Photo by Austin Distel
Get a Good Location
One of the best things you can do to ensure success at a trade show is to get a good location for your booth. The better the location you can get, the more attendees you’ll get walking by your booth. This means more potential customers to draw in and higher-end sales results.
Make sure you sign up for the trade show as soon as registration opens to ensure you get first access to booth slots. If you can pay a little more for a booth slot, you’ll reap the benefits of that investment in increased leads and sales. And if you plan to attend the same show year after year, look into making friends with the people who decide on booth location and/or negotiating a contract that grants you a prime location in exchange for consistent attendance.
Set Up an Eye-Catching Display
Once you have that prime location, you want to draw people into your booth. You need to make your booth as eye-catching as possible. You’ll be lined up among a host of other booths, and even if you’re in a great spot, you have to have something that draws attendees to your booth over your neighbors.
Using shiny decorations and signage on your booth is a great way to draw the gaze of anyone walking by. Make sure to avoid things that flash or wave since those can get annoying both for your booth hosts and for customers who walk by. Bright colors and large fonts can also draw attention and bring people into your booth.
Show Off Your Goods
Once you’ve got people’s attention, you want to guide their eyes towards the most important part of your booth: the goods. What form this takes will depend on your business and your goal at the trade show. If you’re there to hand out information, this may mean a display of flyers, or if you’re there to sell products, you may want to show them off.
Use boxes or notepads under your tablecloth to create different levels at which to display other objects. Try to direct the visual flow of your booth so things point towards your products. And you may want to set up some sort of special sale for your trade show to draw customers looking for good deals in.
When you’re planning your booth setup, you want to make sure it stays approachable. In the quest to build a booth that stands out and catches the attention of a passerby, it can be easy to create a space people don’t want to walk into. You want to find a balance between visually distinct and intriguing enough to invite people in.
Use bright colors, but balance them against shades that are easier on the eyes. Set up your lighting so that it highlights your goods without blinding your customers. And make sure to stick to the main message of your booth – the reason you are at the trade show in the first place.
Schedule Booth Hosts
A well-designed booth is a powerful tool at a trade show, but nothing can replace having a live human host working your trade show. A host can engage with your potential customers and act as a voice for your company. They can provide information about your products or services and get contact information from any leads who pass through.
Set up a schedule for one or more hosts to watch your booth in shifts throughout the day. Working with a few people is a good idea so no one gets too fatigued or overwhelmed during large rushes. You want to choose people who are personable, knowledgeable about your company, and professional in their presentation.
One of the quickest ways to draw people into your booth is to provide free food or drinks. Even if they have no initial interest in your product, they will come into your booth purely to get refreshments. And then, thanks to the psychology behind getting a free gift, they will often stay to hear your sales pitch and may even make a purchase.
On your way to the trade show in the morning, stop and pick up a few boxes of donuts. Order a few pizzas to your booth at lunch. Or simply offer bottled water or free coffee in your booth and watch the leads come flowing in.
Advertise on Social Media
It should almost go without saying, but one of the best ways to get more traffic at your booth is to tell people you’re there. Use your existing social media following to let people know that you’ll be at the trade show. Invite people in the area to come to see you or let customers know about special trade show sales you’re running.
You can also use your presence at the trade show as social media material. Run live video stream tours of your booth, do interviews with willing attendees, or run photo contests. You can crosspost content to Facebook and Instagram, run a rich Snapchat story, and livetweet trade show events.
Discover More Trade Show Marketing Tips
When you’re at a trade show, you’re trying to make your business stand out from dozens of others around it. Setting up a visually appealing booth and scheduling booth hosts are great first steps. Also draw in leads and customers with well-displayed products and, of course, free food.
If you’d like help prepping your trade show marketing, reach out to us at Source Group. We’re your best source for trade show news and tips. Contact us today to make your next trade show attendance a resounding success.