Humans get a first impression of something really, really fast. It won’t take hours or even minutes for a customer to decide your worth to them. No, it will take about seven seconds.
Your trade show display, in many cases, will be a potential customer’s first point of contact with your brand. They may even form that first impression faster than usual. After all, they can see your competitors all around you!
You need a successful marketing campaign before you take your trade show out to the road. Before you start to work on it, let us help you to avoid some common pitfalls.
Keep reading for the big do’s and don’ts of your upcoming trade show.
Do: Use the Brand Everywhere in Your Trade Show Display
Trade show advertising gives you a short chance where you have a target customer front and center. This is a captive audience, to a degree. In the short space that you’re engaging with them, make sure they can’t get away from your brand.
Make your logo visible from the ground up on your trade show ads. Give it prominence in a sign that can be seen by all who approach. Ensure that employees have it pinned on their suits or stitched to their polos.
Trade show literature and hand-outs are a great way to make sure that material sticks with the potential customer when they leave.
Don’t: Put All Your Goods on Display
It might seem like a contradiction to the previous point, but do know when too much is too much. Build business marketing that is focused and targeted. Display the products or services that are key to your business, rather than trying to show off everything you can do.
Try to be minimalist where possible. You want to draw the eye to the things that matter most, not overwhelm a person’s visual cortex. Short and sweet is key for being memorable.
Do: Put Your Best Staff on the Job
Those who run your booth need to make a strong impression, too. It’s tempting to staff it with interns who might not be very familiar with the brand or the company and are nervous to talk to potential clients because of it. You want extroverted, fun people who can maintain positive energy throughout a long day of presenting.
Personnel should be dressed well, have in-depth knowledge of all the products, and have true presentation skills. These are people who engage the crowd and reach out to passersby. They should not wait for people to approach them or have a look on their faces like they can’t wait to go home.
Don’t: Make the Average Booth
It’s easy for many businesses to allocate a small budget for trade shows. Many set up a booth that looks like all the rest, giving it no additional effort from the marketing team. Boring brochures and an unimaginative setup are common sights at any trade show.
Create something truly unique. It doesn’t have to be an expensive showstopper that is loud and obnoxious. Just one clever idea that turns heads is enough to make you stand out.
Do: Have Giveaways and Activities
Engagement is never better when people get free stuff for listening to your spiel. But most trade show marketing focuses on boring crap that no one needs or wants: pencils and pens.
It may cost more in the end, but giving people stuff that matters really makes a difference. These can be samples of your product or even just some candies to hand out.
Engage your prospective clients with activities. Have games, or include some form of entertainment. This might add some to the budget, but the dividends it pays will be worth it.
Don’t: Do a Show Without Doing Research
The venue and history of the trade show where you participate matters, and will affect your strategy going in. Some trade shows err on the formal side. Others have a culture of upbeat exhibitions with in-depth participation.
There’s a good chance one trade show’s display will vary drastically from the last. One may have an entirely different class of clients than the next. If you show up pulling out all the stops at a show that doesn’t merit it, that could be a waste of money for your marketing budget.
Do: Maintain Contact With Prospective Clients
Don’t hand out literature and assume clients will contact you. Try to get their contact information so you can send promotions long after the day is through.
Invite them to sign up for an email newsletter or to follow you on social media. Bait them with free stuff, as mentioned above, to give them some incentive to follow. There’s a good chance they might forget given a busy life, so a reminder will be helpful.
Don’t: Show Up Late or Break Down the Exhibit Early
Showing up early and staying until closing isn’t just a show of professionalism. This gives you a good chance to meet with other vendors. Some of them may be competition, but many are potential clients and networking opportunities.
Expanding your network and reputation will be invaluable for the company’s future. There’s no better place to find people like this than at a trade show.
Market With Source Group
A trade show display is an excellent way to make a strong first impression on potential clients. Do make sure that your trade show is unique, engages passersby, and builds a strong image for your brand. Don’t staff it with the wrong people, or miss opportunities to get to know the people in adjoining exhibits.
Source Group is your solution for digital and publication marketing. We specialize in trade show solutions. Contact us today and make your trade show display one that is unforgettable.