3 Ways to Make Your Next Trade Show a Success

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Branding by The Hybrid Creative, booth design by CannaCraft, booth construction by Russell Sherman.

Being an exhibitor at an industry trade show is a huge commitment. The cost, transportation, booth staffing, and additional hours all add to the pressure for a trade show appearance to be successful. Follow our tips below to help make sure your next trade show presence will return on your investment.

Your Booth Is Your First Impression. Take It Seriously!

According to Handshake, a study in 2015 by Exhibit Surveys "... found that 64% of trade show attendees were not existing customers of the trade show exhibitors they visited, and 38% stated that their visit influenced their purchase intent."

This means that over half of the people who visit your booth are likely not existing clients. If you want to change that, then you need to be sure that the design and layout of your trade show booth is eye catching and inviting, so that it piques an attendee's curiosity from several yards away. Like it or not, having a trade show booth design that does not look polished and well planned may cause attendees to walk right past you.

If you include a lounge seating area and device charging station, you'll find that attendees are referring others to your booth. All it takes is planning and thinking about what your audience might need in that moment. A high-quality, beautiful, and functional trade show booth is an investment your company needs to make if you're going to be a success at industry trade shows.

Examples of Our Trade Show Booth Design Work

Focus on Brand Exposure

Everyone knows that trade shows are synonymous with "free stuff" and while you want to be careful not to give away cheap-looking shwag, providing some free promotional items to booth visitors will go a long way toward keeping your brand front-and-center wherever they go.

According to a study by Promotional Product Association International, as reported by Corporate Specialties, "... 73% [of attendees] use promotional product gifts at least once a week, and 45% use them at least once per day. No other advertising medium puts your brand in your customers’ hands—literally—more often."

This makes sense because and I bet if you look around the kitchen cabinets in your office or walk past the desks of your colleagues, you'll see several pieces of promotional freebies from other companies, prominently displaying their branding.

The next time you go grocery shopping, take a look around during check out and you'll be surprised how many reusable tote bags are branded with the intention of being an on-the-go advertisement.

Promotional Item Design Examples

Have Plenty of Marketing Collateral on Hand

While you're going to want to greet and talk with booth visitors, remember that not everyone will want to talk with you. It's nothing personal; some people just don't enjoy the small talk. Having plenty of informational marketing materials will ensure that these attendees won't leave your booth empty handed.

By placing eye-catching brochures, postcard flyers, and product information sheets out in the open, you'll make it easy for those walking by to make the decision to bring information about your company's products or service offerings home with them.

Marketing Collateral Design Examples

BONUS TIP: Follow up with New Contacts Quickly

This one should go without saying, but the entire point of being a trade show exhibitor is to generate leads and harvest new professional contacts, so make sure you follow up with your contacts as soon as possible!

Gather the stacks of business cards that your team collected during the show and organize them. Whether you use a Google Drive spreadsheet or a CRM such as Nutshell like we do, make sure you store those contacts somewhere safe. One spilled cup of coffee over a stack of business cards could result in a total loss of new contacts!

You'll likely want to follow up with them within a week after the trade show to capitalize on your prospect's fresh memories of your conversations and interactions. To further increase the chances of converting those contacts into clients, be sure to keep the correspondence personable and not looking like a copy-and-paste form letter.

We'd love to help your next trade show appearance be the best one yet.

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