Expert Trade Show Display Industry Advice on Exhibit Marketing
Get more sales at your next show!
Success at your next trade show requires more than just showing up with a professional backwall. Professional marketing talent and trade show graphic design is needed to deliver your message effectively in order to achieve sales growth. At Displays on the Net we don’t just sell hardware. We deliver results.
Professional Graphic Design Services
From determining the basic layout to the actual creation of the highest quality display graphics, we save you money and help you deliver your message clearly and effectively on the show floor. Your clients will notice the difference this professional service makes on how you look! Industry Standard- $90-$110 per hour. Displays on the Net package price is $450
Understanding the Trade Show Environment
It’s important to understand the factors that are present in a trade show or convention environment as you create your marketing strategy. In a general sense, Marketing Communication relates to information conveyed in all kinds of environments. For example, airline magazines are geared to a captive audience. There aren’t many places to escape to on a plane so it’s easier for a writer or graphic designer to include detail that takes more concentration. But the convention floor is a different animal. The show floor is a microcosm of the world. It’s a smaller version where time and space are compressed. It’s a great environment to conduct business, where buyers and sellers can meet and exchange ideas and begin forming relationships. However, it’s difficult for the same reasons. That’s why effective trade show display design requires a shrewd focus on clarity, consistency, brevity and focus. An effective presentation specifically created for this type of venue will contain these elements.
Where to Start in Creating an Effective Trade Show Exhibit
The first step in creating an effective exhibit design is analysis. Typically a Trade Show Exhibit House or Ad Agency assists in consulting with this part. You know what they say about consultants. The client goes to the consultant for answers. The consultant asks the right questions, and guides the client toward the salient points, gets the answers then tells the client what he just said. That’s a great consultation that works. It’s hard to skip that step because most of us can’t see the forest for the trees! That analysis focuses on the corporate identity, image and marketing position of the client. Once established, the next area to focus on is the Tradeshow Marketing Message. What is the subtle essence of what you offer? What does it do for your clients? Does it help them organize, save time, work more efficiently? These are the sorts of things you can do for them that they want to know about.
Delivering Your Trade Show Marketing Message
Once you have determined the specifics of what you want to communicate based on an objective analysis, you’ll want to establish a strategy to accomplish that, taking into account the unique aspects of the trade show floor that requires a special focus. Marketing objectives include delivering your corporate identity, reinforcing it so it is memorable, and creating an association with your identity. What you associate with your identity must be what your target market wants from you and it must be communicated in a way that is appealing to them. So make your corporate logo big and prominent up top. Repeat it in the exhibit graphics below that to help viewers associate what you can do for them and from whom they can get that support. Do this with pictures and a small amount of text and ideally, the images that come from your existing advertising campaign. Using collateral material or web site images, create consistency. The repetition is key!
Making your Exhibit work for you!
Effective trade show marketing is a science. Novices often have an idea what they want to show but that sometimes results in trying to make the exhibit both market AND sell and that just doesn’t work. Remember that the Trade Show Exhibit is for marketing, it’s the job of the people to sell. Attendees’ eyes glaze over at the sight of a bunch of information they can’t possibly absorb in an environment as visually competitive as the show floor. Your exhibit needs to say who you are and what you can do in a simple way. A number of criteria determine effective Tradeshow Exhibit Marketing Strategies. Who are you wishing to attract? Your sales prospects are your target market. From their point of view, they see the world from the position of their own wants and needs rather than viewing the world from your perspective. That’s the way you need to communicate to your sales prospects, from their point of view.
You will want first of all to make yourself attractive to your prospects. The number one factor in attractiveness is proximity. OK, you’re at the show that’s taken care of. The next most important factor in attractiveness is similarity. How about a photograph of someone who looks like a typical person in your target market, at their work place. They will instinctively take note of that immediately. The next thing they will notice is your brief text that very succinctly says what you can do for them. Short and sweet is the way to go with that. People can only absorb and retain so much, especially at a show.
What to do at the show
After that, it’s up to you to confidently (but not pushy or artificially) engage prospects in the aisle, qualify them quickly and follow up after the show. While that, along with effective Trade Show Graphic Design, is the subject for another chapter, one thing to help you sell at the show, is the three-minute rule. That’s the amount of time you should plan to spend engaging a prospect, qualifying them and recording what they need from you and what you can use to remember them by for post show follow up.
Do’s and Don’ts on the Show Floor
In addition to the need to engage attendees in the aisle from the front of your trade show booth or convention booth space, several important aspects of how you appear are listed below. Here is a brief summary. (More detailed info is available from the Industry links at the end of this page)
- Wear professional attire, appropriate to the industry or tradeshow environment. Ideally you will wear clothing similar to the people you wish to attract although notch above that says you are professional, if the appropriate attire is casual.
- Stand near the aisle with your hands at your side but don’t be stiff.
- Don’t sit down on a chair.
- Don’t put your hands in your pocket or clasped together in front or behind you.
- Ask questions to qualify prospects. Spend time with the people you wish to business with and the answers to your questions will tell you.
- If a prospect is not a good one, hand them a business card or small brochure with your left hand while reaching out with your right hand to shake hands. Tell them thanks for visiting your booth and they will walk away. It’s the polite way to be able to move on the next person.
- If you need a table in your 10′ space, try to put it on the left or right side. Putting it in the front along the aisle is a psychological barrier between you and your potential client. We hope you’ll find these tips helpful at your next trade show!