What Type of Trade Shows Displays Work Best

What Type of Trade Show Displays Work Best

Trade shows can serve to be dynamic environments that kick start the next wave of growth for your business or they can be a tedious waste of time and money. The key to success is largely in your preparation and presentation on the showroom floor – and that doesn’t happen by accident. Being properly equipped with the right materials and engaging display are critical to your success.


Start With An Eye-Catching Display

If you have ever attended a trade show or convention as a customer, you will quickly recognize that there is a lot of competition for your attention. The space can be crowded and noisy, and with a room full of marketers each vying for success, unless you are in the market for a specific product or service, it may be difficult for a vendor that you hadn’t considered to get your attention.


It’s important to think like a customer when you develop your trade show display. The banners or signage that you have to identify your business and get the show patrons to stop for even a moment to explore it in greater depth could be the one chance to you have to grab their attention and tell them more about you and what you do.

The cost and design of a standing display that spans the full width of your booth has evolved greatly over the past generation and now, with advances on printing and materials as well, there is no excuse not to show up with a full color display that includes striking imagery that is sure to capture the attention of even the most passive show patrons.

Your imagery should speak to your audience. If you are in the travel business, you might want to include an image which shows the view from a lawn chair on a tropical beach – both to draw upon the desires of people to travel, but also to create a stark contrast to the congestion and chaos of the trade show environment itself. This might prompt people to step into your booth as though they have found a temporary oasis in an otherwise hustle-and-bustle setting.

When considering your options for a display, consider how many members of your team will be involved with set up and tear down. Look for hardware that is lightweight, comes in a wheeled case, and is easy for one person to set up quickly and with minimal effort.


Practice Your Elevator Pitch

With so many sights and sounds to compete against, you may only have one chance to grab a patron’s attention. If you aren’t prepared to share your message quickly and concisely, you may lose out on the opportunity to close the deal and land a new client.  Give careful consideration to how you will represent your product in 30 seconds or less. That summary should let the customer know if they need more information, or if their time would be better spent elsewhere.

Yes, printed material and marketing brochures are great for the client to take away and keep you in mind, but they are only going to hold onto that paper if they have made a genuine connection with you at the event. Don’t lead with your “take away” content and district them from your message. Lead with your pitch first, then support your message with your hand out material.


Promotional Items

If you’ve spent any time at trade shows, you’ll recognize that there are some people who attend these events specifically to mine for the free prize draws and promotional items that are available for give away. While those types of event patrons may not be who you hope is picking up your products, the fact is that people love to get something for free and a branded promotional item can have a strong appeal to get people to your booth where you have the chance to engage them in greater detail.

While as a business owner, you may be considering the cost of your marketing material, so that you can purchase in mass volumes to reach a wider audience, it is important also to consider the originality and usefulness of the product. The relevance of the item to your business or to your clients is also important to consider. If you are a medical company that deals in supplies for those who are suffering from cancer, you may not want to put your logo on an ashtray.

In terms of usefulness, one product that may be sure to survive the event and make it back into the customer’s home is a canvas tote bag. In a trade show environment, patrons are picking up brochures, magazines, catalogs, promotional items from other vendors – by the time they get to you, they may simply have their hands full. A canvas bag is a thoughtful item that you can offer or patrons might seek out, referring others to you as they get overwhelmed with items as well.

Pens, refrigerator magnets and keychains are also popular as they are small, portable, easily carried or stashed in a pocket. But before you commit to these items, you may want to consider what other booths may have to offer. If you’re offering the same thing, or worse, a lesser quality item, you may not help your cause.

Other popular items now include mobile technology devices – computer memory sticks are popular as they allow you to brand a handy devices that many working people need readily at hand for personal and professional use. They are sure to hold onto this item and see it regularly. One of the added benefits of the memory stick strategy is that you can pre-load the device with material about your business – electronic versions of brochures, photographs, and more can be put into the user’s hands and viewed any time that they plug the device into a computer port.


Mobile tech has continued to change the promotional product market. Now, options like charge cords for phones or tablets, or other similar accessories are gaining increasing popularity as businesses look to be seen as relevant, current and hip to evolving trends.


Know Your Competition

For many trade shows, the vendors will be issued a layout of the floor space with a map identifying where their booth is located. For event organizers, this is intended to help with a more efficient move in and set up in advance of the show opening. However, if you only use this material to figure out your game plan for set up and teardown, you are missing an opportunity.

Take the time to see which businesses are going to be in neighboring booths, find out where your competitors are set up and consider your placement in your marketing strategy for the event. This may also help to inform what types of promotional products and materials you bring with you. This might also inspire how you decorate your booth to best set yourself apart from your neighbors, or draw upon shared demographics from the neighboring businesses displayed. If you are selling ATV’s and your neighbor is a camping retailer, there could be some mutually beneficial collaboration through advance coordination.

Create a “one stop shop” convenience to inspire more on floor sales.


Complacency is a Killer

Probably the most important thing you can bring to a trade show is your undivided attention for the patrons. Trade show traffic flows in waves and during the slow periods at any event, it can become easy to get distracted by your phone or tablet to check e-mails, scroll your social media feed, or respond to text messages.

While this may feel like being efficient as a multi-tasker, it conveys a complacent and dismissive attitude to passing clients, who may simply pass you by undetected. Find ways to remain engaged and attentive to the traffic on the trade floor and eliminate distractions. Should you find yourself in a position where may you have to manage business at your office remotely while representing your brand in your booth – schedule a partner to attend with you or to take over at key points throughout the day to give you an opportunity to refresh, tend to business, and reduce distraction from the task at hand.


Need Help Getting Started?

If you are just getting into the trade show game to market your business, getting started with the right resource materials and products can be quite overwhelming. At Laser Screen Printing we have worked with many business owners in your same predicament to create striking, visual displays and memorable promotional products to make your next trade show experience a success.

We welcome you to get in touch with us and share your challenges, ideas and needs to help us get you started on the path to success. Let’s get working on your jaw-dropping, customer-inspiring trade show package today.

Stand Out From the Crowd At Your Next Trade Show

A trade show can be one of the most dynamic and exciting environments to showcase your business.  The energy is electric and the pulse of the event beats at a high tempo, but it is easy to get lost in the shuffle if you don’t arrive prepared and ready to introduce your brand and product to hundreds or thousands of new potential customers.  Among a field of your competitors, how can you be sure to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate a measurable return on your investment for participation?  We find that many of our clients getting ready for their first Edmonton trade show or for their first foray outside of the city have questions about how they can maximize their investment of time and money at trade shows.

Here’s some of the best advice that we can suggest:

Make a Game Plan Before The Show

Participation in a trade show shouldn’t be an expense on your ledger that you simply have to write off as a marketing expense.  Just like any other day in the office, taking your business on the road to a trade show should represent opportunities for you to make at least as much in sales as you would be not having visibility on site.  If not, it may not be worth your investment of both time and money.  While show promoters won’t guarantee the volume of sales that you can secure as part of their show, advancing your business requires more than just the exposure that these events can offer.

In advance of the event, market your involvement to your customers and your following on social media.  You may also want to send out an e-mail to some of your key contacts to make them aware that you will be one of the exhibitors on site.  This provides a great opportunity for you to promote an exclusive promotion that will be available only at the show to inspire interest for people to attend and connect with you.  Get creative – maybe you want to offer a bonus promotion to existing clients as well as something introductory for new customers that are finding out about you for the first time.

You should also take time to educate yourself about which of your own direct competitors are planning to attend.  This will help you to consider how you might set up your booth to differentiate yourself from those companies and avoid a duplication of similar engagement activities that those marketers might employ.  Additionally, make plans for who you will connect with at the show to expand your network, source new suppliers or promote your services to other merchants that may be in the market for your product or service.  Growing your business is about more than just the engagement with customers who will be touring the show floor.  Approach the event as an opportunity to meet and network with professionals from a variety of fields.  You never know what conversation might inspire some new ideas for the growth of your company.

Your planning should include preparation to sell.  Bring all the tools that you need to conduct business and convert interest into sales from the trade floor.  Innovations such as Square which allow for credit card payment processing directly through a mobile phone has been a great resource for merchants who take their product to the market on the road.  But also consider pens, receipts, order forms and quote documents that you use most commonly to conduct business.  Don’t lose sales by showing up unprepared to meet the needs of your potential customers.  That includes having a sufficient inventory on hand of some of your popular products so you can capitalize on impulse buys on the show floor.  Trade shows do create a sense of urgency for buyers, but if you don’t appear to be prepared to meet their needs, you may not get a second chance to make the sale.

If you plan to use technology at the event such as running audio or video, you may want to ensure that your booth has that capability and that you will be situated nearby an electrical outlet as required.  You may also wish to keep your mobile device charged up if you are using it to process credit card payments or using it to scroll through your website or other online resource for engaged buyers.  You might also choose to post regular updates, photos, videos to your social media page to promote your attendance at the event and share highlights with your network.

First Impressions Are Key

The activity on the trade show floor can create a bit of a sensory overload for patrons.  Every ten feet is another exhibitor that has paid a significant sum for the opportunity to get in front of those attendees with hopes of selling their wares.  You can give yourself a strong start by ensuring that your displays, backdrops and banners are bright and eye catching.  Invest in a professional design that you can use to your advantage in any environment.  Remember, that the point is to create brand awareness, so your name, logo, and slogan should be prominently featured in a manner that doesn’t get lost in the mix.

When trying to capture the attention of new customers that are not familiar with your brand or your product, this is not the time to be humble and modest.  Instead, make sure that your booth design includes mentions of anywhere that you have received media attention.  A notation of “As Seen On …” can lend to your credibility with your customers instantly and increase curiosity from people who want to find out why you have this momentum behind your business.

Create a lively environment in your booth.  Consider that a booth with the table across the front and someone seated behind may not convey the most welcoming message.  A small change such as running your table along the edge of your booth with all of your sample products and literature, allowing your booth staff to stand and engage people at their eye level without any barriers will be more inviting.  Assign your most enthusiastic, outgoing and approachable staff for the event and make sure that they are wearing your brand logo to represent the investment in your brand and the professionalism of your team.  Your booth can set itself apart from neighboring displays by communicating fun.  Maybe even incorporate music as a sound track to your day, which can attract attention and also help to stave off complacency among your staff who are committed to long hours in a single position.

Edmonton Trade Show Promotion Materials

Few venues present the opportunity to engage with customers in an active and electric atmosphere in the way that you will find in a trade show environment. However, while access to expose new customers to your product and company affords the immediate gratification of a personal connection, there is an urgency to trade shows like no other professional setting. It’s not simply about having a product that fulfills an urgency public need, in the show floor, you are competing with every other vendor at the event to attract and hold attention. Registering for a trade show is not a step to take lightly as part of your overall marketing strategy.

Getting Noticed

It’s important to remember that trade shows attract newcomers as well as seasoned marketers who are representing established brands. To set yourself apart from the pack, your booth needs to be visually compelling. What do you bring to the event that will cause patrons to slow down or stop? Once you’ve got them curious, you can better capitalize on their attention to make your pitch.

Depending on your product, you may be able to bring a popular model or unveil a new product line that gives trade show attendees a sneak peak. But, for someone to commit to learn more, the presentation of your display plays a large role in illustrating your professionalism and credibility. First, you want to think about the banners and graphics that represent your brand. Do they grab the viewer? Have you incorporated imagery which showcases your product or symbolizes the customer’s needs? Think about a banner or backdrop for your booth that reflects your brand. You may also consider table cloth for your table which displays your company name and logo.

Aside from your booth, it is important that your staff at the event are presenting the most professional image possible. For the duration of that event, they are the face of your brand, so it is important that they can speak articulately about your product. However, if they aren’t dressed for success, the public may never hear their message. Branded apparel and a crisp appearance helps to set the tone for all that visit your booth to learn more about you and your product.

Lasting Impressions

At a trade show, you may only have a minute to make a connection. With so much to see and examine, you may not have the time to really explain all that you have to offer. However, you do have an opportunity to make an impression that will inspire a follow up from that customer after the event is over.

What token item can you offer the customer that will leave a lasting impression and compel them to follow up? There are a variety of promotional products available to send home with the event patrons you meet that go beyond the simple business card or traditional pen. The choices available to a business owner now aren’t just limited to notepads and pens … but instead an array of selections that are as personalized as your taste. Think about what promotional product best speaks to the nature of your business. Playing cards? Magnets? Shot glasses? Stickers?

It’s important that whatever you choose sets you apart from every other vendor on the floor. Consider what you can offer which is unique and memorable … and possibly useful to the customer in their professional or personal life that may inspire further discussion.

Find Out the Latest Trends

Because you don’t want to find yourself trying the same approaches as your competitors, this is where engaging a team that is in the business of promotional products can best help you. Find out the latest trends in marketing products and what the hottest emerging products are. Find yourself ahead of the curve as an early adopter of new product lines that support your brand message. We can offer the best advice possible on the types of items that you may want to consider and help you to steer clear of those which may be saturating the market and leave you lost in the shuffle.

A successful weekend at a trade show can open new revenue streams for your business and create new leads for months to come. So it’s important to remember that you will redeem from your investment what you put into it. Plan ahead for your upcoming trade show from the appearance of your display to the dress and deportment of your staff. Think about the products for sale and promotion that you’re there to market and how they will best achieve your goals. If you have questions as you prepare for your upcoming trade show, our experienced team is available to help bring your vision to life in all aspects of your marketing program. Let’s talk about how we can best help you.