Su Brookes, Account Marketing Director at design agency Michon, offers some tips on how to attract buyers and encourage them to interact with you at a show.
When budgets are tight, trade shows can seem like an expensive part of any marketing and sales strategy. But you don’t have to resort to dancing girls and pyrotechnics to make your company stand out among a host of other suppliers.
A customer must understand instantly when they see your stand what you’re selling and align this with your brand. The main aim of any good exhibition or trade show display should always be to help sell your product and market your brand. This may sound obvious but often the product focus gets lost when designing a stand. Make sure your message is succinct and ensure that any written text is above knee level, as copy all the way down to the floor can be difficult to see and read.
Make sure you have samples of your products on the stand, as it will always make a difference if a customer can physically interact with what you’re selling. If your products are too large to showcase, your stand is too small or you sell something intangible like a service, then incorporate decent-sized, good quality product images into your graphic design.
Once you have attracted customers to your stand, make sure they leave having had a positive experience and an understanding of exactly what your brand represents. Remember a brand is not just a logo; it’s your entire company identity from the outside in. Your team should always come across as personable and be knowledgeable about your product. A great tip to encourage customers to linger at your stand is to offer refreshments with a comfortable place to sit and interact with your team.
Ensuring your stand has individuality can be tricky if you have a shell scheme with limited space, and like many exhibitors you may opt for a pop up stand. This means that structurally you look like a lot of other displays, so it’s even more important to ensure your graphics work harder. And if you do build a bespoke stand, consider using materials that represent your brand.
A key point to think about is using different media to get your message across. Showing a short film on things like how your products are made, your service in action or case studies from happy customers will persuade buyers to stop and give you a chance to chat to them a bit more. Nobody attends a trade show for an industry they have no interest in, so this is a great opportunity to increase your online following and connect with them via networks like Facebook or Twitter.
Always remember to take their email address so you can keep in touch with them with any future correspondence. It’s also useful to have a pile of USB sticks on hand with all your company information included, which can be handed out to interested customers to look at in their own time.
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of free stuff. Everyone should leave your stand with some memento of your company, but try and make yours stand out from the myriad of mugs, pens and mouse mats. Make it something fun that reflects your business and ensures that people remember you above other exhibitors in your market.
This was first published in the June issue of CN. Any comments? Email Zoe Vernor