Trade show events can launch a business to the next level or be a complete bust. The outcome largely depends on how you market your company leading up to, and during, trade show events. Over the years, we’ve helped just about every type of company make the most of their time at trade shows. Here are seven proven ideas that we’ve picked up along the way.
Build Awareness at the Airport
Big conferences bring in exhibitors and attendees from all over the country. You can be the first to engage with trade show attendees by advertising at the airport. A hanging banner sign or prop with custom decal graphics is a creative way to engage people when they are coming off their planes or waiting on their luggage.
Use High Quality Signs for Trade Shows
It may not be a new idea, but it is a tried and true marketing technique for trade shows. Signage can help you catch people’s attention in a busy exhibit hall. However, you want to make sure you’re catching their attention for the right reasons. With so many other signs all over the trade show floor, you have to make sure yours are top quality and outshine the others by comparison.
There’s a difference between being economical and being cheap. Signs that are poorly made with subpar materials aren’t the first impression you want to make. When your budget is limited, it’s better to have a few high quality signs rather than numerous cheap ones. A combination of one large hanging banner and a few pop-up banner stands are enough to draw in trade show attendees.
Make Your Display Interactive
In today’s world of social media, word of mouth marketing is largely done online. Coming up with a creative, interactive display is an effective way of getting the trade show attendees to share your brand with their networks that are miles away.
Games are always a big draw, especially if there is a big grand prize. You could also set up the booth so that it’s very hands-on and exploratory, with your products or equipment out for people to play with. Essentially, if your booth looks fun rather than just “salesy”, people will gravitate towards it. Just make sure the focus stays on increasing leads and sales by gathering information and encouraging people to share their experience online.
Throw a Special Event
Oftentimes, the trade show isn’t the only event that people are attending. After the trade show floor closes, the parties, seminars, and special events start. Throwing a special event isn’t cheap, but it is a great way to get face time with attendees and build brand loyalty. This is also another way to creatively use your online trade show signs to promote your business. Use them on the interior and the exterior of the venue for maximum exposure.
Hold a Contest or Community Input for Your Next Product
Another way to get trade show attendees engaged is to make them a part of your decision making process. Millennials in particular favor companies that show a genuine interest in listening to consumers and applying their feedback. The trade show can be used as a testing ground to get feedback on your next product or service, ideas for a product name, etc. When people feel like they are a part of the process they’ll feel more invested in your brand.
Support a Cause
Today’s consumer is hyper aware of the corporate social responsibility of a company. If there is a cause that your company already supports, team up with them and share your trade show space. It’s an easy way to create goodwill among attendees, show another side of your business and help a charity at the same time.
Add a Phone/Device Charging Station at Your Booth
People are busy tweeting, posting, and taking pictures during trade shows, all of which can drain their batteries quickly. Adding a charging station is a great way to get people over to your booth and build a bond. Think about how crowded charging stations get at the airport. It may take up a little bit of your real estate, but it will pay off by making your booth look like the place to be rather than a no man’s land.