7 Ways to Stand Out at Trade Shows

Posted on March 13, 2020 | Last Updated On: June 8th, 2021 by

As we begin another year, another season of trade shows rolls in for you to start handing out your recyclable trade show promotional bags. When exhibiting a trade show, it provides you with an exciting and fun time that presents you the opportunity to advertise and learn. It allows you to connect with potential consumers face to face who may not have otherwise found you despite your stunning marketing strategy. 

While you may have a curious, captive audience that roams the floor of the trade show, that doesn’t mean they’re going to come to your booth. And, if they do come to your booth and speak with you, it doesn’t mean they’ll remember you since they’re likely talking with numerous other brands as well. Here, you’ll learn seven ways to make a good impression and stand out at trade shows. 

1. Revive Your Branding

There are several reasons you might want to consider reviving your brand before the trade show, including:

  • Your message and appearance are outdated. This can happen to any brand and doesn’t mean you’ll have to necessarily reinvent the wheel. You can refresh by creating new signage and changing up your message. If it appears to your audience that you don’t care about your brand, you might find it difficult to sell consumers on your service or product.
  • You look the same as all the other brands. In this situation, it’s more about your colors and logo. If every brand in the industry is turning to orange circles and six of your competitors have an orange circle logo, then perhaps it’s time you do things a bit differently. You’ll simply blend in with all the other brands if you do the same thing. So, take some time to revisit your message and come up with an outstanding brand visual that will make you stand out more and connect with the audience you’re targeting.

2. Hand Out Something Unusual

Most brands hand out mugs and pens and this can actually irritate people passing by instead of entice them. Be more original with what you give away by being a little more creative. Of course, you’ll want to hand out your reusable bags, but maybe instead of simply handing out the typical trade show bags, you can hand out other types of reusable shopping bags like laminated shopping bags or wine/beer bags. Or you can add in a couple of small gifts inside the reusable bags like:

  • Laptop skins
  • Balloons
  • Sunglasses
  • Socks
  • Rubik’s cube

There are limitless ideas of what you can give away for free and it will increase your likelihood of standing out.

3. Dress Your Employees Like a Team

Dressing like a team can boost brand recognition significantly as well as customer satisfaction. And, these are both common exhibiting goals. Ensure your uniforms are “on-brand” and stand out. 

4. Invest in an Exhibition Stand that Stands Out

A pop-up display won’t be as effective if you’re looking to stand out at the trade show because it’s likely many other exhibitors will use the same thing. You should go with either a modular exhibition stand or a custom stand. 

5. Build Hype and Create Curiosity in Advance

A big mistake you can make is to go into the trade show without putting in an initial effort in building hype and curiosity in advance around your booth. Many attendees go into trade shows with booths they already have in mind to see. When you don’t have a pre-show approach in place, you could lose a lot of potential eyeballs on your booth.

Put in some effort to develop a multi-channel campaign to let your prospects and customers know the location of your booth and what to expect. You might want to begin this process a few weeks in advance for optimal results.

  • Be interactive. Involve your prospects in your outreach campaigns before the trade show. For example, you can allow attendees to vote on the promotional bags you’ll be handing out. 
  • Leverage social media. You can provide your pre-show campaigns with a boost through social media. To amplify attention, incorporate into your copy event-related imagery, videos, hashtags, high-quality photos and tag the hosts.
  • Build suspense. Generate excitement through your campaign by promising your booth visitors a special surprise like a “can’t miss” opportunity. Keep the information you provide about it minimal to keep them in suspense and motivate them to come over to your booth.
  • Allow the attendees to plan ahead. Let them book an appointment ahead of time with you to give them more of an incentive to pop over to your booth and to keep you organized.

6. Create an Experience

Don’t simply speak to your attendees, involve them. A great way to do this is to have them participate in some type of game. Ensure the game is tied into your pitch for optimal results. For example, you can host a scavenger hunt. You can collaborate with other brands to create an action checklist your attendees will have to complete at each of the booths they visit. These actions can be anything from watching a short video to asking a question. The booth’s team can check each activity off the list as they’re completed. Hand out a prize at the end of the game.

7. Greet Each Person That Walks By

Your trade show is a way for you to connect with potential prospects. But, you need to engage individuals in dialogue to do so. Smiling and greeting them will be memorable and you’ll likely get more people to your booth when you acknowledge them as they walk by.

The more of these ways you utilize, the better your chance of standing out among the sea of trade show booths and companies there to showcase their products and/or services. 

About the Author

Douglas Lober Chief Product Specialist

Doug Lober is Co-Founder and Chief Product Specialist for ReuseThisBag.com. Lober is a passionate environmentalist with roots in the Southern California surf culture. Over the last 15 years, Lober has launched and supported a number of environmental initiatives around the land, sea, and air. Today, he continues to provide and support the use of eco-friendly promotional products for small, medium, and Fortune 500 companies. You can learn more about his extensive background in the industry on Linkedin.com, Quora.com, Instagram.com, Twitter and Alignable.com

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