5 Ways to Wow Customers at Trade Shows

Does your company market its products or services at trade shows? Research shows using trade shows as a lead generation tool is a wise decision. Eighty-one percent of trade show attendees have buying authority, which means 4 out 5 people that you interact with are potential customers, according to Trade Show News Network.

Trade shows give brands face-to-face meetings with prospective clients that have already shown a level of interest in buying new products by merely attending the trade show.

Some trade shows are massive events. The biggest trade show, the Consumer Electronics Show, is spread across a 2.4 million square foot venue in Las Vegas with more than four thousand exhibiting companies, according to Statista. How do you stand out in such a crowded, competitive space? Even if you’re not attending a trade show of this size, it still begs the question, what does it take to wow customers?

Event Designer and Owner of Rose Gold Collective, Sarah Sebastian has worked countless trade shows and says you have to treat your 10×10 space as your brand house. “You have to think creatively and figure out a way to turn your limited space into an area that exudes your brand’s identity and vibe while showing off your products.”

To help marketers create an amazing booth, Shawmut Communications Group worked with Sebastian to put together this list of tips:

  1. Focus on takeaway messages
    Before you design any element of your booth, think about what you want customers to walk away knowing. Focus on two specific takeaways and let that be your starting point. Use these two pieces of information to steer your booth creation.

  2. Create a booth using the five senses
    You need a way to draw customers to your booth. Use the five senses as a guide. What will attendees see, hear, smell, taste, or touch at your booth? There’s a ton of interesting substrates to use in your booth design or accompanying marketing materials that can help you create a sensory experience. As you plan your booth design, try to trigger at least three of the senses as a way to lure customers in.

  3. Make a plan for print and tech displays
    Many marketers combine print displays and technology to create a one-of-a-kind booth. Printed banners might showcase your company name and logo, while a slideshow plays on a flat screen TV, for instance.

    To make sure everything fits, mark off a 10×10 space in your conference room and plan the layout of your booth. With a layout planned, you can order appropriately sized print materials.

  4. Print unique marketing materials
    A three-panel-brochure will convey your message, but why not spice things up with materials that customers will remember and can interact with? Try a vibrant postcard or unique folding format that offers basic information and a QR code. Customers can zap the code with their phone later on and go to a specifically designed landing page that directs them to product information or encourages them to sign up for a demo.

    And just like your booth design, it’s important to make your printed takeaways stand out from the piles of materials attendees will gather. Use interesting textures, stocks, or specialty print effects.

  5. Get creative with swag
    Everyone loves free stuff, but people don’t really need another pen or a USB. Spend some time creating promotional materials that are connected to your brand. A cell phone accessory company might offer a keychain that doubles as a stand for smartphones, for instance.

Armed with these tips, you can make sure your booth is the hit of the show.

This article first appeared in Tactics Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 2.

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Tags: Events, QR Code, Tactics Magazine, Wide Format, Promotions, Trade Shows

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Tactics Magazine

This article first appeared in Tactics, our bi-monthly industry publication created by and for marketing and creative minds. Each issue provides informative articles, expert advice, and thought-provoking strategies designed to engage marketers from all industries.

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