4 Things To Remember Concerning Designing Trade Show Booths

Any business that can take part in a trade show would be wise to do so, or, failing to actually craft and present their own trade show booths, should send a representative or two to look at what is being presented.  It’s the best way to do a lot of learning about your industry, and it’s at an event where most of the bigger names will be gathered under one roof, showing off what they’re doing and what they will be doing in the near future, all with the hope of generating buzz and future sales.  The whole thing is a great opportunity to learn and to network, and if you miss it, you are likely to regret it down the road.

Not only can you learn about the market as it currently exists at a trade show, but you can even discern patterns in the market and see where the market is likely to lead.  Are you looking at electronics?  Look at the movement toward mobility (as well as the continuing movement toward more and more powerful hardware, but let’s face it, that is almost a given these days.  I have a cell phone that is miles ahead of the power that my first personal computer ever had, and when I made said personal computer, it was one of the most powerful computers in a fairly tech savvy neighborhood), look at the movement toward new materials, most of all, find the patterns and find the curve, then get ahead of it!  These things you can do at a trade show.

Now, this isn’t to suggest that a trade show booth is a waste, but if you’re going to design and show a booth, you need to keep a few things in mind.  A few things like those listed below, for your reading pleasure.

1.  Crowd

trade show exhibit designThe first thing you need to do when you design a trade show booth is to think about the people who are going to be coming to see it.  Are you going to be showing your booth to a bunch of people who are part of the industry that you’re involved in, or are at least members of some industry that regularly interacts with said industry?  You can get away with some tech speak relevant to the industry, then.  Are you likely to encounter a lot of outsiders and people in the general public?  Probably want to keep it simple, stupid (an old acronym for making sure things work.  I highly recommend it).

2.  Display

Now that you understand who you will be pitching your product or products too, you can design your exhibit displays accordingly, making sure that they’re appropriate for the situation.  You also need to look at whatever it  is that you have to offer and to figure out the best way to present it to the people who are going to be coming to the show.  This may mean that you need to light it properly, or to show it in use, but you need to think of something that will capture the attention of the audience.

3.  Accessibility

Now that you’ve got your display figured out, you need to figure out the best way to allow the people to enjoy it and to make sure that as many people as possible can see it.  This is the reason that so many trade show ‘booths’ of the day seem to be very open and designed to allow people to walk through, less a ‘booth’ and more of an ‘area’.  The more people who get to see whatever it is you have to offer, the more sales you can generate.  You can’t sell to someone who doesn’t know that you exist.

4.  Security

Now, a lot of people don’t take this into account, but when you have a trade show booth and displays that are showcasing the newest thing in industry tech, some people are going to steal.  it is the way of the world, as heartbreaking as that may be.  You need to find a way to make sure that you don’t have your displays stolen.   In some cases, this is as simple as tethering displays to a table or a heavy weight with a piece of heavy gauge metal wire, in others something else may be called for.

The one thing you must always remember, though, is that the whole reason you’ve come to this event is to inform the people.  Be outgoing, be approachable, and let the customer know what you have and see what you have to show, and you will be all the better off for it.

4 Things To Think About When Designing Your Trade Show Displays

Trade shows are, for any business that is involved in them, an invaluable asset, and a fantastic way to get information out about your business and your product.  This is true whether the business showcasing their trade show displays are businesses that are titans in the industry, or if they’re a tiny business that has just begun to compete with the aforementioned titans.

Another great thing about trade shows is that they’re held in the same place pretty often, and that those places tend to be somewhere that you can have a pretty good time when you’re not at the trade show itself.  In fact, if you’re being paid by your business to attend the trade show, you’re going to find that going to a trade show can be a lot like a paid vacation, just in a location that you don’t really get to pick. For the most part, these locations are awesome anyway, so who cares?  A lot of trade shows are held in places like Hawaii, Florida, Oregon, Washington (state, not DC, DC is terrible), and California, meaning you’re going to be in locales that lend themselves quite readily to having a fun time when you’re not busy working.

That, of course, isn’t even including all the amazing things that you’ll be able to see at the actual trade show, being shown off in the trade show booth of every business.  You’ll be able to see the things that are coming out this year, and in some cases, you’ll even be able to see things that are going to be coming out in the next year or two after that.  Then, of course, there’s the opportunity to network, as well as the ability to discern the direction in which the industry you’re a part of is moving.

exhibit boothsIf you’re going to go to a trade show, then you’re going to want to have your own trade show display, and if you’re crafting one of those, you should probably keep the following four things in mind.

1.  Crowd

The first thing that you need to consider when you’re doing the work of designing your own trade show booth is the crowd you’re going to be interacting with.  Are you going to be interacting with a crowd made up of mostly professionals?  If so, a series of booth babes and flashing lights around your display may be somewhat out of place.  Are you going to be interacting with a crowd made up mostly of people who voluntarily came to your show?  If so, that may be the way to go.

2.  Display

Now that you know who you’re going to be encountering, you can do the work of making sure that your expo displays are designed in a way that they’re going to be effective in making sure that people come and see what you have to offer.  The more you know about the crowd you’re going to be encountering, the better you’re going to be able to target your booth to the people in said crowd.

3.  Accessibility

Now that you’ve figured out your display, the time has come to figure out how to do something about making sure as many people as possible are going to be able to see it.  Did you make something that is going to be shown on a TV?  Instead of having one TV on a table at about chest level, how about getting a bigger television and putting it on top of the booth you’ve designed, allowing everyone to see what you’re showcasing?  This is just one easy example. Your booth needs to look fitting, as well, including matching colors and themes to your product line or lines.

4. Security

You need to make sure that your displays are secure.  Now, this doesn’t mean you need to hire a private military company with submachine guns to watch your display or anything, just that you need to take a few common-sense steps in order to make sure that people don’t walk off with the things that you’ve brought to display.  Things like putting your display pieces away at the end of the day, or like making sure they’re hooked securely to your booth, things like that.  It’s not a hard concept, and most of it will only take a second for you to figure out.

Above all else, you need to make sure that you are prepared to discuss the products that you offer with the people who are coming in to your booth and your area to talk about what you have to offer.  The more people you interact with, the better off you’re going to be.

3 Considerations When Building Your Trade Show Booth

Showing up at a trade show, no matter how fun the trade show is going to be, still means that you need to be doing some work.  Yes, I know, I’ve been to shows before, and it can be immensely fun to spend that whole time going from booth to booth and seeing the newest things that are being offered in your trade, but you also need to be sure that you’re manning the booth and showing off what you’ve brought to show, and representing your business and your product appropriately.

You also need to make sure that you’re making your trade show booth as accessible as possibly can be.  You need to allow the people who are coming to the show to come in and utilize your booth to see whatever it is that you have to offer, no matter what that may be, and most importantly, you need to be allowing them the full experience of your product, as best as you can provide it in a mobile setting.  So, here’s just three things that you can do to make sure that you’re allowing them the best chance to see what you have to offer while making sure that you are also keeping your materials secure.  Here’s three considerations you should, well, consider.

1.  Preparing for the appropriate crowd

trade show displayWhen you have a business that is going to need to go to a trade show, you need to prepare your trade show displays according to who it is that you expect to run into.  Let me explain.

I once went to a NAMM show, which is basically a show where the music instrument companies (but mostly guitar companies) of the United States  are showing off the newest things that they have brought, or will be bringing, to the market.  They’re showing off guitars that you’ve never seen before, and because they’re showing it off to the people who are likely to buy them for personal use, not the industry, they’re sure to make the show flashy and quite bombastic.

On the other hand, there are countless trade shows throughout the year for vintage guitar sales and trades, and at these shows, you get quite a different experience.  Everything is out of reach, the guitars are all to be looked at, not really touched, and in general, you’re not going to get to touch one unless it looks like you might actually be making a purchase.

2.  Accessibility

When a building or business talks about accessibility, they can be talking about anything from ease of use to making sure that the building is open to the handicapped.  When it comes to a  tradeshow booth, however, we’re talking about the ability of people to actually touch and see whatever it is that you have to offer.  If you only have, for example, one tiny screen on which people can view the new video game that you have to offer, you’re going to be out of luck when it comes to making sure that as many people as possible see what it is you have to offer.  You need to design your booth to make it as accessible as possible to as many people as possible so that you get the word out as well as you can to as many people as you can about what you have to offer the world.

3.  Security

Something that no one seems to spend a lot of time thinking about is security at your booth at a trade show.  I don’t mean that you need to have a couple of gun-wielding ex-spec ops types hanging out at your booth or anything like that (although, if you’re at SHOT show, that might actually help you out), I just mean that you need to be mindful that people can, and in some cases, will, steal your materials.  People don’t seem, in general, to be aware of this, but corporate spying is an actual thing that happens fairly often, and getting an alpha build of a product stolen can be pretty disastrous.  Whatever you’re offering, you need to take some steps to make sure that you’re going to be able to make sure that whatever it is you brought to show off to the public or the industry comes back home with you, and not in someone’s pocket or their free tote bag.

Be mindful of what you’re doing when you design your trade show booty, and you’re going to do just fine.  Just remember, the entire goal is to let people know as much as possible about what you have to offer to the people, and if you do this, you’ll be alright.

Trade Show Displays To Grow Your Business

Trade shows are something that a lot of people never get to enjoy, and this is really a shame, because as an attendee, they can be a lot of fun (and a great way to kill some time while still getting paid for working).  The people who put on trade shows are well aware that trade shows are fun to attend, too; that’s why they have them at the kind of places they do.  Places that would, otherwise, be a reasonable place for a vacation or something similar.  A lot of trade shows are held in locations like New York City, Boston, Chicago, various parts of Texas, California, and pretty much anywhere in Hawaii (also, for some reason, Cancun, Mexico seems to remain a popular destination for trade shows, though I have no idea why).  This serves a two-fold purpose.  For the people who are going to the trade show, it makes it a more appealing trip, which means that they’re more likely to go and enjoy the experience and thus to come again the next year.  For those putting on the show, they’re more likely to attract more people,because  who doesn’t enjoy a tax-deductible work vacation where you get paid to socialize and look at things, and then to spend the night having a good time?  That’s pretty much everyone’s goal for a dream job, really.

trade show exhibitsTrade shows are either open or closed to the public, depending on the industry and the individual show.  The way that you need to set up your trade show displays, also, will be different based on what kind of show you’re attending.

For example, every year, guitar companies put on a guitar show called ‘NAMM’, and this is basically the year’s big trade show for guitars.  It’s open to everyone in the United States, so anyone can come, as long as they can afford the ticket and are willing to follow various rules and whatnot.  Imagine it. Tradeshow booths upon tradeshow booths filled with the newest things in guitars, the newest models of the greatest guitars in the world.  Gibson Les Pauls, Gretsch White and Black Falcons, Fender Telecasters (not Stratocasters.  Those things are terrible.  I had a cheap one as a kid, and it completely ruined Strats for me for life), all as far as the eye can see.

But it’s not just something that they’ve put up for you to see, but not touch; NAMM isn’t the kind of thing that you would run into at guitar center, where you can look, but not enjoy.  They have guitars placed up on racks so that you can play them, or amps everywhere that you can enjoy, or even things like new models of guitar tuners or new cables for getting the most sound out of your electric pickups (yeah, there’s not a lot of science proving that the cable makes a huge amount of difference, but whatever, people are going to sell what they’re going to sell), and literally every single thing that you see there, you can pick up and play on, at least until someone tells you to knock it off because they’ve heard stairway to heaven way too much today and just aren’t putting up with it anymore.  This is the kind of thing that burns into your mind, when you pick up a guitar and play it and it just sounds perfect and feels like butter in your hands.

On the other hand, if, say, you’re at a guitar show that is geared toward only the professionals, you’re not going to be seeing people allowing you to just pick things up and play them.  Used guitar shops have a lot of trade shows each year, where people are unloading things they can’t seem to sell where they are, and their trade show booths are very protective of the gear that they have to sell or trade.  You have to ask to touch something, and then the dealing begins.  There’s no flashy booths, no lovely amps, no booth babes, just a bunch of guitars in a well-lit room and a bunch of guys arguing over how much a belt scratch devalues a guitar that is twice as old as I am.  It’s all professionals, no one outside of the professional setting, and because of this, they’re going to be run in just such a way that professionals are able to effectively do what they need to, and the booths reflect that.

So, be prepared to fit into whatever crowd you’re going to for your trade show, and make sure you know what is being traded and sold.  Also, don’t buy a Stratocaster, because they’re awful.  No offense Fender, the Telecaster is infinitely better.

Event Design And Your Business

If you’re in a business, you are, eventually, going to have to go and see some sort of trade show, and this means looking at a lot of trade show displays.  Now, whether you’re going to be going to the trade show as a presenter, or you’re going to the trade show as a group that is just going to look, you will notice something about the show, and that is that the booths, they’re going to be different based not only on company, but on who the show is geared to.

expo displaysMaking sure that you utilize intelligent event design isn’t just good business, it’s just plain smart.  Not all events, not all trade shows, not all expos are created equally, and you need to be ready to attract business the way that is appropriate.  For example, in 2009, not only did I attend a scientific expo (they called it a symposium, but I remember an entire floor of a hotel in Boston that was just wall to wall trade show booths, with everything from books written on the scientific basis of use of force in certain scenarios, to places that were handing out teacher’s copies of their new criminology textbooks in the hopes that someone there was a teacher who would read the book and adopt it as their new course text, thus resulting in a few thousand dollars’ worth of sales.  These booths at this particular show weren’t flashy, but they did have a lot of space that was showing the content of the booth, not just showing the things they had for sale, but excerpts from such. This wasn’t just a good idea, it was a smart one; you had, in a room, a bunch of scientists, many of whom were shopping for scientific texts for their own research or just to expand their knowledge base.  This doesn’t require a lot of flashing lights, it simply requires a booth that looks a bit better than what you’ll find at a bake sale and nothing more.  This is appropriate if you’re doing a subdued event where you’re basically catering to scientists.

On the other hand, what about a more public event?  How about the SHOT show, the National Rifle Association’s annual event where they showcase all the new products in firearms and related industries that are going to be coming out for sale in the next fiscal year?  Well, to begin with, you’re going to need to make sure that, when you have a lot of firearms in an area, you have them safely tethered to your booth, and you’re going to absolutely need to ensure that your display weapons are all non-firing (easy to achieve, just remove firing pins and bolt carriers and you’re good to go).  That’s just intelligent event design, really, making sure that everyone is safe.  However, when you’re displaying a product, especially a product as dynamic and expensive as a series of firearms, you probably want your booth to look better than a booth at a gun show, and this means having good mounts for hanging rifles and handguns, maybe a few mock-ups or show pieces, things like that.  For example, Surefire lights have had, over the last few years, a bunch of their flash lights attached to the rail systems of ‘blue gun’ models, which are basically rubber training guns.  This allows the end-user, the customer, to get a feel for the weight added, and the dimensions it’ll add to the firearm, without having to spend money on the actual firearms or having to do anything to make sure that firearms on hand have to be worked on to be non-firing, which can be both time consuming and a hassle.

So, once you know what you need, you’re going to be better able to pander to the crowd that’s going to be showing up.  Why would you spend a lot of time and money developing something flashy for a bunch of people who are really, truly there for the content, not the awesome look of your booth?  Conversely, if you’re selling video games at the E3 conference and your booth is both sad and miniscule, you’re not going to see many people, and this can rob you of the opportunity to spread the word about upcoming products.  Building a booth can be a difficult thing, but if you know what you’re doing, or if you hire someone who knows what they’re doing to help you with design, you’re going to be getting your money’s worth and getting the support you need from the event.

Contact an Experiential Marketing Agency

Exposure is key for any business because once the industry knows who you are and what you can do for them, the business should come to you. There are various advertising and marketing strategies that are used to create this invaluable exposure in order to be successful, but only so many of them make sense for your industry and the kind of customers that you are trying to attract. The people who care about your message or located few and far between within massive swarms of people going about their daily lives trying to accomplish the things that they need to. Getting more of those people who could be concerned about your message into the same place at a trade show is often the best way to create the most efficient exposure for your company and your ideas. Creative event design may be your ticket to success, so don’t underestimate its power.

We live in a three-dimensional world but we deal with a lot of two-dimensional things. A trade show display can be simple and benign with a fold-up table covered by a table spread with your company logo and slogan on it that people can stand in front of like a booth at a carnival. Or, it can be exciting and open itself up to the trade shows attendees by being set up to provide an experience that they can literally walk into so they can use additional senses that will help them remember you better. Whenever possible, whatever attractions you bring in should be relevant to what you do as a company but even something as simple as a raffle for something valuable could increase the chances of people coming over to your booth and participating. Otherwise they may be just bystanders walking by without you ever being able to catch their eye.

trade show displays and an entire industry exists solely for this purpose. Trade shows are important places for companies from a variety of industries to get their message out to a super-focused group of consumers who attend. It is also the best place to see what you competition is up to and what people are thinking and saying about them. Information is important if you pay attention to it and know what to do with it and trade shows are where everyone with an informed opinion show up to show off what they have to offer, schmooze with prospective customers and have fun. Business is mainly about building relationships and trade shows are a great place to do that. Having an attractive and interesting exhibit as opposed to a booth is the best way to get people to come to you so you can begin to develop those valuable relationships.

You may be a creative person and have some great ideas that a professional trade show designer can run with. Your input will always be appreciated and could be the difference between you having a good display or a great one that is truly memorable. It is important to understand what your budget allows for in terms of the possibilities before you put too much time into thinking about the matter. This is one of the things that will be discussed when you contact a experiential marketing agency, amongst other things. You can always visit their webpage and see their portfolio to see what they are capable of and how well they are able to market themselves. Try to find an agency who has performed work in your specific industry for a company that you know, and see if you like the approach that they took and if you can see yourself with something similar.

When the competition is fierce, trade shows can be the only way to gain ground on your competitors and your advertising and marketing dollars may best be spent on making your presence known. It does not make much sense to thrust your message into obscurity with valuable marketing dollars by using ineffective techniques that don’t produce results, like print advertising and expensive radio or television spots. Trade shows can be expensive too with all of the travel expenses and the money that you are going to spend on a great display, but if you are going to do a job then you better do it right. Contacting a creative trade show display company could be the best decision you ever make, but you will never know until you make the decision to take a chance and see what it can do for you.

 

Design a Trade Show Booth that is Anything but Boring

Anything worth doing is worth doing right. Anyone who had a father who grew up after World War II has probably heard that saying more than they care to remember but because of the repetition, they indeed remember. That is basic technique that makes some marketing and advertising campaigns successful in fact. It of course is not the only way that a marketing company can make people remember them, but it in conjunction with other tactics it can aid in creating a memorable advertisement. Traditional forms of advertising are not near as effective as they once were though and there are several reasons for that.

Things in the marketing and advertising field have changed a great deal in the last couple of decades because of the advent of the internet and many companies have reallocated their marketing budgets to completely different kinds of advertising. Unlike the internet though, trade shows are not a new thing but the methods used to create exposure at them has evolved quite a bit in recent history. So, today it is not uncommon for companies to spend good money on creating a powerful presence at trade shows by hiring event design agencies to build them head-turning trade show exhibits.

Trade shows make a lot of sense for just about anyone in any industry from a marketing and advertising perspective, because it is a common gathering place for specific industries. Trade shows bring together many people and businesses with common interests and they pay for valuable floor space so they can attract the attention of the trade shows visitors in order to begin to earn their business. Like a peacock and other male birds strut their stuff and show off  their colorful feathers in order to get the attention of all the females, companies have intriguing trade show displays built so they can do the same thing with trade show visitors.

Some entire industries are considered boring from an advertising standpoint because what they do just isn’t all that interesting, but that doesn’t mean that the advertising strategy has to be just as boring. Think about how lame a heating, air-conditioning and ventilation systems trade show could be and then you will realize how creative a trade show booth designer needs to be in order to get people to take interest in one company over another who does the same thing. Their job is to create a welcoming environment with the space they have available to them by using materials and a design that the budget allows for. This can be relatively inexpensive or it can cost a pretty penny, it’s all about what the client wants.

There are simple things that a company should not forget about at a trade show no matter how much money they are spending on their display. They should have their most friendly and engaging company representatives attend the trade show so that they can have productive interactions with people who come over to the booth. They should consider providing bottled water, fresh coffee and perhaps some other beverages to their visitors in order to make them feel at home, and of course they should have business cards available. Creative input is always appreciated but most of the design details can be left up to the event designer.

It is especially important in standard industries to try to stand out and help people have fun. Connecting tangible objects to company slogans or related industry ideas that people can literally take away with them can produce a memorable experience. For example, having inexpensive paper weights that look like an ice-cube with a company logo on them for a business who’s slogan is something like “air conditioning that is as cold as ice” may be an effective take-away device. Maybe actually setting up a product demonstration where people can literally stand in front of an AC unit and see how cold the air is could make a difference.

There are of course things that make sense and things that do not, but being creative with common things in common industries can be a real difference-maker. A professional trade show exhibit is designed and constructed with structural integrity. One of the worst things that can happen to a trade show display is for it to crumble or sag and make a company look foolish. That, among many other reasons, is why any company who is looking to hire an event design company to represent their business at a trade show should go with one who has a reasonable amount of experience.

 

 

Event Marketing Is The Key

Even companies who have been around for years need a shot in the arm every now and then in order to reach a larger audience. In a world that is moving so fast it may seem difficult to stay on top of all of the changes, especially when it comes to the quickly evolving advertising and marketing strategies, but that stuff should be left to the experts. One has to be in the direct informational flow of that business to understand the subtleties and nuances, and any company who requires their services needs to keep an eye on their own interests. Understanding how a company is properly represented on the internet may seem like it is easy to understand but understanding it and actually doing it are two different things. Plus, internet advertising is much more effective when an event marketing expert combines it with a steady stream of live events and presence at important industry trade shows.

Trade shows are not new, in fact they have been around for years but the displays and exhibits that professional designers are coming up with are getting more and more creative. Many established companies think that it is important to keep their foot on the advertising accelerator so their competition is not able to gain any ground on them. There are also those who are trying to create some momentum for themselves so they for different reasons want to create a powerful presence at a trade show and at specific live events. Having an exhibit designed and constructed by an experienced experiential marketing consultant or agency is a popular way to make sure that any company is represented at these events in style. Very elaborate exhibits are quite common at some of the most popular industry trade shows, but there are also very modest displays that can be quite effective as well.

A company’s industry and advertising budget has a lot to do with determining what their trade show display is going to look like and the amount of creative energy that is put into its design. The budget also factors into the trade show real estate they are able to purchase in order to get the most attention of the people who are in attendance. Often, the amount of money spent on the floor space at a trade show is relative to the amount of money that is spent on the trade show exhibit. The biggest companies sometimes find it necessary to spend the most money on trade show real estate and the design and construction of their exhibit because they believe that it only makes sense with the budget they have at their disposal. Very often though, smaller companies go all-in with their annual advertising budgets on a big industry trade show to get the exposure they need to grow.

Exhibit displays are often designed in some way that incorporates social media whether the visitors are somehow encouraged to ‘like’ a specific brand on a popular website or the event is filmed so videos and pictures can be posted online. Either way, live events and internet presence creates valuable exposure for just about any company who at any point in today’s day-in-age feel it necessary to spread the word. There are some very creative ways to advertise online that are extremely inexpensive or even completely free,. But, trade shows and live events are a different story because of the many costs associated with the travel expenses and fees that are required for a company to attend and have the space they need to represent themselves. Creative displays do not have to be designed to be used only once either. Some industries have multiple trade shows that a company wants to use their display at so it is designed for them to be able to build it and break it down easily.

Advertising and marketing is not the same as it once was and it never will be again. Creative ideas for trade show displays are going to continue to get more exciting and elaborate as technology gets better and the competition continually grows more fierce. The internet is going to keep on moving along as marketing companies of all kinds keep on finding new and effective ways to help their clients be successful. Any business who wants to grow or even sustain in today’s business climate would be smart to find a reliable, innovative and creative advertising partner who understands the ins and outs of the ever-changing advertising world so they have one less thing to worry themselves with as time goes on.