Trade shows can be excellent opportunities for businesses to earn exposure. Unfortunately, many companies fail to maximize their time at these events and end up blending in with the crowd. Before attending your next trade show, take the time to formulate a plan for standing out.

Maximize Your Trade Show Experience

Your mere presence at a trade show isn’t enough to yield successful results. If you aren’t careful, you’ll end up spending a lot of time, money, and creative energy on something that ultimately provides very little return on investment.

To maximize the value of your investment, you have to prioritize the right things. And at a crowded event with dozens or hundreds of booths, visibility and engagement are integral parts of the process. Here’s how you can stand out:

Build Pre-Trade Show Momentum

It’s not a good idea to show up to a trade show cold. In other words, there needs to be some buildup prior to the event. Not only will this help you reach potential attendees, but it’ll also motivate your team and get them excited about the trade show.

In the days and weeks leading up to a trade show, you should execute a purposeful digital media strategy that targets potential attendees and prospective customers. This might look like launching a hashtag and developing useful content, giving away t-shirts and other branded swag, or conducting a Q&A session on Facebook Live.

Pay for a Premium Location

Trade shows are all about location, location, location. If you’re in a conspicuous spot with lots of foot traffic, you’ll naturally earn more exposure. If you’re tucked away in a corner that’s off the beaten path, well, good luck!

“Get a feel for the general layout of the event and see how your booth location is situated in relation to major traffic areas. It will also be helpful to know where concessions and bathrooms are located, as well as the location of your competitors’ booths,” SummitSync advises. “The better feel you have for the event’s layout, the more prepared your team will be to capture prospects and convert them.”

Visibility is only half of the battle. When people glance at your booth when passing by, is there anything that pulls them in? Aesthetically speaking, your trade show display plays an integral role in magnetizing attendees to your booth.

Use the Right Trade Show Display

Most vendors at a trade show use simple backdrops with a basic logo or conservative displays. You can stand out by using a backlit trade show display that looks impressive and seizes attention.

Choose a Minimalist Design

There’s a common misconception among trade show vendors that more is better. But the reality is that minimalist booth design is far more impressive and appealing to people than a booth with lots of bells and whistles.

Strip away any unnecessary elements of your booth and go with a simple design that cuts through the noise. When someone walks up to your booth, they should be able to immediately tell what you’re offering and why you’re different. If this isn’t clear, you’re coming up short.

Use Your Most Gregarious People

Few things matter more than the people you select to represent your brand at the trade show. And while you probably assume that you should send your best salespeople, this may not be true. Tradeshows require more than sales acumen.

“While sales experience and customer-savviness is necessary, one thing you can’t teach is approachableness. Having reps that seem to ooze character and warmth is important,” marketer Deepa Christina Radh writes.

It’s also good to use people who have trade show experience. This is a unique environment that requires a distinct skillset. You don’t want someone cutting their teeth at your company’s expense.

Go Big or Go Home

There’s no sense in registering for a trade show if you’re going to do things halfway. A lackadaisical approach will yield minimal results. You need to completely buy into the event, or else stay home.

Standing out at a crowded tradeshow event isn’t easy, but it isn’t as challenging as most think. It requires a purposeful strategy and determined execution. If you can follow through on some of the pointers highlighted in this article, you’ll find it much easier to accomplish your objectives.

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