Let's face it. When it comes to trade show exhibiting, most companies use the same tactics that they used years ago and the sad part is all the companies start to look and feel the same. Strategy seems to be an alien concept. Most exhibitors are peddling the same stuff with perhaps a bit different flavors. This scenario is specially true in a vertical markets.
So, what do you do as an Exhbiitor who wants to create a memorable splash at an event to gain high grounds.
"Inbound" Your Trade Show Presence: Do something phenomenal in your booth. It could be a unque architecture that represents your brand or featuring an activity in your space that attracts people naturally towards your space. At the Exhibitor 2012 we held seminars for trade show maeketers in our space through out the day. It created phenomenal buzz and people were organically drawn towards our exhibiting space.
Harness Social Media to Promote Your Presence: Start telling your tribe about the event far in advance about the trade show. Create a hashtag for the event and a compelling reason as to why they should visit your booth. It may include a special giveaway, a new product annoucement or even the opportunity to be one of first few alpha users of a certain product that is still in development.
Create a Foursquare location for your booth at the trade show. Surprisingly enough, people are checking in to specific booths on Foursquare when they attend a trade show. Offer a special promo to people who check in to your booth. The promo may be a 15-minute, one-on-one-consultation or an extra prize. This will provide incentive to people to check in to your booth and will promote your presence to other Foursquare users.
Excite Your Internal Brand Ambassadors to Promote the Event. Encourage them to talk about your trade show presence to their networks. For your sales team this is an ideal opportunity to broadcast to their leads the benefits that they will reap in attending this show. And of course, your marketing warriors should be in the forefront in promoting this event.
Create a Targeted Offer for the Trade Show. A unique landing page on your website that promotes your trade show presence and addresses the question “What is there for me?” Compound this unique attribution with downloadable ebook or whitepaper that relates to the theme of the trade show. If people are interested in what you are saying, they will have another reason to attend the trade show.
Generate a QR code that you can imprint on your trade show graphics. Encourage people to scan the code. Configure the code to send people who scan it, to a dedicated landing page with the same value proposition that highlights the trade show connection. Invite them to download a targeted offer. This will help you to generate leads from your trade show presence and will give you a way to track results from the event.
Promote Aggressively with Social Sharing. A compelling content is bound to go viral. Include social media share buttons in your landing page to encourage others to promote the event through their own social networks. Take advantage of the industry journals that you subscribe to. Go ahead, follow them, like them whatever you have to do to get your content noticed. Start a two-way conversation. Generate third-party recommendations from people not directly associated with your business. You are bound to increase your reach!
Think of your trade show booth as a destination site. Partner with local restaurants, entertainments and other flavors to provide compelling offers for your visitors that will strike a chord of memorability in their minds.
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Philip Johnson, one of the great American architectural minds of the twentieth century, has played an enormous role in both understanding and creating the urban skylines of our country. As a historian, curator and a defining architect, he had a profound influence on the future generations of architects. It was he who said, "And the reason these buildings go up so close to each other is because people want to be next to other people.” He was talking about the buildings on the Wall Street.
Some great points to keep in mind when designing a space for trade show venues. The key in designing a memorable space lies in taking advantage of the depth of the space. Think of the layout of the booth design as an opportunity to provide layers of information that incorporates intrigue and surprise. The outskirts of the booth serves as a "warm up" platform for the audience. Make it appropriately exciting and enthusiastic for the headliner.
In the above exhibit design, the perimeter had sheers drop down from the ceiling, interspersed with bar stools and tables. The texture of the fabric sheers tickled the curiosity of the bystanders. To foster ambiance decorative ceiling was placed. It served two purposes: space was defined and the mood was set.
The middle area should be used to highlight the key features of your product. In this case the center was used for serving stations. This is the place where you get to know your audience intimately. You exchange ideas and you qualify your target. Towards the back of the exhibit is the big pay off. This where you get to negotiate deals with your per-qualified target.
In a world where conducting virtual businesses are the norm, trade shows are the last vestiges of face-to-face interaction. Design it effectively so that you may reap the maximum benefit.
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In my writings I am often an explorer, a map maker, sometimes a voyager of the human mind and other times: a creator who is tormented by the inner longing to expand, express and delight !