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How to Attract Massive Crowds at Your Next Trade Show

August 04, 2015

Turn Your Trade Show Booth Into an Action-Based Branding Experience

Static trade show booths are boring. How many times have you walked the show floor and witnessed empty booths who’s staffers were hypnotically gazing down at their iPhones?

With trade shows functioning as one of your company’s largest marketing investments, a passive operation is an unacceptable choice.

Sure, handing out pens, stress balls and beer koozies with your logo is a nice gesture, but let me ask you this: How many times have you opted to do business with a company because of a pen? Trade Show giveaways might have your logo printed on them, but they do not convey your company’s message, product information, or brand. We are going to shake things up a bit more than that.

Time after time, we’ve witnessed potential leads scurry from booth to booth in a quest to collect every possible freebie at the trade show or event, all without stopping to experience the company’s message.

So what can you do to stop them in their tracks, create a constant flow of leads, and deliver your company’s message?

Here Are 5 Easy-to-Implement Ideas for Creating an Action-Based-Branded Trade Show Booth:

  1. Involve Social Media: If you choose to have giveaways, make attendees earn it. For example, giveaways are only given to those who watch your presentation, or to those who post, or hashtag something about your company or booth. Everybody is carrying a smart phone these days and are happy to do it. This can turn one lead into thousands.
  2. Create a Plan of Action: Your trade show team needs to go into the show with a direct, strategic plan. Know exactly the type of results that you want, and then aim higher. Set a written goal for the event and get the entire team on board. Passive trade show booths are a waste of your time and money. Each staffer should know exactly the message, key points and which ideal leads to target for the show. Their presentations must be pre-written, rehearsed and perfected. Skyline offers a free book called Better Booth Staffing for Greater Trade Show Results to help prepare your team.
  3. Create an Experience: Try to incorporate your company’s perception, awareness, and branding into forms that reach all 5 senses. Let them see, feel and hear your product or message in action. If you want to include taste and smell, consider giving away branded treats or snacks at your booth. By creating a full sensual experience, your brand will be forever forged in their memories.
  4. No Chairs for Staffers: Having chairs at your trade show booth makes it too enticing for your staff to sit down. Seeing a booth with a seated staff does not convey an invitation to enter. Chairs, specifically for attendees, are a different story and can be useful. It gives them a place to sit during your presentation, and can also become a place to take a rest, relax and socialize. The more people around your booth the better. A crowd always attracts a crowd.
  5. Entertainment: Hire a professional entertainer who can combine their skill with your company’s message and branding into short presentations throughout the day. Magicians, jugglers, etc. are expert speakers and communicators. Many will seamlessly combine your message into visual ‘mini-shows’ that will attract crowds and convert them to leads. According to research conducted by Exhibit Surveys, Inc. of Red Bank, New Jersey, live demonstrations and entertainment are the most effective methods for attracting booth visitors in an exhibition hall. Moreover, magicians receive the highest ratings for product identification and recognition. Let them gather the crowd and then pass them onto your sales team.

Turning your trade show booth into an action-based branding experience is a vital step to ensure maximum ROI. Create a plan, think big, and follow through!

trade show booth
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