Having an effective trade show booth is critical to success at a trade show. You want a higher quality lead count and great interaction between reps and attendees. The 3 areas that can help you create a more effective trade show booth are: proper signage and display, a great draw and attentive reps.
Step 1) Proper Signage and Trade Show Display: After 30 years working in trade shows, it’s amazing to me how many companies don’t utilize proper signage in their trade show booths. I’ve been at some shows where you could barely find the name of the company or the messaging is so complex that attendees have no idea what the company is offering.
Even if the trade show display or booth design company suggests a cleaner look, sometimes these suggestions are overridden by the client who just wants a “few more messages.” Trade show booths with too much messaging only force attendees to ask, “Now, what do you guys do?”
Follow the 3 C’s – keep your messaging clean, clear, and concise. Don’t overload the booth with tons of sales & marketing messages. Focus on 3 - 5 main points and push those properly via your trade show display and signage.
On your signage, focus on the benefits of what you have to offer and not your recent awards. You can mention your awards, but remember, attendees don’t really care what “your company” has won; they only care “what you can do for them.”
Step 2) Great Draw: It helps to have a draw that will effectively attract attendees to your trade show exhibit. The draw should bring excitement and energy to your booth, while getting your sales & marketing message out at the same time. Additionally, your draw should be sophisticated enough to be able to pre-screen attendees so that you not only have a higher quality lead count but that, if you have demos, your reps are only giving demos to qualified attendees and not just attendees who want giveaways.
There are a few draws that will inform, entertain, and pre-qualify attendees such as a trade show magician. Your draw should reinforce your main messages, while still being entertaining and involving the attendees. Make sure that the messaging that the draw uses are the same ones that you have on your signage. That way, you double the impact of your messaging and provide ample leads for your reps.
Step 3) Attentive Reps: Make sure that your reps are ready to give demos and talk to the prospects that your draw brings into your trade show exhibit. I can’t tell you how many times I have had a huge number of prospects waiting to talk to reps after my presentation and the reps have “gone to lunch” or are talking to other reps, fiddling with their computers, etc.
A pre-show meeting should highlight the need for not only going over the “do’s and don’ts,” but also what is expected from the reps to make the sure the show is successful and profitable for your company.
These 3 steps can help you to not only have a more effective trade show booth and bring back to the office a higher quality lead count, but also provide your reps with more solid leads to follow-up on via their quality demos and attendee interaction.