Written by Shawn Lacagnina, Skyline Displays of Houston
Don’t let a less than desirable booth location get you discouraged. Sure, certain booth locations are better for high foot traffic and visibility, but booth location is only one of the many factors that can determine the effectiveness of your display. By using creative booth design, having the right employees present, and implementing a holistic marketing strategy, you can more than make up for a corner booth.
Take a look at the following strategies to mitigate your booth location:
Lighting is an effective way to quickly capture an audience’s attention. By adding up-lights and moving lights to your display, you can draw in attendees. From there you need to prioritise what you want them to see in your space. Whether it’s a logo, products, or something else, strong accent lighting will make specific elements of your display stand out. You may also want to consider a back-lit graphic which can really make your message pop.
Be strategic with your table position. If you want to invite people in, make sure it is located somewhere that it is not impeding their ability to enter your space. In addition, keep the text on your table to a minimum. Remember, the text is a hook, but the majority of the information should be provided verbally by your employees. Lastly, compliment your table with technology. Graphics, videos and other engaging media are now easier than ever to effectively display at your booth.
Don’t be boring and simply give attendees an elevator sales pitch. Engage your audience by doing product demos or scheduling presentations. Give away promotional items that link to your offering or company value. Maybe create “at show specials” to reward visitors for attending the show and visiting your exhibit. And whenever possible, allow the guest to interact in some fashion to explore more deeply what your organisation is offering. This can be accomplished through touch screen programs, tablet games, or even handling products. Be creative.
Booth staff not only provide attendees with information about your company, products, and services, but they are also your most visible brand ambassadors. They are the immediate face of your company and its culture. The interaction that potential clients have with your both staff can determine whether they want to do business with you.
Everyone staffing your exhibit should understand your company show strategy and the role they play in its success. Having clearly defined roles gives the staff member a level of comfort in knowing what is expected and how to accomplish the goal. You know the saying “you can’t hit what you aren’t aiming for”.
Friendly and outgoing individuals that are capable of addressing a diverse audience are necessary. Don’t mistake this for obnoxious and loud. Nothing turns off attendees like a disingenuous salesman. You may also need a technical person there to answer in depth questions about your product or solution. Regardless of the mix, make sure everyone is comfortable with their role.
Implementing a Cohesive Marketing Strategy
Trade show success is not solely determined during the show. Before, during, and after the event, you need to strategically market your organisation. Before the show reach out to any contacts you already have and also ask the event organiser for the pre-registration list of attendees. Let them know you will be in attendance at the event and would like to meet.
You can use email, physical mail, or even telephone calls to promote your organisation’s attendance. You can also promote your attendance on social media and use the trade show’s specific hashtags. Tie all this together by creating a landing page where you can direct your audience to a centralised source of information. You’ll also be able to track analytics of digital; comparing it to the analytics of in-person.
During the show, stay active on social media and continue notifying attendees about the demos, promotions, and presentations you are doing. Build up the hype of the event within your communication and social media; this is another way to ensure more traffic to your booth. A creative promotional item can also increase traffic. (still have one of those square yardsticks?)
Almost 80% of trade show leads are never followed up. Don’t become part of that statistic! Once you have gathered information from the event, post-show follow up is vital to convert them into clients. Make sure any promises made on the show floor are kept. Send out an email to anyone that provided contact information and thank them for attending. At this stage, offer them something that shows your appreciation such as a special offer or exclusive information. For those that are still interested, you can prepare a strategic nurture contact campaign with your sales team.
Remember, don’t let your booth location define the success of your show. Even your back corner booth can generate leads, new connections, and an enjoyable brand experience for all. Follow these steps and enjoy the experience.
About the Author:
Shawn Lacagnina is an expert at face-to-face marketing with over 20+ years experience helping clients successfully communicate their image and message to their audience.