by Display Wizard (UK)
Many small businesses are afraid of investing in a trade show presence for fear of walking away without a single fresh lead. It’s an understandable fear ñ after all, it’s far from cheap to book space at a trade show, prepare your exhibit, and train your staff to operate your stand.
However, with risk comes opportunity, and trade shows are rich with opportunities to expand your business and take on new customers. Trade show leads are some of the most valuable that you’ll ever generate, making it essential that your trade show booth is designed to attract as many visitors as possible.
These five tips will help you get more traffic to your trade show stand, allowing your sales and technical staff to get more leads, close more deals, and generate more new business than you’ve ever experienced.
1. Have a very clear message
There’s nothing worse than a trade show booth that doesn’t clearly define what it’s about. If you’re investing in an exhibition booth, banner stands, and sales material, it’s essential that passers-by understand exactly what you can offer as they see you.
Try to reduce your company’s core benefits to a short and simple phrase. If you’re a marketing company, try ëGet More Leads!’ If you’re a product supplier, try ëThe Best Quality, The Best Prices.’ Your marketing materials should immediately tell people what you do and how you’re better than the competition.
2. Staff your booth with knowledgeable, friendly people
Many companies avoid putting their technical staff in a trade show booth for fear of losing sales. Instead, they fill their booths with salespeople that, despite being great at closing deals, aren’t as knowledgeable on the fine details of their products.
The best way to generate great leads from trade shows is to staff your booth with friendly, knowledgeable staff. Avoid sacrificing technical knowledge for pure sales skills. After all, the goal here is to generate leads, not just close big deals in person.
3. Make your brand as visible as possible
Most trade show visitors are going to talk with several different companies offering similar services. As such, it’s important that your brand takes up a more prominent spot in their memory than those of your competitors.
As well as emphasizing your product or service’s core benefits in your display stand, try to incorporate your branding ñ your logo, your name, and even your mascot ñ as a major part of your booth. Google faces stiff competition in the mobile market, but it always makes an impression at events by displaying its famous Android mascot.
4. Advertise to your core audience before the event
Inc. Magazine’s Christine Lagorio makes an interesting point about trade shows: 70 percent of all attendees plan their meetings before they arrive. If your business isn’t on their ëto visit’ list, how can you expect to compete against businesses that are?
One of the best ways to encourage attendees to drop by your booth is by running a contest. Texas Instruments, the well-known technology company, used this strategy when it asked attendees to tweet a picture of themselves at the company’s booth at ESC Boston for the chance to win an iPod Nano.
5. Get your SWAG ready
No, not that type of swag. SWAG is stuff we all get and it’s a staple of successful trade show booths. From coupons to plush toys, having useful SWAG is a great way to give prospects a lasting reminder of what your business can do for them.
One of the best ways to capitalize on the word of mouth effects of SWAG is to offer a unique giveaway. Most companies stick to the basics ñ coffee cups, books, and other generic freebies. If you can offer something unique, you’ll generate huge amounts of word of mouth feedback amongst attendees.
A great example of this is marketing company AKMG’s Ad:Tech giveaway. Instead of boring SWAG, they gave attendees customized skateboards. The result: a surge of positive feedback on Twitter and popular advertising industry blogs.
ABOUT: This article was written by Display Wizard, one of the UK’s leading designers of display stands for hotels, retailers, and trade shows. Visit their website to learn more about the most effective ways to market your business at a trade show.