Your legs are sore. Your feet are blistered. You feel like you’re coming down with a cold because someone just sneezed on you and shook your hand (ew). You’re tired of smiling and being on your best behavior. Ok, I’ll stop. But when I think of a trade show unfortunately those are some of the visuals that come to mind.
My griping aside though, trade shows CAN be an effective form of marketing your products and services and connecting with your customers. It’s another way to fuel brand recognition. It’s how you can become relatable and personable to your customers. You know the phrase “it’s nice to put a face to the name,” trade shows allow for customers to “put a face with the brand.”
In order to experience trade show that produce results – results being new business, new clients, and continued brand visibility – here are two things I know for sure that have to happen (this is obviously not a comprehensive list, just a start):
1. Passion and love of the brand should exude from the staff present at the booth. It should be contagious on the trade show floor. You want visitors flocking to your space. You want attendees to walk away from your booth talking about the company’s expertise, the quality of the products, and the engaging staff personalities.
2. Your booth needs to be looking gooooood. It may be the smallest booth on the block, but it better stand out from the rest. You may have a pea size budget – but how are you using the allotted money? It’s important for a trade show booth to reflect a company’s signature look because the moment people lay eyes on it they are judging it and sizing up the organization. Maybe that’s me being a girl, maybe guys don’t look that close, but I’m telling you if you’re trying to come off polished and professional and you have dirt on the carpet and scuff marks on all the marketing pieces – it’s not going to go over well. A clean, polished, cohesive booth (no matter the size) is what matters.
There is a whole other side of this discussion which gets into whether trade shows and conferences are a thing of the past due to cut travel budgets and the rise of virtual platforms, but that’s a topic for another time. Like I said, trade shows can be a valuable tool for sharing brand love.
So, what are your thoughts on trade shows? You got love for them or not so much…
PS – A tip from a gal who’s walked a few show floors: carry band aids in your bag and wear flats if at all possible!