How to Create a Successful Trade Show

Trade shows are back! It’s time to meet with potential customers face-to-face and start building new relationships.

Highlighting your business and establishing relationships is the broad goal. But do you have clear business objectives that specifically outline what you want your team to accomplish during the show? Common objectives include product launches, generating new leads, building brand awareness, and facetime with current clients.

Your trade show objectives will help you determine which shows are right for you, what type of budget to set, who will staff your booth, what type of booth design you need, and what marketing and sales materials you will have produced.

Let’s look at a few examples of common trade show objectives and things to consider when developing your plan.

Product Launch

The first consideration is choosing the right event. Learn which events are best attended by your target audience. Is it a networking event? Will your competition be launching products at the show as well? Is your product fully tested and ready for demos? Is your sales team trained and ready to show your product?

Communicating the benefits of your product is the goal. Entice people to stop by your booth with smaller elements in the booth such as banners, videos, printed materials that quickly recap the products features and benefits. (Benefits, not features, should always be the focus.)

Send a teaser direct mail piece to attendees or your prospect list. Content could focus on highlighting key benefits of your product, an invitation to see a demo at your booth, promotional pricing at the booth, etc.

Generating New Leads

The most important element of generating qualified leads is to staff your booth with engaging, approachable, professional staff. Select staff who are enthusiastic about the show and willing to engage, greet and qualify leads.

What conversation starters could you form into a question that will make a visitor stop, engage and listen to what your team has to say? Make eye contact, smile, and listen. The whole point of working a booth is to take the initiative and interact with your potential customers, so have your staff go in with that understanding in mind.

Literature and giveaways are highly effective in taking prospects to the next level. Invest in well done, professionally produced materials that provide value to your visitors’ experience with your booth. If you’ve qualified your booth visitors, you are miles ahead of your competitors who may simply throw an ineffective, mediocre brochure at every passer-by.

Build Brand Awareness

A well-designed booth is a fantastic way to build brand awareness at your next trade show. Everything in your booth should directly link to your company. Develop a cohesive theme that precisely represents your brand.

From flooring to signage to literature to giveaways everything should coordinate with your brand and your show theme. The true test for this is, if your logo were removed from everything, would it still be clear that this is your company’s booth?  We love this list of fun themes and ideas to consider for your next trade show.

Tell your company’s story at the booth. You want your customers to understand who you are, where you came from, why you do what you do, and how it will help your customer solve a problem.

Branded giveaways have staying power long after the show. Find promotional products that coordinate with the booth’s theme and give them generously to qualified leads and valued customers. Choose your branded merchandise wisely and creatively. Pens, mugs, and water bottles are popular for a reason. But what about finding something a little different that ties in with your booth theme? Passport wallets or luggage tags for a travel themed booth? If you have a photo booth, give away a frame for the strip of pictures. A tree seedling for your sustainable theme? Herbal tea and a mug your visitors get if they hang out in your “Zen in Ten” themed booth?

Our expert team offers creative ideas and exceptionally produced materials. Whether you need booth signage, printed materials or branded merchandise, let’s create a successful event together! Call Lawton today.