Trade shows are one of the best ways to promote your business and introduce yourself to new potential clients. But, with so many different variables like how many people you’ll be showing your product to, what kind of products you’re selling, etc., there’s a lot to think about when it comes to planning out your trade show booth. Below are seven tips that will help ensure your trade show booth gets the attention and support it deserves.
1) Create a strategy
Remember to have a strategy in place for how you’ll engage with potential customers throughout your trade show event—try planning a prize giveaway or hosting events throughout the day.
Also, ensure that all of your business cards don’t just get stuck on your desk or tucked away in a drawer when people leave after visiting your booth.
2) Distributing flyers and business cards
In addition to keeping people engaged with your booth throughout, flyers and business cards are some of your most powerful marketing tools. Business cards are useful because they provide contact information for you and your company if someone wants to learn more about what you do or contact you again at a later date.
Keep in mind that these should not pile up on your table, consider investing in business card holders or brochure holders for your materials. It doesn’t cost much to print up a bunch of cards and flyers, so don’t underestimate how valuable it is to get them into as many hands as possible.
3) Be prepared to pay more than you believe it is worth
An effective trade show booth is a place to gain leads. As important as it is to have people visit your booth, you’ll want even more of them to take one of your business cards. A good way to make sure they do is by having some kind of giveaway in exchange for getting their contact information.
In a trade show environment, that could mean offering free custom labels or samples—anything you might be able to easily hand out and actually sell later down the line. People are generally very excited about free stuff; if you give them something interesting, they will come back!
4) Lighting makes or breaks how people perceive your booth
Ideally, you want your booth to be fully lit by direct sunlight, but unless your trade show takes place outdoors on a bright day, that’s not likely to happen. To make sure people see your display no matter what, use lighting to highlight important features of your booth and/or product.
An easy way to do that is by adding your trade show booth with LED lights inside (if you’re a company or if you want an effective way to promote yourself). The lights will illuminate people’s names, drawing their attention and making it easy for them to remember who they met.
5) Use Illustrations: make drawings come to life
Trade shows can be fun and exciting, but they can also be a lot of work. In fact, setting up a booth at a trade show is a tonne of work if you do it yourself. It may help to hire someone else to assemble your booth or at least do some of the heavy lifting and carrying for you. Another way to save time is to bring a life-size drawing instead. People will stop by just to see what you’re drawing!
6) Provide people with something to remember and connect with
Nobody likes waiting in lines at a trade show, especially those who are just stopping by to say hello. One way to get around that is to create something fun and engaging that gives attendees something to do while they wait their turn. Put together a word search or even just give them something so they can pass time while they wait.
7) Calculate your ROI (return on investment)
To find out whether your investment will pay off, it’s important to know how much of your budget is going toward marketing and how much toward supplies. If you plan to give away promotional products such as pens or magnets, then also make sure attendees can easily find your contact information at their next trade show.
For other promotions, invest in trade show table skirts or pop-up banners so that passing pedestrians can see what’s available from across a room. And, if you have more money than time (or vice versa), consider hiring a booth manager to run errands and help staff your booth during breaks throughout busy times of the day.
So, a trade show booth is a terrific way to make contacts and let people know who you are. The majority of attendees at shows aren’t professional buyers—they’re peers or people in your field looking to learn about new products and services.
Remember that a trade show booth is just one of many ways to promote your business. You can also focus your energy on networking through other channels like social media and email marketing. Good luck!