Guest Post by Sarah Bridgewater
Trade shows are packed with companies just like yours, all competing for the eyes and minds of the same target audience. To get the crowd’s attention, you’ll need to employ a variety of techniques that help your booth stand out. Here are a few simple ways you can improve your booth, your position, and your pitch to win more attention from your audience.
Make the Message Pure and Simple
If you try to detail every part of your pitch in the visual elements of your booth, you’ll fail to hold your potential visitors in place. The reason is simple: Trade shows are already overcrowded with information, and if a visitor can’t see both the message of your company and a reason why they should stop by, they’ll simply move on.
Your message should be immediately clear and should give your target audience a reason to come talk to your employees.
Let Your Employees Shoulder the Pitch
While the design of your booth is vital, your employees or you, if you’re operating the booth are the ones who will seal the deal. Make sure that your employees are familiar with the pitch, confident in their presentation, and able to answer all basic customer questions. While it may seem like a page out of Comic Con or other less-than-businesslike conventions, there’s no shame in using an attractive female presenter to draw in potential visitors.
Partner with Non-Competing Vendors
While the trade show will almost certainly have several direct competitors, you can also find a variety of companies presenting a complimentary service. View these companies as your allies, and work with them to reach a broader audience. Simply referring people to other booths is a great start, but you can go the extra mile by creating a vendor map, stamp card, or even a scavenger hunt.
Give Them Something to Remember You By
Each visitor who stops by to chat will be having a similar conversation with at least a few of your competitors. Even if you manage to stand out from the competition, you need to retain the visitor’s attention even after the convention is over. Fliers and business cards are a tried and true approach, but modern techniques such as having visitors provide their email address for a follow up message from your company can be even more effective.
Set Up Your Booth Close to Competitors
Have you ever noticed how fast food places often open new locations close to other fast food options? They do this because it helps the area develop a reputation for providing that service. All the companies in that area benefit from increased traffic. You can use this technique at your trade show by setting up close to competing companies, allowing a greater flow of traffic to all companies involved and allowing visitors to quickly comparison shop. From there, all you have to do is be sure your pitch is the best.
Avoid the Common Mistakes
Here are a few items you’ll want to keep in mind:
- Don’t position your booth close to the entryway.
- Don’t make your pitch any longer than it has to be.
- Don’t make promises you can’t deliver on.
- Don’t use bland colors or the font Papyrus (ever).
- If you hand out promotional materials at the trade show, be sure your booth number is on every single page of the materials you hand out.
Mastering your trade show presence takes time and experience, but these tips will help you find the right footing, ensnare visitor attention, and start developing relationships with new customers and partners.
About the Author: Sarah Bridgewater has been covering stories related to the trade show industry for over a decade. When she isn’t covering topics like booth design for trade shows she can be found at home with her family or training for her upcoming triathlon.
Valerie’s motto and favorite saying is: “Impact is not created by big budgets, impact is created by innovative marketing ideas!”
Valerie is a Registered Nurse and the author of three books, Aging Answers (2003), The Senior Solution (2007) and Priceless Caregiving (2009). Her adventure in internet marketing began as a self-promotion experiment and ended up becoming a full time marketing consulting business for the elder care market.
Valerie has appeared on national television (Today Show), has hosted her own local radio show, and has been interviewed for dozens of publications and radio shows across the country regarding her business and the business of elder care.
She fast became the foremost authority in driving sales via the internet, seminars, and e-mail for senior service providers and elder care entrepreneurs.While Valerie’s best known for her expertise in marketing, her students share that her biggest impact comes from her ability to make things happen quickly, even on a small budget.
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