Participation at an exhibition is a great opportunity that not every company is lucky enough to get.
What makes so unique is it is a perfect platform for not just introducing your brand and offerings to a wide section of mature audience; but also for networking with industry experts and peers. In most cases, people who attend exhibitions are potential customers’ looking to buy products/services; or source new partners.
The success of your participation at the exhibition will largely depend upon the success of your exhibition booth, a temporary structure set-up at the exhibition to showcase your offerings and brand. Its success will help your brand to reach the targeted audience; generate and cultivate leads; and foster and build long-term relationships with potential customers and partners.
A well-designed exhibition booth is imperative for your brand to stand out from the competition at the exhibition and cast a favorable long-term impression on visitors.
IMPORTANCE OF A SUCCESSFUL TRADE SHOW EXHIBITION
An exhibition will see the participation of scores of exhibitors. And it’s only natural that each of them would look to make their exhibition booth a success.
In such a scenario, how do you make your own exhibition booth a success?
Here are seven tips to guide you on the right path.
MAINTAIN PROPER GOALS
Before you look to participate in an exhibition, you need to have clear-cut goals for the exhibition. It is only on the basis of these goals that you can be confident of participating in an exhibition.
Your goals should be something that you aim to achieve at the exhibition. Identify what exactly you want from the exhibition; how you can work to achieve them; and how you are going to track and measure them.
Like for instance, are you looking to
- Sell your range of new products? If so, set specific sales target and ways to achieve them.
- Raise awareness of your company’s brand and image. If so, you need to inform and educate your audience as to what your company is; what it offers and its availability to potential customers.
- Network with other like-minded businesses or partners or associates? If so, work out ways to bring them all under one roof at the exhibition for a meet to arrive at concrete strategies to achieve common goals.
Your goals for the exhibition should be realistic and measurable, something that can be achieved. Then, you should set specific targets that is achievable; chalk out ways to achieve them; and finally, find ways to measure them. Overall, having clear-cut goals will give you a proper direction and help to plan your moves properly.
UNDERTAKE A THOROUGH COMPETITOR RESEARCH
An exhibition can be a competitive arena, with scores of exhibitors making their presence felt.
So, you need to consider in such an environment, how will my exhibition booth stand out?
It does not matter if you have the best of eye-catching exhibition space; and the best of exhibition booth design, at the exhibition. Each exhibition brings with it a different kind of competition. Hence, you need to be aware of the competition at the exhibition, and what your competitors have done in the past exhibitions; and what could they be doing for the upcoming exhibition.
To understand your competitors, you need to
- Make a list of competitors’ taking part in the exhibition. This will give you a clear idea of why your competitors are; and what are their products/offerings.
- Write down the names of the exhibitions and trade shows they have participated in; and how frequently they have been participating or spotted at these exhibitions and shows.
- Understand their nature of business, work approach; ways of doing business; what makes them successful, if they are; and why their exhibition stand design has done so well in the past.
- Keep an eye on everything your competitors do on the marketing front, online and offline. This will help you to estimate your own position against them on this front.
- Consider what they are doing successfully and what they are not doing so well.
If done accordingly, they will help you to make your evaluation easy and arrive at specific conclusions. The inputs gathered can be leveraged to craft your next exhibition booth and make it a success.
PLAN YOUR EXHIBITION STAND DESIGN
After undertaking competitors’ research and clearly defined your approach, you next need to plan the design and presentation of your exhibition stand, well in advance before the exhibition. This will give you sufficient time for working out the concept of the exhibition stand design; make revisions; undertake final artwork preparation; and finally, iron out design and production hiccups. Additionally, it is advisable to take backups of the exhibition stand design as they will come in handy if the design work is lost or misplaced or even stolen.
If done accordingly, it will help you to avoid last minute chaos and hassles.
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL EXHIBITION STAND DESIGN COMPANY
Once you are clear about your goals and have booked an exhibition space slot, your next move should be to hire the exhibition services of a professional exhibition stand design company with an impeccable track record of creating exhibition booths for a diverse spectrum of clients from different industries; and well-conversant with the ways of exhibitions.
By hiring a professional exhibition stand design company, you gain access to the expertise and skills of a certified exhibition booth designer. A certified exhibition booth designer will be well-conversant with the nuances of design and familiar with the latest exhibition stand design trends; and as a result will be well-positioned to create the appropriate exhibition stand design that reflects your brand profile with the right message disseminated to the audience.
You just have to give your own inputs on how you would want the design to be and what ingredients it should contain. The exhibition stand design company will take care of the design work leaving you free to focus on other vital aspects of the exhibition that matters.
UNDERTAKE 5 WEEK MARKETING CAMPAIGN
After you have handed over the exhibition stand design work to the exhibition stand design company, your next move must be to market your brand’s participation at the exhibition. This will help to spread the word among the exhibition invitees, industry experts, and such likes.
Some marketing tactics that can be tried include:
- Creation of a web page on your company website solely devoted to your participation in the exhibition; or write-up on the same and get it released in the press. The write-up should include a photo of your exhibition stand design; and relevant details about your brand and products/services. This will help the attendees to know what you will be exhibiting; where your exhibition booth will be located in the exhibition; and why they should visit your exhibition booth.
- Follow and engage relevant attendees’ social media accounts for the exhibition; and join in the conversation using relevant hashtags.
When you share your exhibition stand visuals before the exhibition, it will indicate to the attendees your sense of proper planning and commitment to their welfare. This will also help people to identify your exhibition stand when attending the exhibition.
LEVERAGE TECHNOLOGY TO ENHANCE VISUAL EXPERIENCE
Just having a pretty exhibition stand design is not enough. It will work its magic for a certain period and then the effect will wear off.
Make it a standout with technologies like
AR / VR
Using AR/VR capable devices, you can construct a three-dimensional experience of your booth. This will provide an immersive experience to the visitors; and facilitates the best possible interaction.
If your company is an automobile manufacturer, showcasing vehicle products frequently at shows becomes challenging. With AR/VR tools, you can let the visitors to explore and engage with them vide a mobile device like augmented reality glasses or a tablet.
A type of augmented spatial reality, Projection Mapping projects a 3D visual image onto a 3D surface. It can provide the visitors a more immersive experience, especially when it’s paired with audio and visual feedback.
VIRTUAL WALLS AND FLOORS
Exhibitors these days are looking to leverage every space of their booth space to the maximum. Even booth walls are being used to provide interactive experience to visitors.
With motion-sensing virtual walls, LED and projector screens can be used to provide visitors access to a digital canvas. As a result, visitors will be able to write their notes or make drawings, or play touch-screen games.
Like walls, floors too are being leveraged to the maximum. When proximity sensors and cube-shaped LED lights are installed beneath the floor, the floor’s color will change frequently in response to foot traffic. To captivate your visitors, you can deploy responsive LED flooring in creative ways; with a branded game or a dancing contest
The days of carrying heavy bags stuffed with papers and marketing literatures are over. Instead, apps and digital touchpoints can be used to provide the visitors marketing collaterals, online. Additionally, visitors can use the apps to scan products and look-up related info or have them emailed to their email accounts.
Apps can also be used to share data for lead generation purposes and to boost communication before, during, and after the exhibition show. All of these will enhance interaction with the visitors and make their event experience memorable.
OFFER UNUSUAL GIVEAWAYS / GIFTS
Nothing better will please your booth visitors than an unusual giveaway or a gift that enhances their exhibition experience. Instead of the routine gift items like caps or covers or even pens or diaries, give unusual gifts like branded laptop or branded suitcase or branded bag or gift voucher or even subscriptions to their favorite magazines or newspapers.
You can either give them away in-person at your exhibition booth; or ask them to visit your website and avail a gift of their liking.
Aside from giveaways, you can also have a quiz contests or games at your exhibition booth with prizes awarded to the winners and runner-ups.
How successful your exhibition booth has been is best gauged by how you manage the post-exhibition experience. You need to maintain the bond you have cultivated with the visitors by keeping in touch with them after the exhibition is over. This can be done through e mail or a phone call, within 48 or 72 hours after the exhibition.
You can also explore other avenues to stay in touch with them and offer value for as long as is possible. This will help to foster a relationship, which can be built upon and patronized to popularize your brand for the next exhibition show.
How you can make an exhibition successful?
You need to do proper planning and preparation in the run-up to the event. Additionally, set measurable goals on what you want to exhibit and what you want to achieve from it. Then, set specific targets like number of leads, or certain sales figure; and work towards achieving them.
What makes a good exhibition booth?
A good exhibition booth is one that sports a design reflecting your company’s goals and objectives for the exhibition; while at the same time, providing an unforgettable positive first impression.
Why are exhibitions successful?
They are successful because they offer a great platform for all types of companies to showcase themselves & their offerings; and attract a broad category of mature audience. To ensure you get the best value of the opportunity, do proper planning and preparation on the run-up to the event; and also set measurable goals.
How do you prepare for an exhibition booth?
Set your budget depending on your objectives. Then, start planning your exhibition booth by setting a theme for it; deciding on the experience you want the customers’ to have when they walk into your booth; & getting your marketing materials ready. If you’re launching new products, have some samples ready to try; and also include something of value not directly related to your products.