Whether you know the basic trade show exhibit rules by heart or are learning them for the first time, by following four essential trade show display fundamentals you will be better able to make your trade show exhibit experience a success.
The steps are logical, and they work. These guidelines will lead you toward success at your next trade show, whether you select a custom trade show exhibit, a custom modular trade show display, or a trade show booth rental.
Trade Show Rule #1: Know why you are exhibiting at a trade show.
Ask the question: Is my trade show display the launch site of my most significant new product or business service? Do I have a cutting-edge industry breakthrough? Do I need to herald a major change in strategy for my company due to a merger or acquisition? Or do I merely want to make sure my company is noticed and included in my industry’s key networking trade show so as not to be left out of the competition?
Once you are clear on why you are exhibiting and what your trade show objectives are, make sure your customized trade show exhibit reinforces your overall marketing objectives. Set goals that are attainable, share them with your trade show exhibit team, and set up systems to measure your results and validate your objectives.
Trade Show Rule #2: Know who your audience is at the trade show.
Enlist informed trade show exhibit staff that is competent and able to connect with and educate your customer prospects. Make sure you have your most qualified team available to meet with key prospects. At the trade show booth, give an informative presentation that will lead your prospects to the appropriate company spokesperson for additional information. Match up your representatives well with the positions of those who visit your trade show display. For example, if engineers visit your booth, engage them with your engineer personnel.
Prepare your trade show exhibit staff on how to engage, identify, and qualify important leads and how to courteously dismiss those who are not qualified business prospects
Trade Show Rule #3: Know how to attract key prospects to your trade show booth.
There are many good ways to attract trade show attendees to your display. In addition to pre-mailers and email alerts, you can build on-site traffic to your booth with a dramatic, attention-getting hanging sign. Upon entering the trade show exhibit hall, the first thing attendees do is look up. Your overhead sign can be a beacon with its unique design, shape, and movement. Gobo lights traveling across tension fabric can provide changing color and mesmerizing interest.
Technologies such as 3D video/laser image displays suspended above, your own interactive website on a large screen, robotics, holographics, and waterscreen projections bring high drama to your trade show booth.
Take advantage of your exhibit supplier’s expertise with graphics, portability, and cost management. Use tension fabrics; woods; colored metal; and layered graphics that use fewer shipping containers, have a current design trend look, and save on operating costs.
Trade Show Rule #4: Know first how to qualify leads and then how to follow up on qualified leads for maximum ROI.
Make sure your trade show booth staff is well trained in how to accurately qualify and measure the return on your trade show exhibit investment. Take advantage of software packages that allow you to identify a half-dozen weighted multiple choice questions in advance that will determine how viable a client prospect is. You need to identify buyers, filter out those who are not qualified, and measure results.
Rank your prospects as highly qualified, somewhat qualified, or poorly qualified. Have your sales force follow up on highly qualified leads immediately. Measure the results of these leads in stages from the number and dollar amount of proposals made to monies received from actual sales. After the trade show is over, be sure to follow up immediately on your top-level prospects. Once your highly qualified prospects are contacted, move on to the next level prospects. Have in place a well-planned strategy to close sales with these prospects.