Trade shows and events can be powerful marketing tools: according to EMI & Mosaic, 74% of attendees report a more positive view of the company promoted at an event after. So how do you make sure your trade show display shows good ROI? In my view, there are four core principles of a great trade show display: professionalism, immersion, memorability, and uniqueness.
Three words: do your homework. At a trade show, flashiness can be great, but first and foremost you need to show that you’re a professional and can be trusted to provide the service you’re advertising.
Your display should be inviting and organized. Greet your audience with a smile in clean, branded apparel. Hand out print collateral that is well-designed and on quality stock. Being professional is often in the small details.
Doing your homework also involves researching the rules of the trade show. What size is the backboard? Does your display have to be made of any particular kind of paper or card? Are you going to arrive with a lovely video then realize you can’t use it because there’s no electrical outlet in your space? Are any particular materials or tools forbidden inside the venue?
When a potential buyer or partner is looking at your display, you want their attention on you and your business, not on some distraction — but this can be difficult to achieve in a busy exhibition hall. If you have a video but no one can hear the audio because of all the noise in the hall, consider either a video that doesn’t require sound or providing headphones for visitors so they can focus.
Accessibility is another important facet of immersion: if someone has to peer to make out the text of your poster, they’re not immersed in your message. For that reason, be careful to set the text on your posters large enough and not to use colors color-blind people commonly can’t distinguish — and to look into accessibility to find many more ideas.
There’s not much point in a visitor liking your stand if they don’t remember anything about you or it. This is where your brochures and business cards come in, to provide a link between that experience and their next steps. To draw and keep attention, depending on the tone of the event, you can use creative colors (read more here about using color in marketing) and lighting, and even logoed balloons.
What impression will they get approaching the booth? What feeling will they have when they leave? Will they remember it as a great trade show display?
The event experience is an opportunity to communicate creatively and intimately with your audience. It is also a chance to show off your brand’s unique personality, use environmental design to your advantage, and deliver a one-of-a-kind interaction.
You need to reflect what’s unique about your company, and you can do that through a mix of old and new technology (e.g. a QR code on your display), and promotional products that reflect your brand spirit.
Stay tuned to the blog for more on how to choose effective promotional products!
What has worked for your event experience?