Trade Show Envy: How to Stand Out from the Crowd

Even the most innovative company may have trouble standing out at a trade show. Using the standard approach is a huge mistake – you’re just going to blend in with the other booths. Following the basic strategy may pick up a few customers here and there, but there’s so much more you could be doing. Read on to learn how to differentiate your brand at your next trade show.

Think Outside the Booth

Most brands setup a booth at a trade show because that’s what everyone else is doing. Sitting behind the booth and waiting for people to stop by is a bad strategy, though.According to Entrepreneur, when Cutter and Buck, an apparel company, participated in a trade show in Vegas, they rented out a suite and invited its most promising targets. If you can’t afford a suite, at least turn your booth into something more, like a cookie-and-coffee spread or a VIP area for interested parties.

Rent a Prop

If your booth has nothing but you and a few pamphlets, people are going to be nervous about approaching it because they’re not going to know what to do when they get there. When you have a prop, though, people have a clear goal – they want to spin that prize wheel or play a round of roulette. According to American Express, it’s always a good idea to have some type of fun, inviting gimmick at your booth.

Forgo the Sponsored Signage

Displaying signs with your sponsors’ logo is expensive and it’s more about competing with the other brands at the trade show than actually attracting customers. Consumers don’t care about your sponsors – they care about what you can do for them, not what other brands did for you.

Ask to Speak at the Trade Show

Content is king, as you know. At a trade show, request to be a speaker. You’ll be able to deliver helpful or interesting information to guests. They’ll, in turn, be interested in checking out your booth. Just make sure that you don’t try to hard sell your products or services during the presentation. Simply focus on delivering content the audience needs.

Give Out Freebies

Everyone loves getting something for free, right? Well, kind of. Branded swag sounds like a good idea, but people aren’t likely to wear a t-shirt with your logo on it if they don’t really support your company yet. Consider giving away freebies that people actually want, like gift certificates to popular coffee shops or a package of gourmet chocolates. They may not spread your logo around town, but your visitors will remember that great thing you gave them, which will make a lasting impression.