Need a pamphlet? How about a business card, or maybe a clicky pen with a logo?
Trade show booths can easily fall into the same old rut, but we have some tips to help pull you out. Eventfully Angela recently won an award for best booth at the 2019 Union County Business Expo. The experience got us thinking more about how to create an interesting, fun and memorable booth for a trade show.
Read on for some questions to ask yourself before preparing your next booth. We even include the inside scoop from our recent experience to give you a jump start. We hope it helps!
1. What will display who you are?
Don’t be a follower. Everything in your booth – from the backdrop to the promotional items to your attire – is a branding choice. Your identity and personality can be conveyed by the first thing people see. And you never know what that first thing might be.
At the aforementioned Union County Business Expo, we wanted people to notice us right away. Our eight-foot-tall pull-up banner spanned the entire space of the booth backdrop and could be seen from the other end of the expo floor. Our statement was bold, literally standing out among the crowd.
But it wasn’t just big, and it wasn’t just noticeable. It was … Eventfully Angela. An explosion of yellow and black, with branding on everything. Down to the suckers.
2. What will show what you do?
Now that you’ve conveyed your identity and personality, you need to communicate how your services will help people. You don’t just want to be the pretty yellow and black booth, right?
Our booth used a slideshow on a 27-inch Mac, with a continuous loop of pictures that showed the type of events that we do and the innovative way we carry them out. Our marketing material included a list of the event types we support, with photo samples on the back.
Other informational options to consider are adding text on a pull-up banner, live demonstrations, and website displays.
3. What will make you stand out?
Aside from size and branding, what else will make your booth draw traffic? On this topic, you’ve got myriad options, such as food, fun swag, costumes, and prize giveaways.
To make our booth sizzle, we removed the organizer-provided six-foot table and brought our own smaller round tables. We set them off to the side so people could engage with us without a barrier.
We also enticed attendees with sweet branded treats and the hook of a prize to be won. And if that wasn’t enough, we piqued their curiosities with our strolling table that you can see Katie wearing, er … displaying, in the photo above.
Our marketing materials and branded swag were displayed on the strolling table. It was a great conversation piece that brought people in and had them taking pictures. How many people do you think saw the photos after the event?
4. What can they walk away with to remember you?
After you impress with your branding, colors, booth design and more, you’ll need to leave visitors with something to remember you by. The logo clicky pens we mentioned earlier can come in handy and be used for a long time, but how about something with a bit more pizzazz?
Here’s a good article with some examples. Here’s another. You can find plenty of Pinterest boards, like this one and this one. Once you’ve determined your budget and expected number of attendees, you’ll have a better idea of how to proceed.
The giveaway highlight of our prize-winning booth were the branded suckers, accompanied by more traditional marketing rack cards and business cards. If you go for some flash, don’t forget the basics.
5. What is your goal in participating?
So … why are you setting up your trade show booth, anyway? To get leads for follow-up conversations? To build your mailing list or social media audience? Maybe it’s simply to generate awareness and word of mouth for your business. Whatever your goal, keep it in mind when planning your booth.
Our goal at the Union County Business Expo was to get more leads and increase brand awareness. To generate leads, we attracted attendees to our booth with the aforementioned eye-catching, conversation-starting, Insta-worthy strolling table and the opportunity to win a prize.
We also had a four-foot sucker tree with over 400 branded suckers. If you chose a sucker with a black tip, you won a prize. If you liked us on a social media platform, you received two opportunities to win the prize.
These efforts allowed us to hit our goal for critical conversations AND won us the first prize for best booth, providing free PR on third-party channels and tons of bragging rights. Not a bad booth day, right?
Answering these 5 questions can keep your tradeshow booth looking fresh, on brand, and get you on your way to reach your goals.
- What will display who you are?
- What will show what you do?
- What will make you stand out?
- What can they walk away with to remember you?
- What is your goal in participating?
Next time you’re ready to create an award-winning trade show booth, remember to keep it cohesive, keep it branded and keep your eye on your prize. Have you done or seen something that was a raging tradeshow success? Please share.
Eventfully Angela is a premier independent event management partner specializing in Corporate Events and Event Branding. Based in Charlotte, NC, Eventfully Angela fills the resource gaps of businesses both large and small, with premium and customized services. Specialties include full-service planning, sourcing and venue selection, on-site day of support, consulting and contract audits, event marketing and branding, experiential event design, and fully customized event registration websites. 704-754-2627 firstname.lastname@example.org