Exhibiting at a trade event? Here are five top tips to stand out from the crowd

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.

Browse more blog posts

Posted on
byClaire James
Chris Linsell left university with a degree in Economics and Finance but knew that this was not where his true interests lay. In 2004 he joined an independent creative advertising agency called Mustoes and has not looked back since. Q: Tell me a little bit about your background before joining Pirtek as Marketing Director Chris. A: As a graduate I...
Posted on
byLaaraib Khan
Why was PR your chosen career? I have always loved writing and all things creative. I remember in year 4 gathering a few people together and starting the school newspaper! Having dabbled in social media, digital marketing and music journalism, I fell into PR and have loved every second of it! If you hadn’t chosen a career in PR, what would...
Posted on
bySkout team
Why was PR your chosen career? It wasn’t! I have always been slightly obsessed with the media though. Since reading the news in the mocked-up news studio at Bradford’s National Media Museum as a child, the addiction has stuck. I worked in TV and broadcast media in Beijing for four years (which was an eye-opener) before coming back to the...
Posted on
byJames Weaver
On Sunday 31st July, England’s Lionesses ended 56 years of hurt by overcoming the goliath task of beating Germany 2-1 in the European Championship final to finally bring football home. It was fantastic to watch the team storm the post-match press conference to celebrate their well-deserved victory.  This got me thinking, how does one of the greatest sporting achievements for...
Posted on
byRebecca Brown
Whether you’re in B2B or B2C, promoting your brand and engaging with your audience through social media is marketing 101. It’s fast, free, and effective! Not only can you post updates about your company and employees to showcase the successes and personality of your brand but it’s an excellent way of sharing valuable content with key audiences. It’s no surprise that...
Posted on
byJames Weaver
London is often considered the epicentre for many of the UK’s varying sectors from entertainment to finance. But, when it comes to the tech sector, the North West stronghold of Manchester is arguably a hotbed for talent, startups and established tech firms. In 2019, £181 million of investment was pumped into the city’s tech sector, establishing Manchester as one of...
Posted on
byRebecca Brown
We chat with Lizzie Berwick, director and co-owner at media buying agency, MacCormack Media, about her varied role, all things media buying, and what makes a brilliant business relationship.
Posted on
byClaire James
By Claire James, head of client services and built environment specialist, Skout The construction industry is about to go through its most transformative phase for decades with the introduction of the Building Safety Act. These changes are driven by the still unfolding story of Grenfell, the public outcry, and the substandard building materials and practices used on this structure that...
Posted on
byRebecca Brown
More than half of B2B marketing budgets are devoted to building and maintaining relationships with new customers, but only a quarter of B2B marketers say their relationships are akin to a happy marriage.
Posted on
byRob
When you’ve worked in a B2B PR agency for over 25 years, it’s easy to forget that the ‘turbulence’ we experience daily isn’t the norm for many. This is because every agency day is different, you never fully know what to expect, and deadlines can be ludicrously short.  Growing agencies like us deal with a lot of uncertainty. The biggest...