Trade show exhibitions will continue to be a major player when it comes to reaching target audiences. They can help showcase your brand, products and services to motivated transactional buyers, offering a unique level playing field alongside your most fiercest competitors.
There are many aspects that contribute towards a successful trade show and this article will outline seven key areas that any business large or small, should put into consideration before investing in an exhibition booth.
Trade show stand builders understandably have a unique insight into what works and what doesn’t at exhibitions because they can see first hand how their designs and clients needs must go hand-in-hand. Professionals stand builders can reveal what the most important features of planning a successful show are, and the following seven tips are by far the most common responses that consistently crop up time and again, and are essential to having a trade show that offers the best return on investment.
1) Choose the Best Show
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The first and most important element for successful exhibition marketing is to ensure you are selecting the best possible trade shows to exhibit at. Are they directly geared to your industry? Will attendees be actively seeking your products and services? If the answer is no, you need to look elsewhere.
Researching different trade shows that are happening around the world is critical. So don’t rush into choosing one until you have fully researched every possible option. It’s critical that you find trade shows where your target market is likely to be. You want to maximize brand awareness, and gain new leads and customers. It’s not just about choosing a shop window to display your products and services. You want to make sales and generate income.
Picking the correct show can mean the difference between success or failure.
2) Get the Best Location
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Once you’ve selected the right trade show, the location of your stand is almost just as important. Don’t drag your heels about selecting your stand location and most certainly, do not allow the trade event organisers to choose one for you!
Typically, to gain the best space you will have to book your location at least six months in advance. Ask the organisers for a trade show floor plan and try to identify a high-traffic position that meets both your budget and your goals. Your exhibition stands’ location will have a massive impact on your return on investment.
If you’re unsure about where to position your stand, some examples of great locations includes areas with lots of open space, place adjacent to restaurants and coffee shops, and surprisingly even washrooms. Choosing a strategic area can increase your results dramatically, so try to find an area where people will consistently pass by and will make you highly visible.
3) Who Else Will Be There?
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Knowing about your rivals is critical when it comes to trade show marketing. You should contact the event organisers and get as much information as possible about other confirmed exhibitors.
Find out who your trade show neighbours are, their marketing plans, and any other information to better refine your own exhibition stand to increase your chances of success. Knowing about your competition is critical and taking care of these details beforehand will keep you one step ahead of the competition.
4) Stand Out From the Crowd
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When asked, trade show stand builders have stated that to really make an impact with exhibition stands, you have to stand out from the crowd. Doing something unique and memorable is a key strategy to gaining buyers attention.
Using things like technology, interactive displays, downloadable social media apps, wall screens, bold colours and graphics, and other tactics will draw people to you. Attendees at trade shows have a world of choices available to them, so it’s vital you do something that gets you noticed and attracts the right kind of attention. Create a buzz and people will flock to you.
5) Set Realistic Goals
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Once you’ve chosen to promote your organisation at a trade show, you ideally need to put a set of realistic goals in place prior to the event.
You will need to decide what’s most important to you. Whether it’s selling products or services, gaining brand recognition, business networking, gaining new leads, or acquiring new customers. Having clearly defined goals will not only help you to focus better, it will help you to measure the success of the trade show at its conclusion.
When you set realistic targets, your sales team will become fully focused on achieving those goals. As a result, you should enjoy a much greater experience and get a greater understanding of how attendees perceive your business and whether or not you are catering to their needs.
6) Spread the Word
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A great way to generate a buzz and to build anticipation before the event even begins, is to let people know you will be attending the event.
You can do this easily and cost effectively by announcing your attendance on your company website, distributing bulk email to customers and prospects, and by sharing the news via all of your social media channels.
When you get people excited to see what your business has to offer, they will tell others and you will have better odds of claiming a higher return on investment.
7) Make a Great First Impression
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Trade shows are typically stuffed full of different exhibition stands and attendees. All exhibitors are competing for the time and attention of the people walk through those doors.
Your job is to build a great first impression and to make your exhibition stand memorable. You can do all sorts of things to encourage people to notice you first and then engage in dialogue about your offerings.
Simply things such as free beverages and refreshments, or cool features such as smartphone charging stations, work areas or even fun photo booths and hangout areas all help to create a buzz about your stand.
When people have a place to relax, this creates the opportunity to allow your sales team to discuss your products and services with them in a relaxed, comfortable environment, where a sale is more likely to occur.
Follow these suggestions and get great results
It’s clear that trade shows will continue to be a powerful marketing option in practically every industry for many years to come. Being creative with your budget, and carefully planning your approach will go a long way to bringing you excellent results. Follow the suggestions above and you should have a far more successful experience that will lead you to exhibit at many more trade shows month-after-month, year-after-year.