Before you get into the details of how to stand out, it’s essential to get into the correct frame of mind. You have to believe that you can attract attention and you must want to be different, so you do stand out. Some marketing gurus and trade show veterans simply shake their heads when they see many of the booth spaces. Companies seem to talk a lot about being creative and being interested in innovation, but when it’s time to put those ideas to the test, the story changes.
What’s the purpose of a trade show? This question may be too general.
It might be better to ask what you and your company expect from being part of a trade show. This will get you closer to actual results. For example, when you choose to exhibit at a show, you should expect to generate lucrative business from clients who are part of your target audience. Also, the employees who operate the space during the show should bring back valuable information about what worked and what didn’t work.
A Closer Look
Dig a bit more deeply into the first benefit that you should expect from investing in a trade show presence. If you don’t go to this extravaganza with the primary purpose of generating leads that will bring in business, you are probably wasting time and money. With that in mind, how do you make your business stand out in the larger show?
First and foremost, don’t use your booth as a haven or a crutch. Don’t just stand there and hope that the right people will wander by. Maybe you should forget the time-worn booth idea and have a large and comfortable hotel space or suite and invite some potential clients. If you choose this path, make sure that the people you invite are part of a targeted audience.
While this may seem risky from a money-investment viewpoint, the truth is that you should take risks and have fun when you are trying to stand out at a trade show. Don’t try to be the biggest. Try to be the best, regarding generating “buzz” among those in attendance. Start several months ahead of the show date and put together a small team of productive individuals who aren’t afraid to break through the barriers.
Some successful trade show marketers compare the show floor to the midway of a fair. You have to have something happening that will attract people, of course. But you also have to have something to hold them. When they step away, they’ll want to tell others about it. To accomplish this, you should probably start planning for the next show the day that you return from this year’s edition.
That’s the time for the trade show team to not only share the information they bring back but also to review it and discuss it so that it can be used to prepare for the next time out. Don’t flood booth visitors with “we have a lot of information and products.” For example, if one or two products or pieces of information were the focus of a show, make sure you narrow your presentations to those two feature items. Bottom line: focus and have some fun.