Attending a trade show can be a fulfilling and profitable experience for any business, whether they’re a titan in their field or industry or the new kids on the block (not the band, though. The band was terrible. And honestly, I don’t much care for Donnie Wahlberg, but I understand that’s a personal problem). You need to make sure that you show up at trade shows, no matter what, just so you can get an idea of what is going on in your industry, but by not having your own trade show booth, you’re really doing yourself, and your business, a disservice. So, really, you ought to rent a space for a booth, even if you’re only going to have a small one, just so that you can have some representation at the event.
Once you have the space, then what? What do you do to make sure that your trade show booth is something that is going to stand out, to make sure that out of the sea of trade show booths you’re going to be mixed in with, you manage to motivate people to come to yours? This depends entirely on what kind of show you’re at.
If you’re at a show that’s closed to the public, and is only for people who are either a part of the industry or who interact with it on some meaningful level, you’re not going to be doing a lot of pandering to people who don’t already know what they’re looking for. You see, when you are having an industry show, it’s going to mostly be people who already know what’s going on in the industry, as well as knowing what you have to offer to the industry and the market, and this means that they likely came to the show with a list of things that they had to see. You’re actually probably going to see any competition you may have come by and take a look at what you’re doing and what you have to offer, and this is to be expected, and not feared at all. Competition is healthy, trust me. However, corporate espionage is a real thing, and by no means should you leave any early concept pieces or really anything that you’ve come to present and show off out where someone can steal it. It’s hard to believe, but that kind of thing happens, and it isn’t always some random person showing up to do it; it can be anyone. Other than that, you just need to be outgoing, and to have something worth showing, in order to make sure that people are coming to see your product. It’s really hard to entice people to come see something that isn’t worth seeing, no matter how much you hype it, and no matter how much you show it off, but remember that this is the country where a guy sold people pet rocks and made millions, so pretty much anything you make, you can talk people into believing in with some work.
On the other hand, if you’re at a trade show that’s open to the public, you’re going to need a better trade show display design.I’m talking about a need for something that will grab the attention of the people who are coming to see the show, making sure that the booth you’ve designed has your name and corporate logo clearly displayed, for starters. You’re also going to need to make sure that your booth is designed to grab attention while still being in keeping with the tone and attitude of the trade show. If you’re selling a new brew to the public at a trade show for new beers, you’re fine to have booth babes, and you probably won’t be the only one there that thinks of using them (sex sells, and anyone who says otherwise is a complete and utter liar. Trust me. I have seen how effective booth babes are first hand). However, if you’re at, say, a medical trade show, showing the public the future of MRI imaging technology or something similar, you probably don’t want to be showing off your new products with booth babes, because it’s sending the wrong message, and honestly, it’s kind of weird to show off medical devices with gorgeous women. Keep it appropriate.
If you consider the crowd that you’re going to service, you’re going to do just fine at the trade show. You just need to make sure that you stand out, that you gear toward the crowd that’s going to show up, and most importantly, that you have something worth showing, and you’ll be golden.