Whether you lead a small business or manage a team at a large company, industry trade shows remain one of the most important dates on your calendar. They are great for professional networking and lead generation opportunities, and they’re the ideal venue to unveil new products for an all-at-once spread of suppliers, vendors and retailers. Attract trade show attendees to your booth, introduce your product, and then bring them back again for a product training session with these flashy ideas.
Create a space that stands out and draws visitors in
Trade shows draw a lot of vendors and even more visitors. In order to compete with other vendors, your booth will have to first catch visitors’ attention so they feel compelled to drop by. Grab more than their attention by using your brand colors and shapes strategically. Here’s how:
- Vie for their eye. Research shows that memorable shapes paired with catching colors go a long way for competitive visibility. For example, symmetrical shapes work best with cool colors, while more pointed shapes like triangles and diamonds go well with warm colors. Apply this theory next time you need to update your floor display.
- Light the way. There is a distinct difference between a booth and an illuminated booth. There is also a distinct difference between fluorescent or incandescent lighting and LED lighting. In fact, according to Popular Mechanics®, LED lights “have a quality of light superior to all other types of lighting—and they deliver it more efficiently.” Harness the quality of LED lights to brighten your trade show display, your product, and your brand.
- Dig digital. Mobile Internet usage is on track to top desktop Internet usage in just a few short years, so tap into the psyche of tech-savvy prospects with smart phones and other mobile devices by using a sizeable QR code. Place it at eye-level on an indoor vinyl banner between your logo and a fun riddle alluding to your new product. The code should direct digital users to your new product’s landing page on your company Website.
By using colors and lights and an intriguing mobile strategy, you’re sure to make passersby wonder what’s going on, and maybe even stop and linger. By pulling out all the stops, you can be sure they’ll know where to find you for a future product training session.
Show visitors a superior product
When people slow and begin to dig out their mobile devices to zero in on the QR code, approach them to talk more personally about your company and what it has engineered.
- Show them so they can show others. Show them a model of the new product. At this point, it’s a good idea to have in-hand literature and some company swag to keep their interest. Station a sharp literature display and a stash of woven lanyards nearby.
- Make it a verb. Make your product a verb by adding an –ed to the end of its name. Towards the tail-end of your talk with prospects, send them away with stickers that say “I got ________ed!” That way, trade show attendees that stopped at your booth and saw your new product can identify one another and strike up a conversation about their experience.
- Use social media to start a trend. Use your new word as a hash tag on social media sites like Facebook® and Twitter®. You’ll start a trend and multiple conversations on each platform and provide another way for prospects to connect.
Before your prospects walk away, extend a personal invitation to them to attend a product training session later on in the trade show.
At the training session
Put on a training session to remember with these ideas:
- Say thanks. Show training session participants your appreciation with a small, practical gift like a jotter and a pen so that they can take notes during the presentation.
- Open a forum. Like the hash tag, create a place for session participants to share their thoughts during the training as well as tips and tricks long after the trade show has ended. Use the same QR code to take them to the product landing page where the conversation forum is featured (and maybe even streaming Twitter feeds as they come in).
- Gather insight. Use the forum to track how many people are talking about your product, how it is being received, whether it appears easy or difficult to use, and gather feedback on future trade shows and product training sessions.
Trade shows are unique opportunities to reach out to prospective customers with innovative booths, product displays and training sessions, all of which are gainful avenues towards brand visibility and new lead generation.
Daye, Derrick, and Brad VanAuken. “Brand Packaging: Solving The Mystery Of Shelf Impact.” Branding and Colors at Branding Strategy Insider. Branding Strategy Insider, 23 Mar. 2011. Web. 18 Oct. 2012.
Angelle, Amber. “Will LED Light Bulbs Best Your CFLs and Incandescent?” LED Lights vs. Incandescent – CFL vs. LED Lights – Popular Mechanics. Popular Mechanics, 4 Aug. 2010. Web. 18 Oct. 2012.
Hepburn, Aden. “Mobile Marketing.” Infographic: Mobile Statistics, Stats & Facts 2011 | Digital Buzz Blog. Digital Buzz Blog, 4 Apr. 2011. Web. 18 Oct. 2012.