So you think exhibiting at a trade show could benefit your business, you’ve applied for a stand and are now thinking about what you stand should look like. If you really want to use an event to help build brand awareness, you need to do some serious thinking about how you plan to showcase yourself at the event. Remember that you’re exhibiting alongside many businesses similar to yours, so you need to give attendees a reason to prioritise visiting your stand over others.
Being regulars at trade shows and exhibiting ourselves at last week’s Prolific North Live, Skout has first-hand experience of designing a stand which is engaging and attractive to visitors. Here are our top tips to help you stand out from the crowd:-
1) Incorporate your branding: As a business, chances are you have some sort of branding that dictates your design content and the overall image you want to portray to externally. Using this as a basis to your stand’s design is how you can reinforce your brand, stand out from the crowd, and showcase how you’re different to competitors. Take Skout’s stand as an example which you can see below; as a B2B PR agency, our branding is all about natural storytelling, so we lay AstroTurf to look like grass and have a tree in the corner to boldly show our ‘natural’ storytelling approach and catch the eyes of attendees.
2) Get social media involved: The event you’re exhibiting at will have its own hashtag and giving attendees a reason to tag you in a tweet along with the hashtag means that you’ll increase your online affiliation with the event. Our ‘favourite story’ competition that people could enter over Twitter got attendees tweeting with our Twitter handle along with the event’s hashtag #PNLive. A company exhibiting alongside us had a box that would light up whenever they were tagged in a tweet along with #PNLive, encouraging attendees to get involved. All of this is increasing your business’ exposure online and helping to generate interest in your business in the run up to the event.
3) Get attendees involved physically: But while social media is a worthwhile platform to build your presence, don’t forget about offline engagement too. Offering attendees a fun activity to participate in is a way of attracting them to your stand and showcasing your services to them. Prolific North Live saw a video production company offer attendees the chance to record a short video, which drew in several willing people to take part. The videos were posted live at the event and it was the perfect way for the company to demonstrate what they are all about.
4) Generate a talking point: Breaking the ice doesn’t have to just involve introducing yourself and your business. If your stand displays something interesting, you can more naturally get a conversation flowing. Skout’s stand featured our ‘natural storytelling’ tagline high up on our backdrop, which got passers-by asking us what it was all about, and so our approach to PR and content was unwittingly weaved into the conversation by the attendees themselves.
5) Give away freebies: Few people attend a trade event without expecting to go home with a bag of freebies. It’s the oldest trick in the book but it’s still worthwhile! Prolific North Live saw exhibitors giving away everything from pens to rubber ducks, meaning that they would have a reminder of the brands they met at the event, and could even share a bath with them too.
Alex Brown enjoys being one of the Skout blog’s most regular contributors.