Trade Show Displays
The Value of Trade Shows
Today’s consumers are inundated with tweets, Facebooks posts, Instagrams, and even a QR code here and there. With the flood of digital media, do trade shows still work? Are they relevant to an audience that is constantly connected? The short answer is, “Yes.” The longer answer is that consumers crave experiences – real, physical, in-person experiences. A trade show offers a unique opportunity for brands to give their audiences what they want: face-to-face contact. The real value –and power – of trade shows is in these interactions.
Why is this “face time” so important for brands? Because:
- 81% of trade show attendees have buying power. That is, they’re authorized to make purchasing decisions – then and there. Differentiating your brand with attractive and innovative trade show displays draws visitors who are in the market for exactly what you have to offer.
- Attendees spend over 8 hours viewing exhibits. That’s 8 hours you have to engage customers, prospects, and influencers in your brand.
- The majority (78%) of attendees travels over 400 miles to attend key shows. What does that mean to you? That they’re motivated. They’re not there to browse; they’re there to lock in deals.
- 73% of attendees buy from at least one vendor. Preferably you! Educating them in person about your unique selling propositions helps them make their decision.
- 92% of attendees say they go to trade shows to see/try new products. Trade show exhibits that offer hands-on displays, demos, and other interactive features have a much better chance of engaging these eager consumers.
All of this boils down to one key take-away: people value one-on-one, personal interactions when making major purchase decisions. They want to put a face to your brand, a voice to your message, before they make a purchase or close the deal. This makes a strong trade show presence a powerful asset for your business.
Designing Your Trade Show Booth
What is your most valuable trade show asset? Here’s a hint: it’s both free and priceless. Your creativity will be your key differentiator; it will enable you to transform a simple booth into a winning exhibit. Here are some do’s and don’ts for designing effective trade show displays.
Do keep it simple. Resist the urge to cram every message onto a banner stand or popup display. It will look jumbled and crowded – noise that your audience is adept at tuning out. One message, one font, one image per space. Keep it clean.
Do go bold. Simple is far from boring. Use vibrant reds, oranges, yellows, and whites, which are eye-catching but not overwhelming, and make sure you leave plenty of whitespace. In a high-test environment like this, trade show booths need to attract attention without fatiguing the senses of your audience.
Don’t be inconsistent. Remember the “one message” mantra! Just as you can visually overload your audience, you can confuse – or disengage – them with too many messages. You don’t necessarily have to have a theme, but stick to a key idea that supports your objectives. All of your assets and collateral need to be based around this message, and it has to align with your brand identity.
Don’t block your space. So many trade show exhibits fail before the show starts. Why? They use tables as barriers. Whether you’re on one side and visitors on the other, or you’re closing off your display to the public, this sends the wrong message. It’s “us” vs. “them.” And the “them” is going to find another vendor.
Creative trade show displays can help differentiate your brand and draw visitors from the competitions’ booths. There are plenty of “do’s” and “don’ts,” but the most important is, “Do think like your audience.” And then give them what they want – an exciting display that provides the solutions they’ve been looking for.