Don’t Make this Mistake If You Are to Participate at A Trade Show Convention
Question: What type of trade show booth or exhibit would you recommend to fit our company’s needs?
Answer: The answer to your question will depend a lot on what your goals are. Do you use trade shows to boost retail sales? There are certain companies that rely on trades shows, fairs, conventions, etc., to make most of their sales. This type of company usually sells a retail item such as cookware or women’s make-up that is not available in retail outlets, but sold strictly by independent or a company operated sales force.
In this case, your booth may simply display the wares for sale, so it’s a little bit like a small retail store operated temporarily at various locations, typically during the warmer times of the year at events such as a county fair or an arts and crafts fair. This type of retail then moves to trade shows and conventions during the fall, winter, and early spring as the weather is no longer clement enough for outside or partially out-of-door events.
If fairs and shows provide sufficient retail sales, a larger booth may be required to showcase your wares, but only if sales justify the additional cost.
Conversely, if your firm is a company that is larger and has a specific service or product that serves certain industries such as, for instance, the banking industry or the building products industry or the real estate industry, then you’ll want to focus your efforts and energy on a trade show display apropos to that industry.
For instance, if you are a small bank that specializes in home loans, then you may want to attend conventions geared toward real estate companies and agents or the building products industry shows. Or, if you are a commercial construction firm, the same shows may apply.
So, driving further into this type of show, let’s say you’re going to go to a trade show or convention catering to real estate agents, you will want to put your best professional foot forward, so to speak, and not look too tacky or cheap. If you make this mistake, those interested in your type of service may pass you by in favor of the slickly produced booths of the larger multi-state or national banks, because, whether or not it’s actually true or not, the perception will be that you don’t care enough about your clientele to look professional.
It is a fact of human nature that our natural instinct is to be attracted to beauty (think about how you chose a spouse). If I am, as a real estate agent, wandering through a trade show, and happen upon your trade show booth, if it is not immediately apparent that you’ve put some time and effort into thinking about a professional and polished appearance with your displays, I am unlikely to stop in and talk to your reps. If they’re dressed to a tee, though, in suits and ties and business dresses, and your booth is attractive and professional, and you have something that will draw me in (like a promotional drawing that requires me to list who I am an my email address – maybe win a sports car in a drawing or the like), your odds of attracting me and many other visitors will increase exponentially.
As to the type of booth you need, I’d suggest that you procure a corner booth, and if you have the budget to do so ($25 to $50K would be a good budget for a show), a 20’ x 20’ booth is a good size booth to impress your clientele and have room to give potential clients a personal bubble. No one likes to feel like they’re about to get asked out on a date because a booth is too small to have any breathing room! So, a larger booth, if affordable, is a better route to go. This is not the case for every company, and it will depend on what types of things you’re promoting, but it does pay to attend to the small details that will make any trade show, fair, or convention you attend successful.
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