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Make your trade show stand a show within the show

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Posted by , 3rd April 2017

Exhibitors Only Show Within A Show Visitor Attraction Strategy

The Viridian Nutrition stand at Natural & Organic has that “Show Within A Show” quality 

Do you get bored easily?

If so you’ve probably stopped reading this article already…

If you are still with me, thank you, I’ll do my very best to keep you interested.

Here goes…

This post is about seeing your stand as a show within a show.

An attraction in its own right.

When it comes to exhibiting and to attracting people onto your stand, boredom is definitely not a good thing.

Somebody making the time and effort to travel to a trade show is not going to all of that trouble just for fun. However, some fun at a trade show can be a good thing both for you and them.

Yes, attendees usually have serious business of some sort on their minds.

Most have one or more things they want their visit to achieve.

Like finding new products or suppliers. Getting some new ideas or finding a solution or two to a particular problem…

These are all objectives that can be on someone’s show visiting scorecard.

Your business can help visitors achieve their goals but not if you make them yawn!

That’s where an element of fun and surprise can create engagement, interest and we hope purchasing desire.

Time pressure can rob your creative thinking 

Time pressures in your non-exhibiting work can steal creative thinking and planning time in the run-up to a show.

Most marketing peeps who have the responsibility of planning exhibition participation on behalf of their companies are not full-time events people.

They and you, have day jobs in marketing, sales and management to be getting on with and that’s probably why many stands at shows look so similar especially among shell schemes.

Thinking ahead can help you build some creativity into your exhibiting.

What does a buzzy show look like?

When you think about what a successful trade show looks like, you probably see a picture of a busy hall with lots of noise as exhibitors and visitors interact.

There will be lights, on-stand demonstrations, sampling, seminars, crowded aisles… all things that create a buzz and that special atmosphere you find in an exhibition space.

What does a successful “show within a show stand” look like?

Now think about individual stands that have this buzz.

There’s an air of business going on in and around those stands.

Animated conversations are taking place. Products are being examined. Questions are being asked and answered.

So what is it that makes those stands so successful? So attractive to visitors?

Often it’s because these stands are like mini-shows within a show.

They offer something that captures and holds audience attention.

The good news is that you can create the same impact and visitor attractiveness for your stands.

You just need to give yourself time to think and plan how to achieve this in advance of an event.

Model car racing on a trade show stand

Model car racing always seems to attract visitors 

What are the reasons for people to visit YOUR stand among all of the others? Things that you could think about:
  • What will they see? What will visitors get from visiting your company at the event?
  • Apart from seeing the latest items in your range, might they also receive; goody bags, research findings, samples, sweets, coffee, see on-stand demonstrations?
  • Might they meet a magician or on-stand infotainer?
  • You could use digital screens to attract their attention and touch screens to hold them on your stand a little longer
  • How can you make your stand visually standout?
  • Big powerful graphics; Strong lighting, tall towers, big digital screen, hanging banners will all help you with this job
  • Who will visitors meet? Your Directors or Founder; Your Head of Design? Their favourite salesperson? Get those people involved in the show if you need them
  • Could visitors see some of your very happy customers sitting in on User Panels or talking about your business on video?
  • Why will it be fun or memorable to visit your stand?
  • Can you offer refreshments or the opportunity to race model cars or to play interactive games?
  • Or to perhaps riding a rollercoaster or orbiting the moon using VR headsets?
  • Offer visitors the chance to win useful or exciting prizes. Encourage winners to post on social media. You do the same to get extra show-related social coverage

There are many, many ways to stand out at a trade show and to be fun or interesting at the same time.

Some of them will cost you money to implement, others very little.

Use a cost versus benefit analysis to help you choose the right solutions.

In a busy and information crammed world, standing out has never been more important.

So look for ways to use your stand as a visitor attraction tool.

Make it interesting. Incorporate fun or educational elements into it.

See your stand as a show within a show and develop ideas that make it not only attractive to visitors but memorable too.

Above all, don’t be boring!

Posted in Trade show marketing  /  Trade show sales  /  Trade show stand design  /  Visibility & Impact

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