Not all companies have the budget to spread wide and take up space at a trade show. Smaller and middle-sized enterprises have to contend with a small booth, and it’s easy to fade in the background when you are not immediately noticeable to visitors. However, you don’t have to view this as the end of the line. Size is just one component in leveraging your presence at an event. We have heard all tips and tricks trade show professionals have shared with us over the years and are glad to fit in a handy checklist:
It may seem paradoxical, but small booth sizes free up a lot more staff members to interact with clients at the booth and promote the booth at other features at the event. Because you’ve a compact space, fewer people need to take care of it. Identify what workshops, conferences, discussions and seminars benefit your business and how you can attract visitors from there to come look at your booth and check out your products.
Shine with personality and your booth may become the talk of the trade show. Remember – good posture, friendly demeanor, eye contact and a solid protocol on the proper way to serve clients. The best performers are the teams that have been trained on how to break the ice, maintain a conversation with trade exhibition visitors and promote products without being aggressive. Everyone at the booth needs to know their role!
If you’re hoping for prospective buyers to find their way to your booth on their own, you’re going to return home without much of show for having been at the trade show. Be proactive. Most shows compile an attendees list, where you can scout for good prospects. Select the most promising ones and get in touch. Schedule appointments throughout the entire run of the show and space them out so your booth appears busy every single day. One – that is how you maximize your ROI. Two – visitors will become curious and check you out.
Do you know any experts that are going to be present? Perhaps you might know influencers that are going to give a talk or be part of a conference? Tap into that resource, because influencers have built-in audiences that pay attention. If you’ve passed a filter for quality like that, then you are much more likely to receive attention from prospects you don’t know!
The best way to generate buzz for a brand is to create anticipation. Yes, we’re here! Promotions on your website as well as marketing materials on social media are a good starting point, especially, if you already have a client base that pays attention to what you’re saying online. Use all relevant hashtags in your posts to be discoverable. Once you get your booth number use that in your marketing as well.
Other than telling people what your booth number is, make them know how to find it as easily as possible. Nobody wants to think too much to get to you. Trade shows are already exacting enough. Do all of the work for them. Invest in a distinguishing feature that’s a marker in a crowded landscape of visual cues. Another way is to make your own map that can be shared online through your social media channels.
A smaller booth with the right system to track its visitors and the convert them into customers is going to outperform any big company with an expansive, but poorly managed booth. It’s all about leads and sales, which is why you need to be extra carefully to correctly take down the information about the visitors you do interact with and the appointments you’ve made. Even better – add some personal detail to add as a callback. That way you’ll get a much more receptive reaction when you follow up after the event. Don’t forget to be prompt in following up! The first few days after a trade show are crucial.
There you have it – the cheat sheet to put yourself on the map of a trade show no matter how small your exhibition booth is!