Successful trade show displays don't have to cost a fortune to be "Best in Show". In fact, many of the best displays are those that leave the glitz and glamor behind in favor of clean graphics and a powerful message. Whether this is your first trade show or you're a seasoned exhibitor, follow these five tips to ensure your booth is always "Best in Show".
Tip #1: Less is more. It's a clichéd statement for a reason. When it comes to trade show exhibit design, less truly is more. Even if you never talk to an attendee, he should still understand your business simply by spending 30 seconds or less on your display. After all, 30 seconds is the average amount of time that attendees will give your display before moving on to the next exhibit. Choose simple graphics that reinforce your brand. Position your logo front and center. And limit text to three bullet points.
Tip #2: Know your audience. Trade show exhibits are expensive, and it makes financial sense to use the same booth for each show you attend. However, you can still customize your booth to match your target audience. Consider updating your signage, such as adding a pop-up banner. Banner stands can be used on and off the trade show floor, so when the big exhibit is over, they'll make a great addition to your storefront or office lobby.
Tip #3: Be scannable. You can't control the environment of a tradeshow - but you can control your client's experience on your website. Adding a QR (quick response) code to your display takes your client straight to your company website or email list opt-in. Thanks to the ubiquity of camera phones, QR codes are the hottest trend in trade show booths. Attendees simply snap a photo of your unique code for a direct link to your business online.
Tip #4: Watch your non-verbal cues. Are you sitting at your booth? Staring at the clock? Checking email on your phone? These non-verbal cues send a powerful message to tradeshow attendees: you're bored and something else (email, another client, ESPN SportsCenter) is more important than they are. Don't let your non-verbal cues diminish the quality of your display. Stand, smile and greet everyone who passes by your booth. You never know who will be your next big customer!
Tip #5: Be a show-off. Don't let your new product or service get lost in giant display. Showcase your greatest strengths with colorful banner signs. Place one or two signs at the front of your display to attract attention. Bring your own lighting to shine the spotlight on your new product or service.
Bonus Tip: Follow-up matters. Now that the trade show is over, the hard work can begin! Remember, a stack of business cards is worthless if you never follow up with attendees. Have a clear plan in place before the tradeshow to track attendees and follow up within a week. Whether you send personalized emails or make phone calls, connect with each attendee while the trade show is still fresh in their minds.