|Standing out at a trade show amidst a sea of other agencies and organizations can be a tough feat, regardless of what you have to offer. Although your impressive customer service and interesting booth content will seal the deal with attendees, you have to lure them in first.In this e-newsletter, we’ve compiled a few handy tips for you to use at your next trade show. Hopefully, implementing a few of these tricks will have people waiting in line to talk with your agency reps!|
Stand out with creativity
Regardless of your agency’s focus, these inventive, hands-on ideas are surefire showstoppers:
- If your agency has just launched a new online endeavor or maybe even a mobile application, use it as an attention grabber. Various companies can provide large, interactive touch-screens that can be useful in providing informational, hands-on experience with minimal staff involvement. In creating your interactive presentation, be sure to provide numerous navigation options, varied contents, quick and memorable information bytes and a call to action like submitting an e-mail address, TwitterSM handle or social networking profile URL for more info.
- Go the sports game route with a simple twist to draw attendees in. Rather than having a full-size basketball free-throw contest, set up a series of small hoops at different distances and reward baskets with prizes. Let shooters keep the logo’d Foam Basketball they play with, tucked into a Frosted Shopping Bag with other informational materials. Basketballs could be easily switched up for a mini golf green or beanbag toss, depending on your audience’s age and preferences.
- Many show-goers are looking for true business value from booths they visit, so taking a “minds on” rather than “hands on” route may sometimes be your best option. Periodically throughout the day, schedule a series of mini “how-to seminars” that address pertinent community or government topics. Post these session topics and times on your website ahead of time as well as on booth signage. After each session, give attendees an imprinted USB Flash Drive with all the resources already uploaded for quick, after-show connection. Drive web traffic by uploading all docs and presentations to your site and printing the URL on useful tech giveaways, like a USB Port and Cell Phone Charger or pair of Travel Speakers.
Tout a “celebrity” appearance
Inviting a relevant community or industry “celebrity” to your trade show booth can reap big rewards. Consider individuals who are amiable, low-maintenance and willing to converse with show-goers.
Once your agency celeb is booked, be sure to include the following information on all major pre-trade show marketing materials (with legal approval, of course) to build buzz and raise attendance:
- The celebrity’s name, photograph and how your customers should “know” the celebrity (i.e. “Appeared in …” or “Author of…”)
- What time(s) the celebrity will be available at your booth and what tasks the celebrity will be involved in (autographs, product demos, meetings, etc.)
- Any other special circumstances or directions as requested by the celebrity
Consider printing this key information onto a Big Lanyard that your staff and customers can wear at the trade show as a reminder. Send out something a bit larger, like an embroidered Cotton Twill Cap, and encourage potential leads to bring it to your booth for an autograph!
Appeal to the senses
Appealing to all five senses positions your booth to attract more visitors and increase the chances that they’ll recall your booth and agency—studies have actually shown that people are most likely to form, retain and revisit memories when all five senses are engaged. Here are a few ideas that appeal to lesser-used senses at trade shows:
- Touch: Provide display products or giveaways that offer a variety of textures visitors can fidget with while talking to you or that they can take home with them. A Vinyl Football has a texture and shape that makes it hard to resist picking up, and the Nutty Putty is a fun throw-back to a childhood favorite with an unmistakable texture.
- Sound: Incorporate live demos, music or scrolling slideshows on an LCD screen with video clips or sound bites of commercials to draw the ears of visitors in your direction. These tools also are a great way to provide insight to the services and products your business has to offer.
- Smell: Lure people in your direction with scents that are familiar, enticing and unobtrusive. Foods, particularly fresh popcorn, just-brewed coffee or warm cookies, are all good candidates. A couple of non-food item options include Scented Candles or a lightly-scented eucalyptus and spearmint Stress-Relief Lotion. A word of caution: Many people are very sensitive to scents—so be careful not to overdo it!
All of these stand-out tactics will attract visitors to your booth, so you have the opportunity to talk about your agency’s exciting services and updates. Not to mention, these tactics liven things up a bit, making it fun for others to engage with your agency in positive ways that they will be sure to remember.