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How to Draw a Crowd at Your Next Exhibition or Trade Show

Business, Businesswoman, Success, Team, TeamworkThey are busy places; full of your competitors and potential customers, all passing by your trade show or exhibition stand in a whirl and swirl that leaves you exhausted at the end of day.

Trade shows stands adorned with vibrant, colourful exhibition stands may look the part, giving delegates and attendees the basic information they need but, is your stand as a whole, pulling people in so that you and your team can work magic creating leads, selling products and so on?

Need help drawing a crowd? Following these 10 fabulous ideas…

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#1 Go to trade show beforehand

Before you book into a trade show, take some time to visit some local exhibitions and trade shows so that you get a better idea of what is involved.

Take some time to look at the stands that are drawing people over – what are they offering and how? – and those that are not – what’s missing?

#2 Promote your presence at a trade show

Convinced that a trade show will be worth the time, money and effort? Once you have found the perfect one for your business, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you have no need to promote your attendance there.

From trade publications to local newspapers, to social media and website articles, make sure you let people (i.e. your customers) know that you are there. Even better, let them know that for the duration of the show that you have a special deal for anyone who orders and/or buys during this time.

#3 Blog and mailing list

You know the months of hard work and money you have spent creating content for your website and the mailing list that has taken many months to build? Utilise those and let people know that you will be there and the experience as a whole.

Many businesses make the mistake of not levering as much from the trade show or exhibition as they can, meaning their investment in their attendance has not been stretched as far as possible.

Top tip – so you know which avenues gave you the most exposure, why not offer a specific discount or other sweetener to customers who read you blog, tweet, post etc. by asking them to quote a specific code when you come and see you at the trade show. 

#4 Be different

You want to attract people to your stand – it isn’t a secret that your stand needs to be vibrant and attractive but this isn’t, unfortunately, enough to make people come over and explore further.

You will have a budget for the event so don’t go over the top in terms of spending but trying something different. There are some amazing examples of thinking outside the box from spiral display of clothes to amazing centre pieces for your square footage of space.

#5 Take the right people

Not everyone is cut out for trade show stands. For some employees, it’ll be their idea of their worst nightmare but for others, it will be the perfect vehicle to showcase their selling talents (if that is what you need), the ability to talk to people and so on.

#6 Stand and brand personality

On one hand, you want to be outgoing, gregarious, vibrant and approachable but you don’t want to be off-putting or overwhelming. Match your stand to the personality of your brand so if your logo colour and brand palette is browns, beiges and understand elegance, then your stand should reflect this.

#7 Small and personal

You don’t have to opt for the biggest stand or space either. The smallest trade show stand can have a big impact and can look busier when you have two or three people stood in a smaller space, than the same number stood in a larger exhibition stand or space.

It’s what you do with the stand that is important.

#8 R ‘n’ R

If you have been a delegate at a trade show or exhibition, you will know how busy and tiring the day can be. It might sound lovely to take a stroll through the exhibition hall but all you really want to do is sit down for a few minutes…

BOOM! Great idea – have a few chairs, have water on offer and if you are happy to deal with the mess, have some nibbles on offer too. This way you can make connections with people without necessarily feel that you need to create a sales pitch.

#9 Freebies

Pens, pencils, stickers, keyrings, coaster, magnetic strips… the list is almost endless but freebies are a great way of giving interested people a different means of contacting you in the future. Some businesses invest heavily in freebies – you don’t just have to use them at the show – whilst other question whether there is any real value to them.

#10 Competition time!

Raffles, quizzes, business card drawer and so on are all hot favourites for gathering people to your trade show stand. Make the prize visible as well as instructions for being part of the competition, how the winner will be announced and so on.

And so there you are, 10 ideas to make your presence at a trade show fizzier than it ever has been. Need more trade show ideas? Take a peek.

Colour Graphics has been creating exhibition stands and promotional material for businesses of all sizes across all sectors. Using your own design or one created by our in-house design team, materials are printed using the latest technology, giving a clear and vibrant printed products perfect for use at trade shows and exhibitions.  

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