It’s hard to be the object of desire at trade shows, where halls are crammed, lights are bright and attendees are over stimulated, but it is possible, and here’s how:
1. ENERGY—the #1 asset for a successful booth is energy. Attract a crowd by bringing a smiling staff with a little extra pep in their step. Last year, Beyond Meat had killer energy by mimicking Taco Bell signage and bringing hyped up staff to lure the masses
2. PERSONALITY—as excited as your employees are, it needs to be the right kind. Personable yet witty sales reps will most likely give the attendee a story or funny remark to tell their friends later, which builds the positive associations to your brand. Go team!
3. IMAGINATIVE DÉCOR—You’re booth should be an expression of your brand. Innovative backdrops are a great opportunity to create an ambience for your booth as well as showcase specific brand characteristics. Create an entire brand experience by going above and beyond the normal layouts. You may need to whip out the hot glue gun and get a little crafty but it’s worth it. Imaginative photo backdrops on Pinterest are a great place to start for inspiration.
4. STUNT—Consider every moment at a trade show an opportunity to engage the consumer. An interactive component is a great jumping off point but your stunt better be awesome. No carnival wheels to win a water bottle. We’re talking actually awesome. For example, say you’re pitching a new 100% all-natural juice. Make you’re entire booth a giant juicer where people can interactively put the fruit in watch it travel around and ka-blam-o! A fresh sample of juice is delivered to the attendee just seconds later. Other options could include utilizing social media to do an expo wide scavenger hunt that ends at your booth. You get the idea, just make sure it’s original and, of course, awesome.
5. KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID—Obviously, your brand is your baby, and you know everything about it, and would love nothing more than to share that with the world. But here’s one thing I know about strangers, they don’t want to be talked at, they want to be talked to. You need to consolidate your main shtick into a few interesting quippy statements that are as much fun to hear as they are important to your brand. The rest is just background noise that’s a bit of a snooze-fest compared to everything else that’s going on the trade show floor. Justin’s took a very clean simple approach by framing their ingredients to create a gallery-like athmosphere in their booth that effectively communicates not only the product, but the entire brand as well.
6. CREATIVE SAMPLING—think beyond a cup or bowl to allow attendees to walkaway with a snack and meaningful experience rather than a commodity experience. Lifehouse sampled salads in take away boxes and Kettle sampled chips in mini lunch bags to provide a memorable experience.
7. CLEAN AND ORGANIZED—no clutter! You should be the only one who knows you’ve basically been living in your booth the past few days. Keep all your little snacks, drinks, boredom savers, out of the way. Devote a cleverly concealed space to your personal items, and keep them there. This is a good way to keep things looking crisp, clean, and professional all expo long.
8. OPEN FLOOR PLAN—think of it as the watering hole of the expo. Many will flock to an open floor plan simply for the chance to refresh. An open floor plan allows attendees to freely come and learn what your brand is about without feely coerced.
9. GIVE THEM A REASON TO STICK AROUND—the open floor plan will draw the weary expo travellers in, but the trick is to keep them in. Obviously you’ll want to spoil them with all of your wonderful samples but they’ll need more than that. Provide some nice seating, plush flooring for tired feet or a witty limerick or two and they may just stay.
10. PHASE II—The beauty of top nine is that it basically makes the next one inevitable. I like to call it PHASE !!. If you get people to stay at your booth, even for a few minutes, others will flock to the crowd. Humans naturally seek reinforcement among peers, subconsciously drawing them physically closer to others, which translates to more brand exposure for you.
11. TAKE IT 3D—Spoken by the whizard himself, Mark Mitchell says the key to making it memorable, is making it unwrappable. There’s a reason so many people love Christmas, it’s the anticipation of unveiling the gift—and the eggnog, let’s be real. We are addicted to intrigue and excitement, and gifts provide both. But everyone gets free schwag at these shows, so much so that it becomes a hassle. Provide digital incentives at the booth with a 3D follow up. Afterall, 59% of tradeshow goers make the majority of their purchases after the show and only 20% of attendees actually follow up on trade show contacts which means they’ll need a cute little gift to refresh their memory as to what your revolutionary, must-have brand is.
With these tips in mind we wish you the best of luck at the upcoming shows and may the odds be ever in your favor.