If you present at trade shows, expos, or conventions, you know just how appealing a flashy gimmick or an interesting giveaway can be. Word of mouth can spread like wildfire and soon enough, you’ll know exactly which booth’s attendees will want to visit (and visit again) as they make the rounds.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, giving away a free pen just won’t cut it… even if it’s a really nice pen. If you have a survey or raffle entry you want attendees to fill out, having some branded pens they can use and take with them isn’t a bad idea, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is enough to leave an impression. Attendees will be walking out with their bags and pockets full of free trinkets, and your pen will likely be lost in the mix.
The pen is forgettable, but more importantly you want attendees to infer that you’re in touch with their needs – and that’s exactly what separates the lackluster booths from the standout booths on the trade show floor. Successful exhibitors understand what their target audience finds valuable and will stop at nothing to deliver it to them.
Whether it’s a unique amenity or a memorable experience, you should spend some time brainstorming exactly why your current clients or customers were drawn to your business in the first place. If there’s a particular characteristic people are drawn to, focus on it and try to come up with an exciting new way to incorporate it into a presentation or product demo. For example, if your product is known for its durability, put it under a live stress test rather than showing a video of its durability. While you may not be able to drop your product from a helicopter on the trade show floor, providing an exciting, hands-on demo creates a tactile memory attendees won’t forget.
If your goal is to sign up new clients, consider leasing an eye catching, custom branded charging table. You’ll draw in crowds from far away and will have a designated surface potential new clients will feel comfortable dwelling around. If you’re using tablets rather than paper forms, a charging table has the added benefit of ensuring that your tablets will always be charged.
If you provide a service rather than a product, try coming up with amenities that are in sync with your brand. You could also provide amenities that will be hot commodities at the venue itself. For example, if the venue is outdoors with a lot of sunlight, consider setting up a cooling station with misters and branded bottles of water.
Before you spend your entire budget on a flashy gimmick, think about what you’re trying to accomplish with your display. Is your booth located on the outskirts of the expo floor and you’re worried about abysmally low foot traffic? Or maybe you have great foot traffic but can’t seem to get attendees to linger for more than a few seconds before moving on. Whatever it may be, knowing the values of your target audience and understanding your own goals for exhibiting in the first place are the stepping stones for an outstanding presentation that attendees will remember long after the convention has ended.