1. Your Booth
Trade shows and exhibitions are an investment in both time and money. Often companies will fly members of their team over to an exhibition in hopes of building relationships and gaining business abroad. Therefore, if you’re already making such an investment, you should put a budget aside for a high-quality, unique trade booth, before doing anything else. This way, you’ll have something you can use all year round, knowing that you look amazing to potential clients and you’ll be converting business opportunities. The bonus with investing in a trade show booth is that they can often be modified to meet different requirements at each event, for example, if you have less space at your next compared to your last, all the while maintaining an excellent and consistent brand image.
People don’t care about ballpoint pens or stress balls as much as you might think. Instead, take a cue from some of the past exhibitors at Prolific North Live; one company in particular were giving away ice cream from their own branded ice cream machine - and you can bet they were remembered.
In terms of budget, if you understandably don’t have the resources to provide each attendee with a gold, engraved paper weight that also alerts you when someone likes your Instagram photo, then how about you invest in one main prize? This way, you can use this as an opportunity for data capture; each attendee inputs their email address into an iPad at your booth for their chance to win. Maybe they enter their information to play a game for the chance to win. Use the list of email addresses you’ve built to follow up with them after the event with your own email marketing conversion funnel.
And guess what? While other businesses are standing around handing out leaflets that no one really pays attention to or remembers, people will be gathering around your booth anxiously waiting for their turn to participate, This then creates its own buzz, accruing more attention and interest. Clever!
3. Show Off
Have a product or service you can demo? This is the perfect opportunity to showcase what you can give to your audience. Use this as a real-time advert, right in front of your target market. Even better, employ some of your audience if it’s something hands-on and make it more interesting and fun.
4. Get Techy
In this day and age, there really is no excuse not to utilise technology and exploit current trends to your advantage. We’re not talking digital signs or a projector, here. We’re talking immersive and engaging technology - 360 video, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence come to mind. Are you in e-commerce? Have a look at iBeacon technology. An inspirational company to look into from Liverpool are Draw & Code. They’re innovators in interactive digital design and have created projects of all shapes and sizes, whether that’s just a touch screen interface or a large-scale, interactive light show.
5. Be Social
While these in-person events may typically be thought of as ‘offline marketing’, you definitely shouldn’t neglect your social media presence and the vast range of opportunities it offers. Perhaps you could ask attendees to vote between two products or opinions you propose, with an official hashtag for your booth. Take this a step further and you could live stream an activity at your booth using Facebook or Instagram Live. If it suits, you could even create a branded geofilter!
Market your stand to those who didn’t make the event so they know to visit you at the next one, or even engage in the conversation online about the event and get your brand in front of those who are at the event but haven’t made it over to you yet. Grab their attention and let them see why you’re worth seeing.