You have literally given everything you have into designing and organizing your trade show display. Now it’s time to consider how you’re going to attract and engage with potential clients. After all, you don’t want to end up standing there all alone, right? In a vast sea of trade show displays, you have to convince attendees to visit your booth instead of your neighbors or the booth across the aisle. You can do this in a number of ways, but the more creative the means, the better. Anything from giveaways, to swag, to social media contests, are all fair game. In this article, we will explore 8 trade show display tips that will help you win the hearts and minds of the attendees…I mean, your future clients.
So, what exactly is the purpose of a trade show? Trade shows are critical for growing your business and increasing awareness about what you do. In addition to acquiring new customers, trade shows are also a great time to check out the competition and see what they’re doing. So it is vital that your business shines. In order to succeed, you need to adjust your presence at the trade show and on social media so you can gain the most exposure possible.
Here are 8 trade show display tips that will help your company stand out and make an indelible impression.
8 Trade Show Display Tips to Engage with Your Audience
Standing out at a trade show is difficult, especially if you can’t afford to spend a king’s ransom on your trade show booth. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to stand out that won’t break the bank.
1.) Reach Out to Your Mailing List
Trade shows are an excellent time to engage with your current contacts. Send them an email letting them know that you’ll be attending and where they can find you. While customer feedback is a huge asset, reaching out to them is even more valuable. Remember that most professionals attend trade shows in with friends or colleagues who could become valuable prospects.
2.) Connect with Bloggers, Trade Publications & Influencers Before the Event
You likely have some awesome news to share before you attend a trade show. Maybe you’re launching a new product, kicking off a new campaign, or conducting research for a future product or service. Regardless of what you want to share with the industry, make sure you develop an awesome PR campaign.
It never hurts to reach out to bloggers, industry influencers, and trade publications before the event. This is a great way to stir up business before the event even starts.
Don’t shy away from investing in an advertisement. Even a small mention before a show could set things into motion for a big deal. Take the time to draft a well-written press release for the event and prepare to reap the benefits.
3.) Schedule Social Content and Mention the Location of Your Display
Scheduling social media content to publish during the trade show takes the pressure off of you during the event itself. You should still take the time to publish live content during the event, but there’s plenty of content that you can publish in advance.
You can use social media tools to set up and schedule content in advance. Some examples of content that you can schedule in advance include reminders for demos and contests taking place during the event. You want to build up some hype before the event. Doing so will make people interested in your booth and will increase the chances of them stopping by your display during the trade show.
You’ll also want to remind attendees that you are at the show and let them know where your display is located. Your customers and followers are likely in attendance, so make the most of this chance to meet and gain valuable feedback.
4.) Use a Mascot to Attract Visitors to Your Trade Show Display
This doesn’t apply to every brand since not every brand has a mascot. However, if you do, why not show them off during trade shows to attract attendees?
People love having their photos taken with mascots. Furthermore, lots of selfies with your mascot likely means lots of photos featuring your brand on social media!
5.) Set Up a Photo Booth
A photo booth is a great way to produce user-generated content on social media. Most photo booths provide the option to auto-publish to your social accounts with a hashtag. You can also provide attendees with the option to post the pictures to their social accounts with your branded hashtag. Due to the hashtag, the posts will likely show up immediately on both your feed and the attendee’s feed.
Including a photo booth as part of your trade show display is a great way to attract attendees and open a dialogue. Yes, anyone can snap a photo with their smartphone, but photo booths encourage attended to get physically closer to your display. Furthermore, attendees will have fun and will likely share their photos with their social media following.
Props are an essential element of any trade show photo booth. They make it fun and help even the most camera-shy people get into the spirit.
It’s a wise idea to have a member of your team close by to encourage people to dress up, let loose and take photos. Your team should also ask them to share their photos via social media and both tag your company and include the event’s hashtag.
You can provide attendees with a hard copy of their funny photos. You can include some form of branding on these hard copies, such as a watermark of some sort. Branded pictures shared on social media will extend your brand’s reach at the event. Your branded photos will also likely attract more attendees to your display.
6.) Include a Social Media Wall Display
One way to encourage attendees to share their experience at your display and engage with your brand is to make it fun. You should consider including a social media wall as part of your display. Visitors will get a kick out of trying to get their photo on the board and your brand will get free social media marketing. It’s a win-win for everyone!
You’ll want to carefully select a hashtag that represents your brand and potentially the event you’re attending. Next, you’ll want to create a social media wall. They’re easy to set up. Furthermore, you can style your social media wall with your brand’s logo and color scheme.
You can showcase your social media wall via a monitor, projector, or any internet-ready device linked to a laptop or tablet.
A social media wall display is a great way to attract attendees since it brings people together and helps start conversations.
7.) Organize Contests & Giveaways
Who doesn’t love free stuff!? This is why hosting contests and handing out branded swag at your trade show display is a brilliant idea.
If you’re selling a physical product, then a trade show is a great opportunity to generate a healthy dose of buzz around it by giving a few free samples away. You can also set up a raffle and make a big deal when you select the winner.
The major benefit of contests and raffles is that you’ll collect a ton of leads. All you need to do is ask attendees to toss their business cards into a bowl or ask them to fill out a form with their contact info. Make sure you make it clear that entering your contest implies consent to receive your marketing newsletters.
You can even set up an Instagram giveaway before the event and announce the winner at the actual event during one of the breaks. Ultimately, you’ll get to meet the participants and genuinely connect with them.
8.) Keep Your Display Accessible, Informative & Relaxing
It is critical that you make your trade show display accessible. Too much furniture or a cramped layout can make it difficult to engage with prospects and current clients.
You’ll want to make the most of the space you’re given and make it easy to access your staff, product, and promotional materials.
Remember, your team is the most vital aspect of your trade show display. Engaging and informative team members are the best way to sell your business. There are few better ways to engage with your target audience than with direct product engagement. In short, let your product speak for itself – less is more.
Trade shows are hectic and can be exhausting at times. You can make life a little easier for attendees by offering complimentary coffee or charging stations for their devices. Both are simple ways to attract more traffic. When people stop for a coffee or to charge their devices, you can gather testimonials about your product and use this user-generated content to promote your product after the event.
Marketers love to measure stuff, which is why trade show displays are all about results. The more attendees you attract to your display, the more leads you’ll collect, and the more sales your team can close!