How to Maximize Impact and Increase Leads at Your Next Event or Trade Show

Events and shows are a proven marketing and branding opportunity for businesses of all sizes. Presence at a show provides your target audience with the chance to experience your brand and offering first-hand. But, how do you maximize the opportunity to communicate your message, generate conversations, and stand out?

In this article, we offer tips and tricks that will help you make the most of your show experience.

  1. Booth Design

There are several things to consider that will help your exhibit attract visitors and increase your chance of engaging with and converting prospective customers.

Creativity

If you’re going to make the investment in a show, be sure to create a booth that will stand out. Consider something beyond the cookie cutter structure. Working with a design firm that specializes in show marketing, rather than purchasing stock signage from a production company can ensure you create a space that is distinct.

Include unique lighting or bright colours (as long as they are ‘on brand’!), and make use of overhead space to create graphics that make your booth visible from a distance.

Messaging

Feature a brief, easy-to-read message clearly stating what your company is about and you’ll increase chances that people entering your booth already have an interest in your product. Keep graphics broad in message, so that they remain relevant over time. Are you being clear enough about the main benefits of your product or service? Keep it short and simple.

Technology

Digital signage is often incorporated into show exhibits as a way to attract attention. Self-guided touchscreens enable you to educate consumers, share testimonials and re-enforce your message when sales reps are busy with other attendees. Remember there are many distractions, so focus on simple, strong messages.

Versatility

Consider creating a booth that can be modified to different sizes so you can make the most of your investment and re-use it for years to come. This will give you the flexibility to adjust your show footprint while maintaining the visual elements of your booth and the consistency of your brand.

  1. Create an Immersive Brand Experience

Take advantage of the show to create an experience that activates your brand in the minds of your visitors so they understand and remember you after the show.

Present a cohesive brand image

Every element of your show presence should convey a cohesive image while providing the opportunity for attendees to truly engage with your brand. Graphics, signage, sales collateral and promotional items should all be united by a consistent expression of your brand identity.

Interactivity  

Encourage prospective customers to interact with your sales reps by creating spaces for comfortable, impromptu meetings. Consider designing a semi-private area like a small lounge that can also be used by visitors as a resting area or smartphone charging station.

A simple, fun game such as a draw, wheel spin or quiz is a great way to attract foot traffic and collect attendee information (i.e. ask for sign ups to participate) that you can use to follow up after the event. Be sure to offer incentives to participate.

Product demonstration

If you’ve successfully attracted attendees to your booth, it’s an opportunity to showcase your product or service in real time. Think of it like a mini-infomercial. Focus on the value you can offer to the audience, not the features. The more involved the audience is, the better.

  1. Swag Please!

Who doesn’t like free stuff? Swag not only helps draw traffic, but also creates a positive connection between the brand and the consumer. However, tables are often littered with give-aways, so investing in items that are unique, as well as useful and relevant, is key.

Product samples

Hand out samples to give potential customers the opportunity to experience your product. If your product is large or expensive, instead of giving items away you can consider a contest, like a business card draw. Or, offer gift certificates for products or services.

Promotional merchandise

If you are a service-based company or product samples aren’t possible, promotional merchandise with your company logo on it can help trigger a visitor’s memory of your brand and offering. The item becomes a valuable advertisement for your business.

 

  1. Be Active on Social Media

 Shows are an “in-person” event, but that doesn’t mean social media can’t play a part in your show’s effectiveness. Active participation on social media during the show can help you connect and resonate with two different audiences – attendees, and those who couldn’t make it. The person tuning in on social media may end up being the real decision maker.

Engage your prospective customers

One way to use social media is to engage with people who have checked in at the venue or mentioned the show on social media. Invite them to your booth and offer a special incentive through social channels.

Facebook live

Create excitement by instantly streaming live from your booth and interact with viewers in real time. Real-time videos create a deeper connection between brands and users, while delivering content that is truly unique.

Geolocation

Proximity marketing is another technology that you can use to your advantage. As attendees wander near your booth, messages can be sent to their mobile phone containing special offers and other benefits about visiting your booth.

Hashtags

Be sure you are actively using show related hashtags so that visitors can easily find your posts.

Event and show marketing can be a rewarding experience and can demonstrate a true return on investment. Get in touch with tag if you’re interested in upping your show game and maximizing your return on investment. tag offers the perfect mix of branding, design, messaging, and full-service communications to ensure you get the most out of your overall communication strategies and show investment.

Contact:
Deanna Jamieson
Deanna@tagagency.ca
416-999-3975


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Toronto Home Shows Contributor

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