How to stand out from the crowd at your next trade show

your next trade showAttending trade shows is something that many businesses do, but not all of them are successful.

For many companies, not achieving success at past trade shows can prevent them from booking their attendance in the future. But, having your next trade show be a successful experience is dependent on the amount of planning and effort that you put in before you attend. With so many businesses all vying for the attention of the crowd, it is vital that you have a plan to ensure that your stand doesn’t simply fade into the background. 

If you do not attend trade exhibitions then you could be missing out on crucial opportunities to engage directly with your target market. At trade shows, you have a captive audience that wants to learn about your products and your brand, so making the most of this unique opportunity is a must. You can be sure that if you don’t make the best of this opportunity to engage with potentials customers, your competitors will take advantage of this.

Making your attendance at a trade exhibition successful is all about achieving the best return on your investment. Before you even book your stand, you need to consider how you plan to maximise this opportunity and ensure that your business stands out from the crowd. Here are some of the ways that you can do this at your next trade show:

Pick your position carefully

Before you do anything, you need to work out where you want your stand to be positioned in the exhibition area. When you book your attendance at the show, you will be sent a plan of the different stand positions available. The best stand positions and larger areas will always command the highest fees, so calculating your budget before you book is vital. Don’t forget to book quickly, as there are often discounts available for early reservations, and all the best stands are likely to be snapped up quickly anyway. 

Try to look at the plan and decide which area would be a favourable position for your stand at your next trade show. You definitely don’t want to be hidden away under a staircase or in a small room miles away from the main exhibition area. Choosing an area that will receive a large amount of foot traffic is always a good call to attract passersby.

Prepare your signage

Your signage is essential when attending an exhibition, so yours need to be both informative and eye-catching. How many times have you seen stands at trade shows, read the blurb and still had no idea what the company does? Don’t let people think this about your signage, make sure that the products and services that you offer are clear, and easily conveyed by your signage and other display materials. 

It is also vital to consider the size of your stand and to prepare your signage accordingly. If you have reserved a large stand, you will need more than just one pop-up sign to fill your space. Too little signage makes your business look unprofessional and ill-prepared, whereas too much makes your stand crowded. Finding a balance between the two by calculating your stand’s measurements is essential to choosing the correct signage.

Get ready to get noticed

Having strong signage is essential, but at a crowded show, something a little extra is needed to attract attention to your stand. Looking for relevant promotional tools that draw attention to your stand is a must. People are always drawn to visiting displays that have a novelty factor as it makes them curious to find out more about your business and what you do. Having novelties such as giant inflatables emblazoned with your brand name will ensure that you get noticed and is sure to bring plenty of interest in your direction.

Ensure you are on-brand

There is no point in preparing an exhibition space with all-singing, all-dancing signage and masses of promotional activity if it does not relate to your brand. Your signage and everything about your display need to be on-brand. Trade exhibitions are the perfect opportunity to strengthen your brand by promoting awareness and recognition. To gain the benefits of attending the exhibition, your branding needs to cohesive and to represent your business accurately, yet attractively.

Ensuring that every aspect of your brand pulls together is vital. Use your corporate colours and logo throughout your stand, and you will create an effective stand with striking visual impact.

Plan some giveaways

Everyone loves a giveaway; in fact, they are one of the best things about attending trade shows! Bringing along promotional items such as pens and keyrings may sound a little old-school, but it can help to make your business stand out and will help attendees to remember your business.

Giving away freebies can severely eat into your budget for the event, so it is essential that you don’t go overboard. Keep an eye on ticket sales for the event and think about how many visitors came to your stand in previous years. This will help you to calculate an appropriate amount of items to order for the event. Don’t forget to order these early from your supplier. There is nothing worse than attending an event empty-handed and having an office full of boxes of pens a month later.

Decide on staffing levels

Staffing levels are a serious consideration when attending a trade show. You do not want to have too many members of your team on your stand at once if it is quiet. Over-staffing your stand can leave visitors reluctant to approach as they may feel intimidated, and may be concerned that they will be outnumbered. On the other hand, having too few team members on your stand can also deter attendees from visiting your display as they may not want to wait to talk to your staff. Having a busy exhibit helps to attract attention and pique the interest of other people, but make sure that you are able to speak to every visitor. Otherwise, you could miss out on making valuable contacts and potentially lucrative opportunities.