Operating a successful booth at an exhibition or trade show is a big job. Even so, shows of this nature have become essential in the 21st century. And while expos are a well-established practice and are far from new, some experts insist that they’re more important now than ever before.
We operate in a world that has been dramatically digitised. A significant portion of commerce now takes place online, where no first-hand contact occurs. Trade shows – while they may be an older and more traditional means of canvassing for clients and customers – provide an essential level of human interaction that businesses still thrive on. The chance to meet your potential clients, shake hands and pitch your product in a face-to-face format is all the more effective for this very reason.
Furthermore, many modern trade shows have a strong online presence to complement their physical one. To that end, investing your time and resources into a trade show is by no means tantamount to foregoing any online interaction. The most successful attendees manage to do both.
Here are three tips for running a successful trade show booth:
- Never underestimate how much manpower you’ll need.
From a preparation point of view, it’s easy to underestimate how many people it will take to operate your booth. The best exhibitions are packed with visitors, and every minute that your booth is unattended or understaffed provides an opportunity for missed connections. Given the overall expense of operating a booth at a function like this, it would be a shame to miss out on its full benefits simply because you sent one fewer operator than necessary.
- Prioritise making a strong outward impression.
To a certain extent, it goes without saying that appearances matter at trade shows. Even so, far too many participants are guilty of underselling themselves in terms of lacklustre production. Again, shows like this are major events, and it’s certainly worth going above and beyond in order to make your company stand out. Fortunately, you can find highly affordable exhibition stands online that offer a high level of ‘wow factor’ despite their relatively low price. And don’t forget that the appearance of your stand staff is just as important. While there may not be any need to go over the top with fully formal attire, it’s never a bad idea to intentionally out-dress the average attendees at the expo.
- Befriend those adjacent to you.
Most exhibition planners are good about ensuring that your booth is not located directly adjacent to that of a competitor. Along those lines, you have little to lose (and plenty to gain) by befriending the people in the booths next to yours. Fast friends can be lifesavers when you realise that you’ve come up short in equipment department. Maybe you realise that you’re short a cable or could use some duct tape. They may be able to help you – that’s what friends are for, after all!
Follow the above, and exhibition or trade show may be even more successful than you’d hoped.