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Make Your Trade Show Booth More Memorable With Great Demos

January 10, 2011

By Mike Thimmesch

Want to be remembered by visitors to your trade show exhibit? Then do a great product demo in your booth.

This really hit home for me when I recently read new research about memorable exhibits shown by Joyce McKee on the CEIR blog. While Joyce’s article focused on the changes in impact the various reasons make in exhibit memorability over the last ten years, I was struck by this important insight:

Product demos are the most important element you can control in your exhibit to create more memorable exhibits.

Here’s why. The top two reasons for remembering exhibits, “Product Interest” and “Well-Known Company” are factors mostly dependent on what your company has done before the show and outside the exhibit hall. (See the chart below.) So, as the exhibit manager you can have less immediate effect on these two (although you can affect it long-term).

But product demonstrations take full advantage of the face-to-face, interactive trade show environment.  A good product demo can set you apart from other exhibitors who just sit there, even if they have a popular product and a well-known company.

This is jump-up-and-down, shout-it-from-the-show-hall-rooftops news. This is where you can make your trade show marketing more powerful, more memorable, and more effective than your competitors.

So if you are not doing a demo in your booth, create one. And if you are, congrats – now make it even better.

To help you, here are 7 elements that make a great trade show demonstration:

1.  Motion: The eye is drawn to movement, so use motion to catch those eyes as they walk down the aisle. You can even start a demo before there’s anyone in your booth, to help draw people in and gather a crowd.

2.  Makes your benefits obvious: Do you know what are the most popular and unique benefits of your product? That’s good.  Now create a demo that makes those main benefits obvious to your prospects, too.

3.  Proves your product works: Your prospects are skeptical about the marketing claims they read on your website and in your brochures. At a trade show you have the perfect opportunity to overcome their skepticism by demonstrating how your product really does what it says it does.

4.  Interactivity: If you can get your booth visitor involved in the demo, by either a discussion or actually getting hands-on with your product, they will engage more of their brain (and thus memory), and also be more likely to believe your claims as they are experiencing them themselves.

5.  Practice: Train your exhibit staff how to do the demo, so that it flows smoothly and without a hitch. And train more than just one person, so that person can take breaks, or if your booth is large enough, you can do demonstrations in multiple places.

6. Technology: Especially for services, there are products your booth visitors can’t actually hold in their hands. For those products you can use presentation technologies to demonstrate your benefits and to get people engaged.

7.  Space: Rather than consider a demo after your trade show booth is built, design your exhibit from the start with the demo in mind, giving it space, lighting, supporting graphics, and any architectural elements needed, such as a stage, table, or kiosk.

Do a great demo and you’ll entice more people into your booth, overcome their natural skepticism, and be remembered after the show.




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