June 07, 2019

Real Ways to Add Whiz-Bang to Your Tradeshow Displays

by Carrie Scheetz

Tradeshows have been a part of culture and trade for centuries, if not longer, and they are still considered among one of the most important and effective marketing tools available. After all, where else can you find exhibitors, decision-makers, influencers and thought leaders under one roof?

But today’s tradeshow landscape has changed as companies are continuously vying for the attention of busy show-goers. Schedules are crunched – and you have to stand out to get noticed. That means that  displays are bigger, bolder and sometimes downright over the top.

For examples of this look no further than the Exhibitor Magazine’s top booths at the Consumer Electronics Show 2019 that included other-worldly experiences, massive video installations, full-scale amusement park attractions, artificial intelligence and so much more.

Of course, most tradeshows aren’t even a fraction of the size of CES and most companies don’t have the marketing budgets of Google, Samsung or Mercedes-Benz. But that doesn’t mean that B2B companies can’t glean some ideas and insights from tradeshow giants to make the most of their booth experiences and budgets.

Here are 5 tradeshow trends and tips to consider in 2019:

  1. Create immersive experiences. The more interactivity the better. Technologies, such as virtual reality, have come down in price and present an opportunity to take people off the show floor and into factories, homes, showrooms, buildings and more. If VR isn’t in your plans for this year, at least look at ways to give attendees opportunities to interact with your products in a meaningful and memorable way.
  1. Make your booth comfortable. Tradeshows are all hustle and bustle, resulting in sore feet, tired minds and overstimulation. Your customers and prospects would enjoy a chance to sit down, relax and catch their breath. Be sure to provide comforts, such as ample seating, calming music, drink service and even business necessities, such as reliable Wi-Fi and charging stations. Give them a place to escape to and learn about your products and services in comfort.
  1. Make it easy to self-guide at your booth. Not everyone wants the hard sales pitch or to be followed around the booth. Your booth should be designed to enable self-guided tours if that’s the desire of the attendee (we’ve all told a salesperson at one time or another, “No thanks, I’m just looking.”). One way to do this and still get your point across is to provide ample signage and descriptions throughout the booth. Take it a step further by adding kiosks where attendees can learn more, download literature or request more information.
  1. Avoid looking tired. If you’re just doing the same thing as last year, you are running the risk of losing foot traffic. Maybe you don’t have that revolutionary new product ready for display but that doesn’t mean you can’t give your booth a face-lift on a budget. Change out signage, add touch-screen displays, add fabrics, textures or new lighting. Even these simple touches can give your booth a new appeal and bring in return visitors.
  1. Create a lead capture and follow-up process. You wouldn’t believe how many people I’ve talked to forget this critical step. Whether using show-provided devices, third-party systems or your own home-grown method, get everyone on the same page on how leads will be tracked and segmented. Consider having consistent qualifying questions, such as size of company, locations, product(s) of interest, contact title, etc., that will help you follow up with your hottest leads quickly with personalized messages. After all, the show is just the beginning of the buyer’s journey in many cases.
Don’t forget the most important tradeshow rule.
While it’s not necessarily a trend, always – always – be true to your brand at tradeshows. Just like on your website or in your literature, your brand’s true essence should shine through on the show floor. So, as you are looking at ways to add a little whiz-bang to your efforts, make sure everything aligns with who you are as a company and what your true goals are. When it comes to your brand, consistency is key.

What do you think the biggest tradeshow trends will be this year? Shoot me an email at Carrie.Scheetz@Quanex.com. I’d love to hear it!

For more information about Quanex visit www.quanex.com
Posted: June 07, 2019 by Carrie Scheetz Filed under: marketing, tradeshows, trends