Exhibiting at a trade show is no easy task – whether virtually or in-person. Trade shows take months of planning, from pre-show preparations, like signage and booth theme to post-show follow-ups, like connecting with qualified leads. Read on to learn more about how you can stand out from other exhibitors at trade shows.
Create a Pre-Show, On-Site, and Post-Show Plan
Pre-show planning is a critical step when attending a trade show. The pre-show planning is the time to lay all the groundwork for the show. It’s important to remember that to stand out from other exhibitors, a solid plan will need to be in place. Without the groundwork and the foundation, the results of the show may fall short of what you were expecting. Below are a few objectives to consider:
- Define the theme, primary and secondary goals for the show, and the budget.
- Determine what the focus of the show will be – whether focusing on new or existing products.
- Determine who will be hosting the booth as this is a critical component to standing out from other exhibitors. Choosing the right person to host the booth is an imperative decision as this person will not only represent the brand but connect and engage with future customers.
On-Site Trade Show Plan
Once the pre-show planning is in place, it’s time to develop a plan for once you are at the show. A few things to consider while exhibiting:
- Make your booth known to prospective customers as this is also a networking opportunity.
- Connect with existing customers! This is a great way to get face-to-face time with your existing customer base.
- Take plenty of notes! Exhibitors should flag any post-show opportunities, like follow-ups, sending samples, etc.
Post Trade-Show Plan
Once the show is complete, it’s time to start the post-show plan! This is the time to measure key performance indicators (KPIs), talk to the team about the show, discuss new learnings – whether from competitors or current customers, and determine plans for upcoming shows. A few objectives to consider:
- Check in with KPIs and determine if the results are in line with the overall objectives and goals.
- Catch-up with qualified leads! It’s important to not let too much time pass as you want to remain engaged with any new potential customers.
- Enter all qualified leads into the sales funnel to keep in consistent contact with them – whether through curated outreach or monthly newsletters.
- Monitor the media, including social channels. This is a great way to measure performance digitally and analyze engagement from your audience base.
Catch the Eye of Attendees With a Standout Booth
Trade shows are a critical tactic for engaging new qualified leads, networking, and more. With hundreds of other exhibitors, it’s especially important to have a differentiating factor, like your booth, to catch the eye of attendees. Below are a few tips for a stand-out booth.
Make It an Interactive Experience
Today, attendees aren’t just looking for a quick stop by – having your booth become an interactive experience could make all the difference to potential customers, as it’s reported 49% of attendees plan to purchase a product or service exhibited at a show. For example, if you’re attending CES 2023, it’s a perfect opportunity to turn your booth into an interactive experience where attendees can get a real-time look into the new product. A few interactive experiences can include:
- Live giveaway
- Live competition
- Live poll on social media
- Live interviews featuring influencers
Stick With a Theme
Depending on the trade show, it’s important to develop a consistent theme for your booth. This includes consistent branding, photos, tag lines, hashtags, etc. A consistent theme will allow for a cohesive look and feel but will also be memorable to attendees. Not only will it make it memorable to attendees, but it will allow the exhibitor the opportunity to define how you want attendees to feel when coming to your booth – whether it’s excitement or a more relaxed feel. Once that is determined, the theme can be developed around that. When developing your theme, below are a few points to consider:
- Logo display
- Backdrops for photo opportunities
- Color scheme
Capture the Moment on Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool in not only spreading increased awareness of your attendance at the show but educating your audience as well. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok are especially successful at grabbing a user’s attention with real-time videos. It allows for social media users to experience the booth or show digitally. As the world is adapting to the ever-evolving climate due to the pandemic, creating a digital experience is just as essential to the in-person show! A few things to consider for a positive digital experience:
- Do a live Q&A from the show for users to have a real-time experience.
- Go live during interactive events!
- Ensure a member of the team is available to engage with the audience and respond to inquiries in a timely manner.
- Ensure photos are posted each day of the event and utilize the platform’s features, for example, Stories, in addition to in-feed posts to ensure users can view the experience.
As veterans of a variety of housewares and technology trade shows, our trade show marketing agency knows the ins and outs of what to expect, giving your brand the advantage over other exhibitors. Contact us today for support on the trade show floor!