Trade shows and exhibitions are a great way to raise the profile of your business and your brand. And with ever more sophisticated technology available to create an all-singing-all-dancing exhibition stand, it’s tempting to want to wow on all fronts.
But don’t get carried away – the most successful techniques go back to basics, focusing on the clearest and simplest way to communicate the right messages to your target audience. This includes the visual presentation of your stand, your company name and logo, any slogans and marketing copy used, and your digital presence.
Start-ups and smaller businesses can benefit especially from an eye-catching exhibition stand. If you are looking to grab the attention of potential customers and draw people to your brand, a creative and quirky stand is a great way to make you stand out from the crowd of your larger rivals. When you can make a great first impression with your stand it can help you to potentially attract more leads, customers, and investors – all of which can be crucial when you are working to get your start-up off the ground.
1. Graphic design for your stand
You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make sure that you create impact for all the right reasons. Remember that visitors’ attention spans at trade shows and exhibitions are notoriously short, so get to the point with simple, bold imagery and clear messages.
A busy trade exhibition is neither the right place or time to be alluring and mysterious.
“Keep your graphic design sharp, smart and eye catching to stop people in their tracks but also easy to understand.” – YouLovePrint
That way it will act as an effective backdrop for your trade show message and as a memorable canvas for your story.
Here’s an excellent example:
Source: Temporary Walling Systems
2. Opportunity for brand promotion
Trade shows are all about maximum promotion and marketing – you’re there to network and drum up some much needed leads. Take full advantage of the opportunity to show off and shout about your company name, brand or logo. Now is not the time to be modest or self-effacing.
Place your brand and logo in a high viz position on your stand, so it’s easy for all to see. Choose a company logo that encapsulates your values and creates the right impression of what you do as a business. Not sure how to go about logo design?
This guide is a good starting point.
3. The power of the written word
While good design, colour and placement go a long way towards drawing your target audience towards your exhibition stand, key messages may also need to be communicated in writing. Use simple, bold graphics and easy-to-read typefaces for maximum eye grab.
Choose your words carefully, making sure to keep you marketing slogans and messages impactful yet short. The shorter your headline, the larger is can be printed onto your trade show display and the greater its visibility and impact will be, as is shown here:
4. Longer copy and product descriptions
Writing, designing and printing marketing collateral for your trade show display should tread a fine line between too little information and too many words. It’s worth starting with the assumption that show attendees will be easily put off by having to read long blocks of text. A sentence or two at the very most is as much attention as you can hope to capture.
Keep your sentences short and snappy, making each word count. Use bullet points where possible and keep technical jargon to a minimum. Unless you’re a seasoned wordsmith yourself, it may be worthwhile getting a professional copywriter to help you get the right message across.
5. Website and social media interface
While networking in real life has always been an essential part of the marketing mix, in today’s business world promoting your digital presence is non-negotiable. Use every opportunity to direct people to your website – try printing your URL in prominent places or using QR codes – and encourage attendees to connect with your social media platforms.
The importance of digital cannot be understated. Particularly in a busy environment where every exhibitor is vying for attention, a memorable website address or quirky hashtag may be all you need to increase traffic to your site.
Source: Fit Small Business
6. Effective communication before, during and after the show
A classic mistake that many businesses make when attending exhibitions and trade shows is that they limit their communication to the actual event. An appealing, high visibility stand with plenty of personal interaction, promotional gifts and flyers to give away is great, but it should only constitute a third of your overall strategy.
If you also put into action communication initiatives before and after the event, these combined efforts should ensure a far higher success rate in terms of engaging potential clients and generating enquiries. From pre-event emails and social media mentions to inform others of the fact that you’re an exhibitor and inviting them to come and say hello, to follow-up emails to secure introductory meetings with potential clients, it’s worth promoting your business throughout the entire journey.