as the prize—just be sure your entry form includes an email address field or other contact information for follow-up.
Use social media.
Plan to engage with visitors via social media with a unique hashtag, Facebook Live, live podcasts or special incentives for visitors who visit your booth. Integrate social media with your booth as much as possible because why not? You know conference attendees are on their phones, tweeting, posting, snapping, adding to their Insta and Facebook stories. So, join them and get social, too. That doesn’t mean sitting on your phone for hours, but if you have a social media strategy going in, you’ll not only engage in a fun way with the conference goers, but you’ll expand your reach with those who couldn’t attend.
And if that’s not enough, stick these nuggets in your back pocket and level up your booth even more:
Five More Pro Tips to For Trade Show Ballers
- Make your booth interactive with computers, tablets, TVs—people love screens.
- Give away food, especially something sweet. Mints are especially welcome after lunch.
- Be sure all your branding is cohesive, and if it’s not, enlist the help of an agency to get it there.
- Think vertical: Expand your booth toward the ceiling with banners and hanging displays.
- Display just enough information to pique curiosity. Give them a reason to approach.