10 IDEAS TO GET YOUR EXHIBIT NOTICED
Some things take a larger amount of time and money to implement. Here is a list of 10 fast and simple to implement ideas to get noticed. Look to these quick, easy ideas to spruce up your booth environment to get the attention of attendees and set up for the best trade show yet.
1. FACETIME: (No, not THAT FaceTime!) Ok, you’ve got people coming to your booth, interested in your brand, and you’re going to greet them with . . . the top of a distracted boother’s head. No! If your staffers are focused on their phones or tablets, they are not focused on potentials. We’ve all had that icky feeling from being ignored by a salesperson because they were too bored, too distracted, too lazy to wait on us, and that is NOT what you want to be happening in your booth. People will walk right by the booth if they do not feel wooed by booth staff, and they will quickly leave if they are not greeted and helped. Encourage face-to-face time in the booth. Encourage your staff to get off their phones and on to the floor where the real people are.
On the other hand, even the most passive Twitter users read, comment, and like other people’s posts. This is probably because many B2B Twitter users depend on the platform for their industry-related news, and even their news in general. So, they are constantly monitoring the key people, businesses, and trade-related accounts to stay current with all the buzz in their network. Another reason might be that Twitter limits character count, so no one can be too long-winded and engagement is quick and easy. For staying relevant and consistent with current news, Twitter is the better platform.
2. LIGHT IT UP: Lighting is hands-down the least expensive and most effective way to make a big difference in your booth’s appearance. Good lighting not only showcases your brand and products, it also creates a cheerful mood in the booth. Make sure your lighting is working for you by using accent lighting, back lighting, and general lighting. Play around with the wattage and type of light to foster the mood you’re going for. Accent lighting can shine on your brand, and back lighting can emphasize your message. You want to create a unique ambiance for your booth, and lighting is a great step in the right direction.
3. SPRING CLEAN: Ok, I lied. Lighting is the 2nd least expensive and most effective way to make a positive difference in your booth. The 1st way is to keep it clean, which is actually FREE and quick. Obviously, you know to keep trash off the floor and tables. You know to not leave Snickers wrappers or Diet Coke bottles sitting around. You know to have the trash emptied often. Beyond that, remind staff that a tidy booth conveys professionalism. This means that there shouldn’t be excess clutter on the tables. A few books or brochures or products are fine, but the tables shouldn’t be loaded to excess with 1,000 copies of everything. Think neat, crisp lines. It also means that table cloths, furniture, displays and other pieces need to be occasionally cleaned, wiped down, dusted, and repaired if broken or torn. Pay attention to how your booth looks!
4. TIDY UP One seemingly minor issue is wire management. Actually, it is a big issue. A mangled mess of wires on the floor instantly communicates a lack of care, leaving the client wondering what else in the company is a jumbled up mess. Not only is it a tripping hazard, it conveys that no one was interested in taking the extra time and care to secure the wires. This subconsciously lets attendees know that you are not a 100% company, true or not. To avoid this senseless faux pas, find out where the power sources are before you set up your booth. Then use wire management clips or other fasteners to manage where the wires will go. In some cases, you might be able to run it under the carpet. Problem solved!
5. BE ON DISPLAY: You are being watched. That means you have one chance to make a first impression, and your booth is that chance. I’ve seen some big, reputable companies set up their booth with less-than-lovely looking tables and poorly installed or soiled graphics. No! If you want to look invested (and investable!), make sure your display is clean, fresh, and not worn. Heck, even a carton of baby wipes can clean up spills, smudges, and smears from dirty tables and furniture, and a steam iron helps de-wrinkle fabric tablecloths and graphics. Remember that your display differentiates you from your competition. Take advantage of that!
6. DRESS FOR SUCCESS: While there’s nothing wrong with business casual wear for greeting clients, why not kick it up a notch and get attendees to notice you? Coordinating your outfit to your brand or booth theme might make people take notice. Maybe you all want to wear matching bright, solid color t-shirts. Maybe your booth has a theme and everyone could be a different character. Use your imagination to liven up your outfits, making your staff essentially part of the branding and sales! The more fun, the more memorable; the more memorable, the more business.
7. EAT...LATER: Eating in the booth is almost as big a faux pas as texting in the booth. Like being on a device, eating sends the message that you are not prepared or interested enough to conduct business. Eating in the booth also creates potentially messy situations – spills, smears, and stains. Save business for inside the booth and eating for outside of the booth. Make sure you have enough manpower so that everyone gets a snack or lunch break. There’s nothing wrong with having a bottle of water tucked nearby you in the booth to sip on occasionally, but you don’t want your water and sandwich and chips laid out on the table. On the other hand, it’s nice to offer your attendees a bottle of water, a cup of coffee, or a piece of candy. This small gesture can set you apart, put them at ease, and encourage them to relax and stay a little longer in your booth.
8. MAKE IT MEMORABLE: A great way to make a sale is to make an impression, and the best way to make an impression is to make yourself memorable. A fun activity or an original stunt that ties to your brand is an easy way to do that. It can be as simple as a quiz or on a tablet, an old-school game that’s been customized with your brand (Jenga or a bean bag toss), or having guests answer questions about your brand to get their name entered for a fun, unusual giveaway. You don’t have to put on a party in your booth – just create a little fun. Some people hire corporate comedians for their booth. One innovative company partnered with the local zoo to bring two penguins to their trade show booth. People crowded around the moment the show opened! Use your imagination to liven up your atmosphere and create a memory for attendees!
9. SOW THE SEEDS, REAP THE HARVEST: Don’t forget that a little pre-work and post-work will create momentum for your business. Make sure your VIP customers and best prospects get an invitation to visit you at the show. It will them feel special and it will help stock your booth. Afterwards, remember to send thank you cards (or an email) to those who visited. Thank them for their visit, mention a specific of the conversation, and thank them for taking their time to come see you. Obviously, if you told anyone you would follow up with them in any way – sending samples, getting a brochure to them, setting an appointment – be sure and follow through with that promise. It is very little work on your end and the ROI is huge. People like to do business with people who are true to their word.
10. GO BIG: Hand out the biggest reusable bag at the trade show. Here’s why: every booth and every vendor at every trade show gives stuff away, and most presenters give away their own bags full of swag. Now, most of this stuff doesn’t make it out of the convention hall. People tend to trash a lot of it. However, the biggest bag always wins because it becomes the receptacle for all of the other bags and their contents. Cough up a little more money for a personalized, reusable bag and your brand will live on!
As we enter into springtime, we always need to be asking… “What needs to change?” Take some time to examine how you can freshen up the look and feel of your exhibit. Give it some new life with a game or fun giveaway. Open up the windows of your mind and let some fresh air whip some fresh ideas into place. No matter what you do to get noticed and improve your booth, giving it the once-over is always a great idea!