No matter your industry, trade shows are one of the better ways to market and grow your business. They provide a unique opportunity to choose and display what is best about your company and meet with potential customers who are likely already interested and invested with purchase authority. It is also a forum where you can gather and network with others in your field, building meaningful and lasting relationships while growing the reputation of your brand.
Of course, none of these things happen automatically. To achieve the great benefits of trade shows and get the most of them, you need to carefully plan and execute an effective strategy. While pre-show marketing, staffing and other factors will all be included in this strategy, perhaps the most critical element will be creating the perfect display. This guide will collect some key trade show booth tips from a pro to help you plan, design and create the best display possible for your business.
Benefits of the Perfect Display
Before diving into the specific steps to building the perfect trade show display, you should understand why it is so important and all the benefits that can come of it. Additionally, it will be important to consider your own goals going into the design, creation and implementation of the display. Just a few of the advantages that will come of the right exhibit include:
- Ultra-targeted marketing: People at a trade show are only there because they already have some interest in the type of product/service you sell. This provides a kind of targeted marketing that cannot be achieved by any other means.
- Face-to-face sales: Much of current marketing is digital, video, telephone or through some other impersonal medium. That is not the case with trade shows.
- Immediate branding potential: Just the presence of your booth at a trade show can go a long way in branding your company as a player in the industry.
- Increased networking: In addition to the direct contact with interested customers, you will also have the potential to make an impact on others within the industry.
For all these reasons, it is critical to grasp the importance of a good impression and not skimp on time or funding for your display. You must also remember that while you can network with others in your industry, you will also be competing with them. This means that your display must stand out from the crowd, and here are a few ways to do so.
Before you can implement any plan with success, it must be carefully and thoroughly planned. In terms of the perfect trade show display, you will need to establish several factors well before you begin creation, including:
- Your sales/leads/networking goals at the trade show
- Understanding your target audience within the show
- Meeting with your design team or interviewing design firms
- Planning any additional elements of your booth, such as games or interactive media
- Determining the staff that will be present and scheduling them properly
- Understanding the type of trade show banner & exhibit that will be most effective
The visuals of your display will obviously be one of the most critical aspects of it. It should catch the eye without being too busy. It should explain the benefits of your product without boring the customer. It should be creatively designed without detracting from the message. These will be difficult balances, but all good trade show displays find them effective. A few basic tips include:
- If your company already has a trademark color within the industry, this should be heavily featured, and the entire color scheme should be based around it.
- If your logo is well-established and recognizable, you can base your design around it. Either way, it should be incorporated cleanly and fluidly.
- Keep headlines short and to the point. Value to the customer should always be the main idea.
- Make sure that your company’s name and social media are featured clearly and prominently.
- In the end, simplicity is always preferable to complexity.
Although the visuals are usually the basis, trade show displays are much more than visuals alone. Just a few of the other keys to success in your exhibit include:
- Media such as tablets, digital displays and other technological elements. At least some level of technology is expected of modern displays, and you should use this to your advantage.
- Proper lighting. This can make or break any display.
- Proper flooring.
- Interactive elements like games, touchscreens, activities, etc.
- Music or ambiance sounds. Some displays also make use of smells, and creating a full sensory experience can put your booth over the top.