Unless you regularly go to trade shows or work in your company’s booth, how your trade show booth looks and “works” may not cross your mind. But, with the New Year approaching – and trade show planning for 2012 in full swing – now is the best time to begin thinking and planning how to get the most return on the trade show presence your company is going to pay big bucks for in the near future.
There are so many different ways to take advantage of this marketing opportunity – planning an overall theme, determining how to stop traffic, gathering contact information, training those staffing the booth, follow-up after – it goes on and on. This blog post is just going to focus on the look and feel of the booth itself. How do you present your company and your message to trade show attendees? What is most obvious when they walk by? Is it inviting and “easy” to stop and ask a question? What is the overall impression left on an individual that gives the booth a brief glance?
Iridian Group works with many companies on their trade show presence (our most recent example can be seen below) and, thanks to those clients, we attend many trade shows ourselves. Here are four things we recommend that you consider when evaluating your trade show booth:
1) Is there a “whole design” approach? We see many companies that simply showcase different parts of marketing campaigns they’ve run over the past year resulting in a piecemeal look and feel with no overall message. Remember, you usually have just seconds to make and impression – so make your message loud and clear.
2) Do you let your images tell your brand story, or your booth staff? We have also observed many companies that show just their logo or their name, hoping (expecting?) that people stop so their staff can tell their story. It’s important to stand out in the crowd with a strong, quick statement and/or image (even one bold photo can do it!) that really encapsulates the brand message/benefit to the passerby.
3) What impression is your booth making that is a reflection on your brand? You have made an investment for the space – avoid pinching pennies on what potential customers will see and experience. As an attendee, would you want to do business or purchase goods/services from a company with a less than impressive public persona?
4) Is the message in the line of site? So often creators of booth graphics don’t think about the fact that the bottom portion of a booth is rarely seen. Your eye does not naturally travel that far down – especially if there are people in the booth space. Keeping everything that really tells the message above waist level gives you a shot of catching the eye of the passerby.
Trade show booths don’t have to be complex or extremely expensive to deliver a strong and memorable message. They just have to be well planned and designed. What does your booth “say”?