Archive for November, 2014

How to Present a Great Booth at a Trade Show

CurtainThousands of people visit well-known and well-advertised trade shows, but most visitors do not spend the whole day at the venue. They typically spend no more than a few minutes in each booth, make a few purchases (if they have specifically come to buy something), take the brochures and visiting cards thrust into their hands, and then walk away never to be seen again. Having visited so many trade show exhibit booths in such a short span of time, they forget most of the booths as soon as they walk out of the door. That beats the entire purpose of holding an exhibition.

So how can you create a booth that will attract visitors and leave a lasting impression on their mind? Here are some tips on how to present a great booth at a trade show:

  • Select a strategic location: Not every location in an exhibition venue is equal. There are the great locations where visitors linger for a longer time and there are the not-so-great locations where visitors simply pass through without caring to take even a cursory look. While near the entrance and exit and along the center of the hall are great places to have your booth, places at the far end of the hall are usually not. So, choose a strategic location after a thorough survey of the venue.
  • Give your booth a friendly and accessible look: Visitors are attracted to trade show exhibit booths that have a friendly and accessible appearance. The typical setup is a table at the front that serves as a barrier. It also creates a psychological barrier that prevents visitors from connecting with you. Instead, place the table along walls and leave the entire space open for visitors to walk in and out without any hindrance. This simple arrangement will bring eager visitors flowing into your booth.
  • Pay careful attention to lighting: Creating the right visual effects is very important if you want to attract visitors to your booth. Perhaps much more than anything, it’s the lighting that makes the most subtle but profound impression on a visitor’s mind. Your booth should have enough light, but it should not be too bright. Use colored lights to highlight specific areas, such as products you want to draw the visitors’ attention to; but do not flood the entire booth with multi-colored light.
  • Decorate your booth with colorful posters, decals and videos: Bland and colorless trade show exhibit booths won’t attract visitors at a trade show. So decorate the walls and entrance of your booth with colorful posters, decals and video displays. Use wide angle video displays to give the visitors’ a clearer view. Instead of just pictures and videos of the products you are selling, consider using the faces of beautiful models to attract people’s attention. But make sure that your booth doesn’t look cheap and garish.

Why Attend a Trade Show?

how_to_choose_website_designers1Attending trade shows is not only fun, it can also be a life changing experience – both in terms of the knowledge you can gain and the business opportunities you can get. Whether you are attending as an exhibitor or a visitor, the people you will meet and the exposure to new products and technologies you will get can open up doors of opportunities. No other promotional medium can match the sales opportunities provided by a trade show in the span of just a few days.

Here are some of the reasons you should attend a trade show:

  • Exposure to new trends, products and technologies: If you are a visitor, trade shows give you direct exposure to new trends, products and technologies. In just a few days and at a single venue, you can see and learn about things that you would not be able to buy any other way. If you are an exhibitor with your own trade show exhibit booth, you will get access to thousands of potential customers without having to resort to expensive advertisements.
  • Opportunity to meet other vendors and retailers: Since there will be many other vendors and retailers participating in a trade show, you will get the opportunity to meet them, talk to them, learn from them, share ideas and possibly start a business relationship with them. This is a great way to expand your business and reach out to a new customer base. Rather than viewing other vendors and retailers as your competitors, you should see them as your collaborators.
  • Free exposure to news media: Unless your company happens to be Apple or Boeing, the media will usually ignore you – even when you make a splash – because they are always after the big fish. But the story is quite different in a trade show. The news media will not only give you space; they will come looking for you in search of interesting things to write about. A live TV interview or news coverage can give you a lot of exposure and save you thousands of dollars in advertising.
  • A great platform to reach out to new customers: Since thousands of people visit trade shows, many of them to see new products and technologies as well as to make purchases, a trade show provides you with the perfect platform to reach out to new customers. You should make the most of the opportunity by inviting the people you know to your trade show exhibit booth and sell your products at discounted rates.
  • Opportunity to participate in events, seminars and surveys: Every big trade show is accompanied by networking events, educational seminars and customer surveys. These give you opportunities to learn about new ideas and trends, network with other companies, and find out what customers are looking for. And they are usually free. Whether you are an exhibitor or a visitor, you should make it a point to attend at least a few events and seminars.

5 Ways to Crush Your Trade Show Competition

crush-your-competitionA trade show offers a platform for you to take your products directly to your target audience, but it also exposes you to direct competition from your competitors. While businesses talk of collaboration and coexistence on the surface, competition can often be quite vicious. Companies use several tactics to attract attendees to their trade show exhibit booth. However, since they all use more or less the same tactics, attendees usually get them mixed up. So how can you crush your trade show competition? Here are 5 ways you can do that.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Create a buzz through social media: Since there will be hundreds of companies showcasing and marketing their products, most attendees will only care to spend time at the booths of companies they know or have heard of. They will pass by most of the other booths with just a glance or make only a brief stop by. Use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn to create a buzz well in advance to get people interested in your booth.
  2. Offer free services at your booth: People are often delighted to get free on-site services in a trade show. Depending on the type of business you have, you can offer services like mobile phone repair and blood sugar tests free of charge. Offer something useful that other booths are not offering. You will be surprised at the number of people that will turn up for your services. You can then gently guide them to the products you are promoting in your trade show exhibit booth.
  3. Offer something attractive: Trade show attendees are usually looking for an attractive offer in a trade show, such as a heavy discount or a chance to win a high priced product. One thing you can do is offer the attendees a chance to buy your product at a fraction of its market price. You could also have a draw for a chance to win something for free.
  4. Hold a contest or mini-event: Contests and mini-events are nothing new in a trade show. You will likely see several participants running a contest. But if you can do something that has not been done before in a trade show, you can beat the competition hands down. So, be creative; think of something new and innovative. For example, you can hold a competition to give each attendee a chance to win a product if they can solve a puzzle within five minutes.
  5. Turn your booth into a workshop: Instead of just showcasing and marketing your products at your trade show exhibit booth, invite the attendees to engage in an intensive discussion and activity on your product. Teach them to use the product or let them try the product. Encourage them to ask questions and make sure to answer each question truthfully. Give every attendee at least 10 to 15 minutes. For example, if you are promoting a new smart phone, let the attendees sit down, explore its features and discuss its strengths and weaknesses.

How to Boost Traffic at Your Trade Booth

120815-traffic-light-lgWhile thousands of visitors throng a trade show, not as many of them as you would like may stop by your booth. It can be highly frustrating and humiliating to sit there watching people flock to the other booths while no one cares to come to yours. With so many booths competing for attention, you have to plan ahead, work hard and be creative to bring visitors to your booth. Here are 5 ways to boost traffic to your trade show booth display:

  1. Make it visually attractive: To a great extent, we humans are visual animals. Studies have shown that we respond to visual stimuli more than any other stimuli. A visually attractive booth will automatically draw the attendees’ attention and pull them towards you. Use a combination of lighting effects, display layout, video shows and colorful signage, posters and decals to give your booth an attractive appearance.
  2. Make it easily accessible: The traditional booth layout has a long table at the front which doesn’t only serve as a physical barrier but also as a psychological deterrent. If your brand is not well-known, attendees simply pass or stop for no more than a few seconds. Design a layout that offers plenty of space for people to walk in and walk out. Such a layout boosts traffic because people can view, examine and appreciate your displays without your staff’s assistance.
  3. Create the right ambiance: People are drawn to trade show booths that have the ambiance they can relate to. Determine your target audience and use a combination of display layout, lighting effects, background music, and decorations to create the desired ambiance in your trade show booth display. One small problem with this is that other attendees may avoid your booth. However, this shouldn’t be much of a problem because you will get the audience you want.
  4. Offer incentives: Quite often, your target audience wants a good reason to come to your booth. That good reason may be a new product they’ve been waiting for, a discount they can get or a free gift. If you are launching a new product, advertise the launch aggressively. If you are not, lure your target audience with heavy “trade discounts”. You can also give every visitor a free gift, such as a mug with your company logo and address printed on it.
  5. Hire models and celebrities: Why do big companies use movie stars and supermodels in their advertisements? Because people are attracted to them. In the same way, you can also use the star power of celebrities and models to boost traffic to your trade show booth display. If you can’t afford the really famous ones, local celebrities and models will do just fine. Hire them to make announcements, run contests or just to stand there and look pretty.

Should you purchase or rent an exhibit?

buyrentAlthough trade show exhibit rentals used to be considered less than desirable, today’s rentals warrant consideration as a sophisticated and cost-effective display option. Some large companies don’t want fixed assets taking up valuable space in their warehouse, or would prefer not to deal with insuring and maintaining a display. However, many companies will utilize their trade show exhibit for more than 5 years as an investment. There are advantages and disadvantages to both buying and renting a trade show exhibit booth.

Consider how many times a year your company will participate in trade shows. If you only need an exhibit display once, or wish to test a certain type of booth design, then renting is probably your best option. On the other hand, if your company is planning to attend multiple shows, and is committed to a certain design then you should consider purchasing a booth.

Renting gives you added the flexibility of experimenting with different styles over the course of many shows. The cost of a rental booth is approximately a third of the cost to own.

Here are two steps to help you determine if a purchase or rental is the best option for you:

Step One – Conduct A Financial Analysis:

There are more costs to exhibit ownership than simply the initial purchase price, including: depreciation expense, storage costs, insurance payments, maintenance costs and refurbishment, and final disposal fees.

Renting, on the other hand, consists solely of the rental fees for the display booth and associated hardware.

  • How many trade shows do you plan to attend each year?
  • How does your trade show exhibit fit into your company’s marketing plan, sales
  • objectives and budget?
  • Have you identified your short-term and/or long-term needs?

Step Two – Examine Your Needs:

Consider whether buying or renting offers the greatest benefit to your company’s tradeshow program by examining the following qualitative and quantitative factors:

Making Your Mark:

  • To buy means that every detail can be customized to your specifications, while renting may fail to meet some of your criteria or require adaptation.
  • The exhibit is always available to you when you purchase, so lead times do not apply.
  • Buyers must assume transportation costs; in contrast, renters may be able to reduce shipping costs by renting an exhibit.
  • Renters can avoid the storage, refurbishment, disposal and inventory management costs borne by purchasers.
  • Buyers can reuse graphics
  • Exhibit Options offers 1 year free graphic storage to our rental clients.

Short-Term Versus Long-Term Goals:

  • Purchasers gain a consistent booth structure for 1 to possibly 5 years, which is unavailable to renters.
  • Renters generally have limited-use applications, while buying is a good option if you exhibit at several trade shows.
  • Buyers cannot take advantage of unique strategies at selected shows, while renters can reap the benefits of selected markets.

Budget Considerations:

  • A display expenditure can remain part of the budget over several years; renting, in contrast, applies to one budget year only.
  • A smaller initial investment is required for renters, while buyers make a considerably larger investment at time of purchase.
  • Renting avoids the capital funding process, unlike buying.
  • Buyers witness a depreciation of their purchase, unlike renters.
  • A large purchase such as an exhibit may preclude buyers from participating in other shows or other opportunities, while renters can reap the benefits of other prospects.

Appearances Are Important:

  • Booth rentals can be designed to accommodate unusual space configurations, while purchased displays are more rigid.
  • Buyers can integrate their graphics directly into the design for continued use, while renters may not be able to reuse their graphics.
  • Renters may require significant modifications to accomplish their desired appearance, while buyers can produce a custom look from the outset.

Buying and renting both remain viable options in today’s trade show environment. Use the two-step process outlined above to thoroughly assess your company’s trade show program and brand needs, and then act accordingly.

Exhibit Options’ headquarters include a 37,000 square foot fabrication studio that houses the latest tools, technology, and machinery for woodworking, metal working, plastics production, and laminating. Our exhibit fabricators are true craftsmen, proven by their attention to detail and quality construction methods. Because of our extensive in-house capabilities, we are able to maintain the integrity of your original design and brand concept.

Exhibit Options is also your best resource for a comprehensive rental program. We maintain a complete inventory of custom and modular exhibit rental components. Our full turnkey custom packages are exclusively created to fit your precise requirements and include exhibit installation and dismantle, transportation and all onsite services throughout North America.

Exhibit Options has successfully cultivated the combination of creative design, strategic planning and tactical management for high impact face-to-face experiences that impart an enduring brand impression and deliver real results. Our extensive start-to-finish capabilities include graphic design and production, show services management and complete trade show program management.

Our experience and culture will help you elevate your brand to new heights.