Trade shows are common corporate events. It is a great platform for new and established businesses to gain exposure, engage with prospective clients, and network. However, if you’ve ever been to a trade show before, you know that there are a lot of businesses all vying for the customers’ attention. Their flashy and over the top displays and demonstrations can often make it tough to stand out. If you want to get the best return on interest, you’ll need to get creative with your marketing tactics.
Start Before the Event
The best way to know that you’re giving your audience what they want is to ask them. You can stand out from the competition by starting your engagement with conference attendees prior to the date of the event. Ask them about what they’d like to see, what freebies they’d like to receive, and even what they’re most excited to learn about your brand. Simple social media engagement can go a long way and let your followers know where to find you and what to expect if they’ll be attending the event.
Invest in Your Displays
Your station is everything at a trade show. It should clearly define your brand and be seen by visitors from far away. The best way to do this is to plan ahead, think outside of the box, and be willing to invest a little extra to have something unique. For instance, custom tents are great for trade show events. They can be customized in any color and varying shapes. Add your company logo or slogan to the mix and you’ve got a canvas that says, “I have arrived”.
Give Out Something Unusual
Freebies or trade show giveaways are a staple at networking events like trade shows. However, if you want to stand out, going with the traditional company pen, coffee mug, or calendar isn’t going to cut it. You need to find something that others don’t hand out that can still be useful to your audience. Things like laptop skins, headphones, t-shirts, water bottles, and more will steal the show for sure. Make sure that whichever freebies you decide to give out, that you’ve incorporated your company name and contact information.
Do Something Out of the Box
No one wants to come to your booth just to get reading materials and hear your speech on how your brand is the best. They want to be informed and entertained. Therefore, you need to do something out of the box to capture their attention. Play music, have a demonstration and ask for volunteers from the audience, give away free food samples, or have a raffle for a prize as this encourages visitors to come back at the end of the event to see if they’ve won. The more interesting your booth is, the bigger the crowd will become. And crowds draw in more interested people.
No one is interested in sticking around to socialize with an uptight business professional who is only interested in getting new business. Though you want to give a good presentation, you also want to spend a large portion of your time at the trade show interacting with the attendees. Talk with them about more than business. Try to connect with them on a more personal level. When customers feel as if you’re relatable, they’ll associate that with your brand and be more inclined to do business with you.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make at a trade show is trying too much to be like your competitors. Though getting ideas on how to present your brand is okay, when you try too much to be like other businesses you can easily get lost in the sauce. It is your brand’s uniqueness and strengths that should be displayed for everyone to see. This is how you stand out.
Your first trade show might be a bit intimidating, but after you’ve been to a few, you’ll start to learn the tricks of the trade. Standing out from the other businesses in attendance isn’t always as hard as it seems. Simply think of out of the box ways to make traditional practices more engaging and fun for the attendees. The above-mentioned tips are sure to make your event a hit.
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