Trade shows and exhibitions can be a very daunting task especially if it’s your first time as an exhibitor, but don’t panic there is a lot of preparation that can be done in advance to make sure you are ready when the big day comes. There is a trade show for almost every industry you can think of, and before planning to exhibit it’s a good idea to do some homework and visit some of the top events in your industry and if you can the event you are planning to exhibit at. Not only is it a great excuse for a day out of the office but it also helps you get a better idea of what other exhibitors (most likely your competitors) are already doing and how they are drawing in the crowds, then go away and make yours better!
Once you have decided on the trade show you would like to exhibit at, the next step is to identify your goals from the event. Some common goals at trade shows are to generate leads, make sales, or to launch/promote a new product. It is possible that you could achieve all three of these goals but it’s best practice to have one main focus for your stand at the trade show to ensure a clear message is given to your target audience. The biggest question I hear you asking is how do I get people on my stand after all this preparation? Well, these 5 top tips will help you attract attention and generate footfall to your stand to ensure that your exhibition is a successful one.
#1. It’s all about the first impressions.
Getting the design and layout of your stand makes a big difference in the number of people stopping by. Firstly, the design needs to be bold, bright and eye-catching, secondly, your branding must be at the forefront of the design. Your message needs to be clearly displayed, people hate guessing what it is you do, give it to them on a plate as they say. Good lighting and signs at every angle of your stand will help attract the attendees from every direction.
#2. Give them something to talk about.
Having a good looking stand is one thing but without any products, it would be wasted. When it comes to selecting the products or services you are going to display at the trade show, it is important to consider who your target audience is and how you can appeal to all of their senses. Think about products they can taste, smell, touch, or listen too, as people love to experience the products rather than just look at them. Demonstrations or entertainment of some sorts are a great way to get people involved in your stand and products and when a few people start to gather many others will follow as curiosity always attracts. Interactive stands are great for creating a buzz around your stand but don’t forget to consider a few things first like venue regulations and the cost implications and go from there.
#3. People like People.
As well as the right products you need the right people and this can sometimes be tricky. There is nothing worse when you are walking around an event and look at a stand where all the employees are sitting on their phones, or talking amongst themselves not really showing any interest in the event or the attendees. The other extreme, which you also don’t want is an overly pushy sales rep who reeks of desperation trying to drag anybody and everybody onto the stand to sell them something. The balance is all in the communication!! People are attracted to other people who look interested in the same thing they are, so ensure you have a representative on your stand who has a genuine interest in the products or services.
#4. Don’t let them forget you.
Create a win-win situation by offering your visitors incentives to stay on your exhibition stand such as competitions or promotions, in exchange for a little bit of data or even just a ‘tell a friend’ deal to help get your brand name out there. This will not only help attract attention to your stand but also will lead on to future contact with potential sale leads (hopefully if you get no.3 right). Running competitions in advance is also a great way of guaranteeing some visitors to your stand, by offering a ‘pre-event’ promotion, for example, give away some tickets to the event itself, this works great to encourage your current customers to come and pay you a visit at the exhibition. Pre-event promotions are perfect to highlight any special discounts you might be offering at that specific event and will get people talking about your brand before visiting the show. Competitions at the event on your exhibition stand are a great way of attracting the large crowds, as people will gather to watch or to find out what is going on, so make sure you’re offering a great prize to get the visitors interested and be clever with the layout of the stand so that the attention doesn’t distract from your main goal.
#5. It’s all about the Freebie
Being an exhibitor these days, you cannot escape the dreaded promotional ‘freebie’ conversation, and yes there are thousands of options, and yes the pen is still a common favourite. However, just to play devil’s advocate here, a free pen is great if that potential client is in need of a pen, if they’re not it’s likely to get thrown into the bottom of a free bag they’ve also picked up at the event. The purpose of these promotional giveaways at events is to create that WOW factor and lasting impressions with your visitors. When choosing your promotional products to take to the event think about the three U’s; Useful, Unique and Unforgettable. Think about what your clients and potential leads actually want and need, your aim is for them to take your promotional gift away from the event and remember you by it so when the time comes for them to need your products or services your brand is at the forefront of their mind.
In summary, if you want to attract the crowds to your stand at your next trade show or exhibition, you will have to think outside of the box. Get creative with your stand design, make sure you have friendly people on the stand who know enough about your company to answer any question that might be thrown at them and give your visitors a reason to visit your stand whether it be through a competition or the world’s best promotional giveaway. Ensure you have researched the event and that it is relevant to your business, and that what you are taking to the trade show is actually relevant to those people attending. So my final bit of advice is to know your target audience and have clearly defined goals for your trade show and with our great tips above you’ll be guaranteed a successful stand.
Good luck and feel free to share your favourite techniques to attracting attention to your stand in the comments below, and if all else fails, get a puppy (who doesn’t love puppies right?).
Ready to get on the exhibition train to success? Then call us or send us an email today to discuss your Promotional Products or Stand Display needs for any event you have coming up this year.