How to Attract Visitors to Your Exhibition Stand
Setting up a trade show exhibit or expo booth is a time-tested strategy to engage more people with your business. It is generally a good return on investment and you should pursue it as often as you can. But not all stands are the same. There are certain tricks you can do to make yours more attractive to potential customers and sponsors alike.
Read on for some tips on minimizing costs and maximizing profits at the same time.
Create a buzz
Before we even go into all the specifics, it is good to talk about the things you can do leading up the event. No matter how visually pleasing your booth is, or how interesting your scheduled displays are, you will do yourself a favor if you promote your attendance beforehand. That includes engaging your audience on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and all other social networks relevant to your business. Share some of the things you have planned. That will give people something to look forward to.
Make your booth stand out
And now onto the technical part. Since there will be many others like you, each one wanting to snatch a piece of the pie, you need to come up with clever ways to make your booth attractive. For example, experiment with different colors, sounds, lights and designs for your booth banners, flags and signs. Just don't overdo it. It is an exhibition, not a circus. Also, check in advance what you are getting for your money. A cheaper price might mean you end up at an obscure spot where people will find you only when looking for the bathroom!
Bigger is not always better
Speaking of money, trade shows and exhibitions will usually charge you on a per-square foot basis. That means you can save a little money by reducing the size of your booth and investing your money elsewhere. Plus, you can always compensate by expanding vertically -- add a banner or a screen on top of your stand that say something witty or funny. Again, be careful not to obsess over originality or you risk countering your efforts. But whatever space you choose, leave room for a demonstration area people will be more likely to buy (or at least remember) your product if you let them test drive it.
Test it all beforehand
Make sure all your equipment works at least a day ahead of the event. You don't want to be embarrassed by a small (or large, for that matter) technical malfunction. Walk around the hall before the event starts to see how your booth looks compared to the rest. Imagine you were a potential customer and looking at the place from all angles what grabs your attention the most? If anything bothers you, talk to the event manager and have it fixed.
Plan your giveaways
Everybody likes free stuff, so coming up with original giveaways will not only attract visitors, but will serve as a great conversation starter. Come up with something that's related to your business or brand, something people are likely to use or show to other people. Funny gadgets and custom shaped USB flash drives, anyone? Whatever you choose to do, giveaways are probably the part of your budget where you should allow for most generosity.
Pick the right team members
Exhibitions are a great place for networking, so you should choose team members who are likely to talk to people and attract them to the booth. Again, it's not a circus, so don't send them doing headstands and jumping through rings of fire. It is enough if they engage the visitor and introduce them to your business. Don't ask them to be pushy and try to close the deal right at the booth. That can scare potential customers. Rather, tempt them with special offers and give them time. It is better to establish a long-term relationship than force them into buying something only to never see them again.
Finally, allow for more than just business on your stand. People often go to trade shows simply to have fun and trade show games draw in visitors. So prepare games, quizzes and other forms of entertainment. And remember to be patient with yourself the outcome of your efforts might not be immediately noticeable.