Five ways to ensure you stand out at an industry trade show

Five ways to ensure you stand out at an industry trade show

Trade shows are a big deal, but your visit can be time consuming and expensive. Make sure your budget is well-spent with these five ways to ensure you stand out at an industry trade show.


  1. Dare to be a bit different

When you’re exhibiting at a trade show chances are there will be at least a few other companies that do what you do. That means you’ll be competing with them for the attention of as many attendees as possible.

Stand out by being different.

Get creative with posters, lighting, signage, sound and TV screens. Take a walk round the surrounding area and make sure you can be seen from as many angles and pathways as possible.

You could even create a buzz by running a competition and featuring a leader board with prizes for the top scorers. There’s nothing that powerful company executives like more than a chance to show off their competitive skills!


  1. Make your customers comfortable

Industry exhibitions can be hard work. Poor tired professionals with big budgets often spend hours trudging round a huge hall of trade stands all fighting for their attention. Why not offer them the chance to take a break… at your stand of course.

Many companies avoid creating seating areas as they want to keep visitor turnover and footfall as high as possible. But think about it, the longer a person is at your stand, the more time you’ve got to nail that sale!

A comfortable seating area or even a small pop-up café with free water, tea and coffee can really help to pull in potential customers. And never, ever underestimate the pulling power of good old sweets and candy.


  1. Give away the right giveaway

Think carefully when considering whether to do a free giveaway at a trade show and what to actually give people if you do. Businesses often waste thousands of pounds on pointless and irrelevant freebies that offer no relation or clear connection to their brand or service. We were once given a branded beer mat by a company that made scented candles… no, we didn’t get it either.

Of course that doesn’t mean that all branded merchandise is a waste of your valuable marketing budget. For example, our candle maker could have given away a branded box of matches, a scented tea-light (essentially a miniature of their product) or perhaps a car air freshener of their most popular fragrance.

The days of pens and badges are over, to get and keep potential customers attention you need to think creatively, especially when it comes to trade show giveaways.


  1. Spread some pre-show gossip

Once you’ve booked your spot, spread the word! Write a press release and send it to existing and potential customers on your mailing list. Drop a copy into your local newspaper and you may even get some free press coverage. Tweet messages about the trade show, pin images of your exhibition stand and any special marketing materials on Pinterest and share news and pre-show plans on Facebook.

Ensure you take advantage of any marketing opportunities offered by the show organisers. Many will consider featuring exhibitioners logos in their promotional material. They might also share or retweet messages from the attendees across social media so be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter and tag them into your pre-exhibition chatter.


  1. Do a dry run

The only way to really see if your exhibition stand looks the biz is to set it up. Plan ahead and book in a dry run day where you set up the stand in your office. It’s much easier to notice what does and doesn’t work when your stand is fully built and by taking a look pre-show, you’ll have the time to make any changes necessary.

Dry runs also give you and your team the opportunity to see how long the stand takes to put together and take down saving you valuable time at the exhibition.

And there you have it. Stand out at an industry trade show in just five steps!


Planning your next trade show appearance? Contact the Wani Creative team today to see how we can help you stand out from the crowd.


Like this? You might also like: Why great marketers love modular exhibition stands.

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