If you go to trade shows, as a business, or you spend time at trade shows in general in order to represent your business, you probably understand how important it is that you put some thought into your booth and what it looks like and how it represents your business. If you’ve not put any of that thought into your trade show booth, you need to reexamine how you’re doing business.
A trade show is a place that you should be triumphantly revealing the things that you’ll be offering in the next year to the public or to the businesses that rely on yours, as well as an opportunity for you to show off things that you’re offering in the future, things that may only be in their infancy or alpha stages at the moment.
However, you need to be cognizant of the differences in trade shows and to make sure that you’re able to set up your booth appropriately depending on where you’re going to be. Here’s just a few things to keep in mind when creating the perfect trade show booth.
1. The best way to show off your products
When you’re going to a trade show, any kind of trade show, the most important thing is that you show off your product. But you don’t show off every product the same way, that would just be silly. Sure, if you’re a guitar shop that’s showing off a beautiful guitar at NAMM this year, you might want to have an awesome display set up to show off your guitar, but what if you’re showing off a new video game (looking at you, Fallout 4, and you’re beautiful. Just beautiful)? You don’t want to put a disc or a game box on a display, that’s just silly.
You need to put that game disc in a system and show it off, or let people do something like the trade show displays you see at E3, where you can either play the game (or an early build) or, at worst, you can show off video of the game or something similar. The best way that you can get word out about your game is to let people enjoy it as best as possible.
So, something that is absolutely important when it comes to your trade show display, and something that nobody ever seems to think about, is the need for security. Now, when I say security, I don’t mean that you need to go so far as to hire body guards or anything similar (although if you feel the need for it, you go right ahead. Depending on what you’re selling, having actual security personnel might not be a bad idea), that isn’t the kind of security I’m talking about. Let’s return to the two earlier examples I was going with.
If you’re running a booth at NAMM, security simply means keeping an eye on your instruments, or, if you’re really worried, maybe putting RFID chips in them so no one can walk off with concept pieces of a three thousand dollar guitar that isn’t on the market yet.
On the other hand, if you’re running a booth at E3 (Fallout 4, for reference. Awesome game), you should be careful about what is happening with any of your trade show display pieces that aren’t meant to be given out. Sure, you can give out shirts or totes or any number of things as swag, but you really can’t afford to let people walk off with your alpha build game disc or anything like that. That could absolutely sink your business.
3. The crowd you expect
The last thing that you need to consider is what crowd you’re going to expect. Is your event open to the public? Is it something that can only be attended by those in the industry you’re working in or those that you regularly interact with? Is it a scientific expo, showing off things and texts to people who are all scientists or something similar?
You’re going to need to adapt your message, and your presentation, to the people who are going to be at the show, and to make sure that you’re reaching them in a way that is in keeping with the tone of the event. You don’t want to be the only group at a scientific expo with booth babes, you’ll look like an idiot.
Be considerate when you create your booth. You need to know what you have in mind, the best way to get the message across, and very importantly, the best way to make sure that people don’t take your trade show gear and offerings.