Trade shows are a great place to network with other industry figures, meet potential new collaborators and reach new potential customers. The problem is, while they’re effective, trade shows are also very busy places with a lot of vendors vying for attention. If you’re going to get anywhere among all this noise, you need to find ways to stand out. Get your lanyard badge holder ready for your most successful trade show yet with these tips.
- Start well in advance of the trade show. Go beyond the obvious methods like adding your stand number in your email signatures. Instead try something new like getting other attendees to vote on the freebies you bring to hand out, like t-shirts or pens. Make use of any hashtags for the event, and create creative, engaging tweets using imagery that will stand out.
- Give away something unusual. Everyone leaves a trade show with a hundred free pens and pads of sticky notes. Instead, give away something a little bit different and slap your logo all over it. Give away balloons, laptop skins, candy, headphones, sunglasses, socks or anything else that fits your brand but is more interesting than the basic trade show freebie.
- Embrace humour. You can use humour to give those passing your stand something to talk about. Most stands will be leaning on positive messaging, which sounds good, but can actually become a little bit dull. Find something humorous to say to stand out and catch attention.
- Check out the competition. Before the show, do your research. Who are going to be the big vendors at the show? What are they bringing? What can you learn from that? Are they using a new way to attract customers? Are they running great contests? Do they have great freebies? If you know what you’re up against, you can prepare and come with an elevated offer.
- Boast about where you’ve been seen. If your brand has been featured in industry press, then use it as a focus point. Shout out about where you’ve been featured as part of your design with an ‘As Seen On’ feature of some kind. This can create a buzz and show off your credentials in a more effective way than telling people how good you are.
- Invest in your display. Never take a sad looking booth to a show. Instead, make sure you look professional and successful by creating something that looks slick and impressive. Investing here makes you look like a bigger company who everyone should want to work with. If you create something great, you can recoup your spend by reusing it at other shows in the future too.
- Hand out large reusable bags. All the vendors at a trade show will be giving away all sorts of items, from brochures to free mugs. Lots of will also give away bags to put all this in, but as attendees load up throughout the day, the biggest bag will usually win. Attendees will be showing off your logo all round the show and if you give a reusable bag, they might keep using the bag after the show too.