Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Can David Beat Goliath at Trade Shows?

Face-to-face events provide loads of opportunities for new businesses to meet and connect with their target audience. At the same time, some lesser-known brands find it difficult to emerge from the shadow of larger, well-known brands. Sure, Sally’s Soda Shop probably isn’t going to have anywhere near the marketing budget of a Coke or Pepsi, but your brand can still grab attention from the big guys, if you’re fearless and creative.
So how can your up-and-coming brand steal the spotlight? Fire on all cylinders with a carefully designed trade show booth and equip your staff to promote your brand at every turn.
Conquer the competition with an attention-grabbing, experiential trade show exhibit. Whether you’re kicking off a brand new exhibit design or updating an existing display, you need to work smart to stand out from the crowd. The most effective trade show exhibits grab attention from afar and offer interactive experiences that keep attendees engaged at your booth.
Your exhibit design firm can help you develop an exhibit design and event strategy that accomplishes both of these goals. Ask them how your brand can get noticed by incorporating the following attributes into your exhibit:
  • Clear, marketing messages that stand out, from multiple vantage points on the trade show floor – both up close and from a distance.
  • Custom graphics, finishes and signage (static and/or digital) that distinctly reflect your branding.
  • Videos that tell your company’s story, promote your products and services or entertain attendees.
  • Accent lighting that highlights key features at your booth – whether it’s messaging, a new product or an experience of some sort.
  • Interactive kiosks where attendees can learn more about your brand offerings, watch a digital product demo or sign up for a contest.
  • Live product demonstration areas where attendees can experience your products hands-on and/or up close.
  • Entertainment and meeting areas where attendees can congregate, network and engage with booth staff and other attendees.
  • Trade show giveaways that people love and will use during and after the event.
These are just a few exhibit features and accessories that can draw attendee eyeballs in your direction and keep their attention when they enter your booth. Ask your exhibit design firm how you can customize the experience at your trade show booth based on your unique brand, products and services.
Train and equip booth staff to promote your brand at every turn – even when the big guys outnumber you. Any experienced trade show marketer will tell you how important booth staff selection is when it comes to trade show ROI. You’ll find a variety of blog posts, whitepapers and webinars on this topic right here on our website. So that’s step number one.
Step number two is motivating and equipping your staff to walk, talk, live and breathe your brand from sun up to sun down during a show. This includes promoting your brand and interacting with attendees both at and away from your booth. Consider using the following tools and tactics to spread the word about your brand at your booth, throughout the exhibition hall and at offsite events.
  • Branded booth staff attire with your corporate colors, logo, taglines, etc.
  • Eye catching or unique nametags with your company name (and the staffer’s name).
  • Active social media presence and engagement before, during and after the show.
  • High-visibility sponsorships featuring your staff, which are promoted in exhibition literature and on digital platforms.
  • Speaking engagements for key staff (C-suite, product experts, etc.).
  • Dedicated staffers who work the trade show floor to meet attendees, perhaps share a promotional item and invite them to visit your booth.
You don’t need to be a brand giant to get attention at trade shows. Smaller, up-and-coming brands can make a big splash, too, you just need to work a little harder and smarter.
Source: Malcolm Gilvar

About the Author


Author & Editor

Based in Malaysia, Best Events specializes in Conferences, Seminars, Murder Mystery Dinners, Gala Dinners and Team Building events.


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