Recently updated on November 3rd, 2023
The importance of trade shows to the marketing function cannot be stressed enough. Quite often, the trade show environment is your one chance to make that all-important first impression. It can serve as an effective reminder to a former client or to one of your competitors scoping out the competition. This strong of branding opportunity should not be ignored, and it is important to take a look at your present Trade Show Exhibit Displays to see if they still represent the branding that your organization desires to put forward.
Some trade show traditions will never change, of course. The swag is often one of the more important parts of the offerings at trade shows. These trinkets or other logo-printed items will provide the client with a lasting reminder of their contact with you and your organization’s branding.
The Trade Show As A Marketing Tool
It seems like trade shows have been around since the beginning of time. They provide the opportunity for potential clients to meet your staff face to face and to take that step beyond the traditional marketing phone conversations, mailings, and other traditional marketing communications.
An important aspect to a successful trade show is for the client or potential client to walk away with a memorable contact with your personnel. Even if they don’t become clients when they first meet you, the next time they see your exhibit display at a trade show, they will remember that first contact and likely make contact again. If you did not bring them on board the first time, trade shows give you the opportunity to try to bring them on board in the future.
Many trade shows offer industry training as part of their event. Having the ability for suppliers, distributors, consumers to train together while networking is a valuable use of the expenditures that companies put out every year as exhibitors or as attendees. The training can provide valuable industry information to prepare your staff for future marketing endeavors. The importance of the trade show is enhanced by the tools your company uses to market itself. These tools begin with the trade show exhibit display.
Trade Show Personnel
You will want to staff your exhibit display with some of your most professional sales personnel. You will want them to be marketing for the organization from the first contact. Keeping the logo front and center, most organizations these days will have their personnel wearing shirts with the company logo. This also promotes a feeling that the company approach involves a team effort.
It would be nice if it was simple enough that the person could do all of the work, but the fact is that if you are going to be marketing at trade shows, you need to make your trade show efforts an investment upon which your company can turn a profit.
The Trade Show Exhibit Displays
Where To Start Building Your Exhibit
You want the potential customer to remember you so your initial focus should be on your main exhibit display and peripheral displays. It is this that draws people into your exhibit to learn more about your company, and what can you do for them. Once you have the customer’s attention is when the real marketing can take place.
The first step is to get their attention. Various parts of your display can do this. There are some incredible display products out there that can be customized to your needs. If you are a startup who has not had the opportunity to market yourself at a trade show yet, your exhibit might be limited to a couple of tables and chairs. Do the best you can with what you have. If you are still limited to that table, then cover it with custom printed table covers. Products like these can be designed to your specific needs. Your logo should be the primary focus so that your marketing effort was memorable.
You will want to use the table to present marketing materials that they can take with them. Perhaps your swag at these early stages is a small notepad with your logo on it. Handing one to a potential client will allow them to take notes from your conversation, and later when they look at those notes again and see your logo, they will vividly recall your exhibit display, personnel, and the content of your conversation with them.
As the company grows, you can add critical pieces of exhibit pieces that will make your exhibit space, even more, inviting in the future. If handled correctly, even the smallest exhibit display can be very effective. Ultimately, it is all about the content and the product or service being marketed.
Types of Trade Show Exhibits
10×10 Wooden Booth Design
Perfect for a 10×10 booth space but still makes a big impact. The wooden design is more affordable and lightweight compared to the metal options.
10×20 Aluminum With Fabric
These are for a 10×20 space and serve a bigger presence. Perfect for a brand that wants to stand out and get a lot of foot traffic at a show.
Marketing An Established Company
As your company grows, so should your Trade Show Exhibits Displays. Whereas the table worked great at first, and you may have added additional pieces such as a few well-placed exhibit wall displays, there is still a lot that should be added. The most memorable exhibits usually come from those companies that have been doing trade shows for a long time. Their exhibits are huge with seating areas, and a number of staff members who represent the different departments.
The thing that stands out in all of them is the professionalism of their staff, their marketing materials, and especially their Trade Show Exhibits Displays. Many of these larger exhibits will have components such as balloons or flags at the entrance to their exhibit. These can serve to attract more clients to the exhibit displays because when there are more logo aspects of the display appears, the general effect is that of corporate success.
As your exhibit continues to grow, custom printed pop up tents not only look good within the exhibit but can be useful to draw attention to whatever is housed within it. Usually, you would reserve this area for those materials that might cost more to produce and therefore for your more important clients and prospects.
You will eventually want to break your exhibit into even more sections. The exhibit wall displays can provide answers to common questions that can tell your potential client up front whether your product or services might fit their requirements. You can use several of these throughout your exhibit display area, each focusing on a different aspect of why your company is the best at what it does.
Taking The Next Big Step
As your exhibit grows over the years, you will eventually want to make the ultimate investment by having a custom trade show display created to your exact specifications. You will still want to use the other materials you have had made over the years such as your table covers, flags, and pop-up tents.
Once you are ready for this step, your options are endless and the result is an exhibit that will be time for years to come. These custom exhibit displays are easily transportable to trade shows and can be shipped ahead to the trade show site. Once you have your custom exhibit, you will learn to build it up and break it down quickly and easily. Any pieces that you would want to add, change, and replace can be easily done since your logos and information will still be on file.
Don’t ever underestimate the importance of the swag. Your first few trade shows, you may want to start out small with logo pens or notepads. Perhaps a refrigerator magnet with a small calendar or a key chain. These small items are low cost to procure and can remind your exhibit visitors of their interactions with you.
As your company and thus your Trade Show Exhibits Displays grow, you may want to keep these low-cost small items as one type of swag. You might expand into more costlier and higher quality swag items, such as coffee mugs or water bottles, for the most serious customer. These items are will last longer and your logo will be on their mind for a longer period of time.
Of course, trade show days can be long and taxing, and having your logo printed on water bottles can prove to be very lucrative. They also send a message to your clients that you care about their health. It is always a good idea to provide some sort of snack at your exhibit displays as well. Proving that you care about your clients in both large and small ways can go a long way in your marketing efforts.
Sometimes, the swag that allows for the greatest continual marketing is that which is useful and uncommon as compared to the swag that comes from other companies. Things like business card holders, luggage tags, or even small calculators are useful as they serve as a constant reminder of your corporate presence.
Other Effective Trade Show Marketing Techniques
Once your presence is known and expected, you might want to invest in an item such as a golf club or even a weekend at a spa that you can raffle off on the last day of the show. If the item is important enough to the potential customer, they will be sure to want to come back to your exhibit for the big drawing.
Throughout the course of the larger trade shows, there are always evening events such as cocktail parties where you can either treat your clients to or meet them at if the event is part of the attendee package. Make sure that you build some degree of hype with clients that you are asking to meet you at the trade show through either a raffle or the designated events.
Trade shows are an opportunity for marketing to come together with your suppliers, distributors, and other key players. Trade shows offer an opportunity for networking, training, and expanding your brand within your industry. The key to your company’s success can be connected to your marketing efforts. A key factor to successful sales and marketing can be successful trade shows and the relationships that come from them as those relationships can translate into sales for your organization.
Your Trade Show Exhibits Displays are an important source of branding for your company. Your yearly presence at specific trade shows allows you to expand your brand and build awareness with new and potential customers within your industry. Positioning your exhibit display at the show in prime booth locations is a good first step. Further branding can be accomplished through the advertising that your company will present at the show. Expanding the branding through advertising that is spread via the swag that the corporation distributes at the show itself can be an immeasurable addition.
Trade shows are important in that they provide an opportunity for suppliers, consumers, and distributors to congregate every year. This ultimate networking opportunity is well placed because these shows bring together people with common business and common interests, providing them a venue to discuss their common goals. These common goals can then be translated into sales.
Networking and branding can be enhanced by the right equipment for your exhibit display. A custom professional booth with your corporate logo is an investment whose profits can be enhanced through using the same exhibits for consecutive years. Brand recognition that comes from your regular annual presence at your industry’s most important trade shows translates into continued business, the growth of your business, and gaining new customers both now and in the coming years.