Trade shows can be a great way to gain traction for your business. Whether you’re just starting out or are well established, there are many opportunities available at industry shows. Having a noteworthy presence is critical for a successful show, and the booth you choose is a large part of that presence.
There is a wide range of choices in trade show booths, and knowing the different types of booths that are available will help you narrow your options and choose what best suits your business and goals. The majority of marketers worldwide use one of six types of trade show booths, each of which is described below. As you read about each type, consider these points:
Panel trade show booths consist of several panels linked together to form an enclosure or solid looking wall. Smaller panels can also be used as tabletop displays; larger sized panels can serve as the back wall of your booth.
Exhibitors who need to transport large booths from site to site often choose a modified type of panel booth known as panel and frame. These booths are more labor-intensive as they must be assembled.
Made of accordion-style panels, these booths are easy to set up and take down in that they simply unfold. Concealed hinges increase panel strength. Panel surfaces can be customized to suit your preferences.
Trade show booths with fabric images that can be stretched across a frame are known as tension fabric booths. These displays are often used as the back wall for trade show booths but can also be created in custom shapes for various purposes. Lightweight frames of aluminum or steel are preferred. Frame construction and methods of applying this tension vary.
One style uses base plates that hold upright posts. At the top of each set of posts is a cross beam for attaching the fabric. Fabric used in this type of assembly often has a pocket at the top so that the cross beam can be threaded through the pocket. Fabric ties fasten the fabric to the side posts.
Another style involves silicone edge graphics, or “SEG.” A thin strip of silicone stitched to the fabric’s edges enables the fabric to be inserted into framing grooves. When the fabric is stretched inside its frame, the graphic appears to be a giant photograph that does not reflect light. This makes your booth appear warm and welcoming. Installing SEG graphics is simple, and takedown is easy. This type of booth requires little storage space and costs less to ship than most other styles.
Banner stands are a very popular display option and are available in many shapes and sizes. Banner stands are usually made up of a banner and one or two poles. Banner graphics might display a single message, or you can create a collage of banner stands to highlight various points of your marketing campaign. Most banner stands are retractable, making it easy to transport and ship them.
Just like the name sounds, a pop-up display “jumps up” from its resting position to full size, either by a pulling motion or by fully opening the storage case. This pop can be compared to setting up movie screens or turning the pages of a children’s pop-up book.
Although a rectangular frame shape is most common, pop-ups can be customized to fit the needs of the exhibitor. Some pop-up frames are curved; others are triangular. Individual pop-ups can be combined to form walls or a series of interior displays.
Pop-up displays are simple to set up and take down and are made of lightweight materials that fit into their own carrying cases. The cases, usually made of sturdy plastic, are easy to transport, wherever your next trade show may be.
The most prominent trade show booths usually utilize a truss design. Exhibitors preparing large indoor booths prefer truss design because it is durable and has interchangeable parts. The shape of a truss design booth can be reconfigured to fit into almost any space. Truss kits usually include all parts and do not require tools for assembly.
Exhibitors have a choice of steel, aluminum or plastic framework for their truss designs. Plastic is the least expensive. However, trusses of aluminum or steel are recommended for outdoor displays. Indoors, a plastic framework is a great option to support decorations or lightweight graphics. However, for shelving or holding heavy items, metal trusses are best. To make the biggest impact, you’ll want to choose a truss design booth.
Hybrid trade show booths combine building materials and incorporate various shapes and styles to create a modern looking exhibition. For example, one exhibitor might create the booth’s back wall from panels with aluminum framing and tension fabric. For special effects, the exhibitor then chooses banner stands and pop ups for the booth’s sides and adds a freestanding metal truss arch with lights as an entryway. The endless variety of ways to construct a hybrid booth gives every exhibitor the ability to create a trade show booth that is effective, affordable and memorable.
If you’d like to get started on creating a trade show booth for your business, check out the options offered by TradeShowPlus.com or call 800-419-3561. We’ve got all types of trade show booths with the features you need, and we look forward to hearing from you!
If you’ve ever been part of a trade show booth, you are likely well aware of the time and effort it takes for everything to run smoothly. There are countless display details to figure out as well as coordination between all of those involved. Sometimes, so much energy can be spent on planning the displays and materials you’ll have that no one considers the actual conversations you’ll be having with your audience. Those conversations are going to play a significant role in attracting new customers, so you’ll want to make sure everyone at your booth is aware of what to say and how to say it.
For some guidance on talking to potential leads at your next trade show, check out these simple trade show tips – and make sure to share them with your team!
Interact With Your Audience
Draw in passersby with something they can do rather than just see or hear. Consider doing a live presentation; using touch screens in your booth or implementing mobile augmented reality, which allows people to use their own phones to participate. Whatever makes sense for your brand, this interactive or experiential marketing is a great way to bring in more leads. Getting your audience involved will make your booth stand out in their minds, helping them to remember what it is you’re offering.
Provide Information, Not Pressure
No one wants to deal with a pushy sales person, and trade show attendees are no exception. You don’t want to be shy, but don’t be aggressive either. Provide information to anyone who’s interested. They’ll appreciate your approach, especially if you show them you have their best interest in mind. Your product most likely won’t be a good fit for everyone, so don’t try to force it to be.
Respect Your Audience’s Time
Everyone’s busy, especially at a trade show, so don’t dally. Get your message out there clearly and succinctly.
Consider Questions You Might Get
There will always be someone who asks a question you’re not prepared for at a trade show. But there will be fewer occasions of this if you organize your thoughts ahead of time by considering what you don’t know. Make sure you fill in any blanks before the event so there’s less of a chance you’ll get stumped. And don’t stress when you do get that rogue question – it’s impossible to have all the answers. If there’s no one else who can help you with the answer, get the person’s contact details and be sure to follow up with them later when you’re able to get an answer.
Follow Up With Leads
While we’re on the subject of following up, we recommend organizing the business cards of everyone you meet. Whenever you have a spare moment throughout the event, jot down a couple notes on the back of each card that will help you remember who that person was and what information they need from you. You’ll thank yourself when the event is over and you’re left with a towering stack of cards to go through. There is also order management software available to help sort everything at the end of the day. Most importantly, follow up with people! The most valuable conversations won’t lead to anything without continuing the dialogue, so be sure to make it happen.
Do you have any other tips for talking with potential customers as part of your trade show strategy? We’d love to hear them, so please share your thoughts – or questions – in the comments below!
Trade shows and conventions can be a marvelous experience with the large number of booths, vendors, and merchandise available. Seeing these cool booths can motivate you to host a table booth of your own, but be careful to avoid committing these common mistakes and cliches. You don’t want your booth to become that booth with a negative rap. This can cause attendees to avoid your booth. Some people may even take their negative opinion of your booth online, perpetuating your booth’s bad name, warning others to avoid it. Here are the six most common clichés to avoid at your trade show booth.
Free Stuff Frenzy
Everyone loves free stuff, but not when it burdens them with useless clutter. Avoid handing out too much free stuff at your trade show booth, especially items that serve no use or purpose. Only give out one or two items at most. Limit your free gifts to simple and useful stuff like lanyards or tote bags, but skip out on keychains, plush toys, and rubber wristbands. Giving out large numbers of free products will also outshine your actual products available at your booth. You might find attendees stopping by your booth just to nab the free stuff and move on without taking a look at your actual products and services.
You don’t need loud music to get the attention of attendees if you are already presenting great and unique products and services at your booth. Often times, loud music drives away customers since they can’t discuss their opinions about your products with one another. They might have trouble focusing with a speaker blasting into their ears. Loud music also tends to be a conversation killer and customers won’t be able to ask your booth employees questions about the items for sale. Not only can loud music annoy, but it is often against trade show floor rules, and for a good reason. The trade show might even charge a fee for blasting ear-bleeding music.
Small Talk Chatter
It can be friendly and polite to chat with customers and answer their questions, but let’s cut to the chase. They know you are there to sell them products and services, so chatting them up with endless small talk can scare them away. Customers have a limited amount of time to shop and look through all the booths and vendors at the trade show, so they don’t want to spend too much time with someone that will talk their ear off about the weather or if they have seen any movies recently. Ask them one or two small talk questions, but make sure to quickly move onto the important topic at hand which is your products and merchandise. Maybe limit small talk to simple conversations like asking if they’re having fun at the trade show.
Trade shows may display booths with tons of gimmicks employed. Some of the time these gimmicks include spokesmen and women who know little about the products, services, or merchandise. Sometimes you might see them in costumes, often times irrelevant to the merchandise being sold. Skip these gimmicks since they can distract potential customers from your merchandise. Don’t hire jugglers, fire breathers, and especially female models. Even if the gimmick is relevant to your merchandise, it can still seem ridiculous. For example, everyone is laughing at the booth who hired a guy in a monkey suit handing out free bananas to promote their new banana scented body lotion.
Topical Theme Topper
You may be tempted to jump on a hype train or explosive trend, such as slapping a unicorn theme onto your financial counseling services booth because the new hit thing is unicorn themed products. In reality, these two topics are completely irrelevant to each other and end up falling flat or gimmicky. Be honest with your merchandise and services and avoid topical themes that have a shelf life. This may not be winning over potential customers. In fact, they might avoid your booth if it is sending a message not aligned with the company.
Logic Trumps Creativity
Each trade show will give vendors and booths a pre-determined amount of space, which is wonderful. They might help you set up or provide your booth with free tables and chairs for your employees. Make sure to utilize this space in an efficient and organized manner to ensure customers and attendees don’t get confused while they’re browsing. Avoid making your booth design and layout too complex, but also don’t make it too simple that it fails to catch the eyes of attendees. It should be well organized, attractive, and appealing. Avoid cluttering the space with fixtures and large signs, as this will cut into the space available for your products. Don’t go too crazy with rainbow banners and setting down products willy nilly. This will make it difficult for customers to find products and for your employees to search for them. Keep it simple, but not so simple that it is just a table with a plain black table cloth and a sign. A little effort and attention can go a long way!
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Simply setting up a booth at a trade show and expecting to achieve leads toward successful sales is a waste of time unless effort is put into attracting people to the booth, then engaging in meaningful discussion with them while there. The following are tips to assist you to persuade trade show attendees to stop at your booth and to remain long enough for you to get your message across.
1. Ask people what they need from you
When someone stops at your booth, they will have an interest in your business or your organization and will want to learn more. Discover what interests. Rather than explaining what your company does, ask them what they’re looking for. Listen carefully to their answers. Determine how best you can address their needs and explain to them clearly how you can do so, without any confusing or overly detailed industry jargon they may not understand. If it appears you cannot supply their needs, try finding a way in which you might be able to do so. You may come up with a solution that will work well, but which the inquirer had not considered.
2. Be personable in order to connect with the inquirer
Treat the person who approaches you as a friend or a neighbor rather than a potential client. Try to come across as someone that is relatable and welcoming. Above all, try to avoid coming across as a salesperson, desperate to sell your product or service at all costs. Try to come across rather as someone who is genuinely concerned about the inquirer’s needs and how you can be of assistance to that person.
3. Provide a sample or a demonstration of your service or product
To attract people to stop by your booth and talk to you, it helps to have a free sample relating to your product or service that you can hand to them. As you hand it to them, or as they take it from your booth, engage them in conversation by asking how they might use the product or what they think of it. A demonstration tends to attract trade show goers, too. Once you have a small group of people watching the demonstration, it encourages others to stop by, too.
4. Anticipate people’s questions
Consider what people might want to know about your product or service. They might wonder, for example, how well it works, how much it costs, or what it can achieve. Make sure that you know your product or service so well that you can answer any question immediately. The last thing you want is to look flustered when a question arises and you do not know the answer or have to consult someone else at the booth to ascertain it.
5. Keep products always on display
If you provide a number of different products or provide a variety of services, make sure that people passing by your booth will be able to see them. Some attendees might be looking for a specific product or service; if they do not see it at your booth, they will assume you do not provide it.
6. Invite people to interact with your products or displays
You might want attendees to try out a product that you offer; people can connect with interaction more so than what they hear or see. If such interaction is not possible because of the nature of your product or service, consider a brief quiz with a prize, a contest or similar tactic that will enable them to interact in some way with your product or service.
7. Build a booth with a theme
Relate your booth in some way with your business. It might be by using the colors on your logo, models or pictures of your product or service, or an attractive design. Above all, your booth should represent the nature of your business and look different from those around it. A booth for a bank, for example, clearly should look different from that of a business that provides clowns for children’s parties.
8. Look professional
Although casual dress is accepted in most workplaces, it always helps to dress respectfully when representing your company at a trade show, particularly if you have a business or service that provides professional services, such as financial consulting or legal services.
Dress up rather than down and prove to attendees you mean business!
There are plenty of ways to generate interest at a trade show booth, but video is a top choice. Discover the many benefits of using videos to attract eyes and make an impression both before, during and after the trade show.
It Generates Interest
A video can generate interest in advance of the trade show itself. Once the video is made, it can be shared through email contacts or social media. If trade show attendees see the video in advance, they are more likely to make their way to the booth to learn more. Videos can also roll in advance of a live presentation as a way of piquing interest and drawing in a larger crowd.
Resonates with a Viewing Culture
For many people, certain mediums are preferable to others. In today’s world, viewing videos is largely preferable to verbal speeches or to written text. Hundreds of millions of people watch videos online each and every day, and doing so is familiar to them. It also initiates communication, which means that people can watch the video then interact with a presenter at the trade show booth.
Videos Can Be Creative
Another great benefit of using videos at a trade show booth is the opportunity to be creative. The traditional dynamic of a trade show booth can be static. For frequent attendees and those within certain industries, particular trade show booths run the risk of repeating information that has already been heard. The right video, however, can change that image entirely. Companies have the opportunity to be creative and empower their brand with videos, and it can add plenty of flair and excitement to an otherwise ordinary booth.
Embraces Modern Technology
Many companies want to embrace a progressive and tech-savvy image. One of the ways to showcase that a business is on the cutting edge is to use implement effective marketing techniques. There are plenty of ways to do that, and video is a prime example. Ensure the video is in a position to resonate with viewers with a high production value. This also highlights professionalism and ensures that the video accurately represents the modern nature of the business.
Videos are Eye-Catching
A major goal of many trade show booths is to attract visitors and attendees. Videos can attract people in even the busiest of environments. At a trade show, there is a lot of competition for attention. With so much to see, a video can set your booth apart from your competitors and neighboring booths.
Great Source of Entertainment
Videos are an excellent marketing tool, and they can be educational, in addition to being a lot of fun! A fun video can shake up the typical trade show routine, add some visual interest and make the booth a more appealing place to visit.
Clearly, there are many benefits to using video at a trade show booth. Videos can be entertaining, eye-catching and creative. They also resonate with the viewing culture, embrace modern technology and generate interest. Increase brand awareness with a video that speaks to your guests and trade show attendees!
For many companies, the expense of attending trade shows is very worthwhile. During a trade show, you have the opportunity to interact with hundreds—potentially even thousands—of people who are all members of your industry or have great interest in it. It’s a perfect opportunity for capturing leads.
By the team you reach the end of a trade show appearance, you and your fellow exhibitors will hopefully have gathered a plethora of leads for your organization in the form of business cards or electronically exchanged contact information. Now that the show is over, what should you do with all those email addresses? Filing them away in a digital rolodex means they could be easily forgotten, and simply adding those leads to an email newsletter may or may not result in an increase in subscribers.
You might go to the same trade show every year, but there’s no reason each visit can’t be more beneficial for your business than the last. For your trade show to be a success, you have to set objectives that are quantifiable. Goals help you focus the way you design, participate and implement your exhibit. It ensures that you gain a return on your investment and maximizes your brand’s exposure.
With so many items to ship before a trade show, it can be challenging to complete everything in time. Exhibitors often have in-booth advertising, brochures, booth linens and swag to ship to the trade show. To make sure that everything arrives in time, start planning the logistics of your trade show in advance. Meticulous management is necessary to make sure that all of the display components arrive on time for the start of the show.