Los Angeles

How to make a tradeshow work for you

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It’s all about preparation

I have a weakness for a great tradeshow and a booth that catches the eye. I usually attend pop culture conventions and food shows so on the surface they may not have much in common to the eye. But all of them have a market area where booths are selling or bringing attention to a new ‘product’ that might be anything from a new snack or television series. They are all trying to break through the noise and bring eyeballs aka attention to grab market share.

If you have a booth or table or a pop up stand it’s your business and hard earned money so you want it to be a success. I find that attending a trade show is an effective way to introduce your product because you will either have something you can demo ‘to put in hands’ or video to show people to get excited about your movie/book/TV series/App/Game/Toy. I’m always intrigued by the smaller companies who have lots of people crowding to see what they have and how they are making effective use of the convention floor especially in comparison to the larger booths. 

I’ve always thought that the ones who invest the money to have someone design a booth that tells a story and hire a convention and trade show services company for set up is a sound investment. A booth that is well made and able to be broken down and used at other events is an investment that is part of a sound marketing plan.

A well-designed booth pays for itself!

If your booth has nothing to catch the eye or attention people will simply walk by. Everyone is competing for attention and a booth that represents the product visually will bring prospects to learn more. When your paying for the booth make sure it will accommodate all of the items without being crowded, can accommodate staff and store products/giveaways. It’s a great idea to have a budget for the cost of the booth and have an idea of how many times you plan to use it. As you work with a designer on the esthetics you should look at competitors to get an idea of size and design. See what works and doesn’t work for you.

Hire the right people!

Make sure to have a staff that knows your products, can answer questions and are personable. Nothing turns of prospective customers like a rude staff member! They will turn away to another customer and might not come back again so it would be a missed opportunity! 

Get out of the booth!

You’re not in the thunderdome! The convention will have lots of people so make sure to get out from the booth and talk to not only your competitors but attendees. Walking around you can see how other booth staff speaks to prospective customers and might pick up communication ideas to use at the next convention. You can exchange ideas, trade product samples, make a new business acquaintance, and meet a prospective supplier or new vendor! Remember to smile and look approachable to welcome conversation.   

Be insta friendly!

You can’t ignore the effectiveness of social media and marketing. Getting in front of the right person can bring new buying/watching customers. Make a booth that’s interactive, visually appealing and encourage people to take photos and use your tags! So make sure your communicating to influencers, bloggers and vloggers. Good PR is GOOD pr and its always sweeter when free or a quid pro of product/swag. If you don’t have your social media platforms set up sit down with a pr/social media marketing specialist to work on getting a set up with a uniform voice, adding content and having your site on business cards/display materials. If you’re not online are you real???

What are you doing here?

Before you sign the contract and build the booth ask yourself what’s the goal of attending the convention? What do you want to get out of your attendance? Raising awareness, building the brand, purchases or just testing a few products for reaction. You want this to be a positive and effective use of time and money. If your unsure work with a branding or marketing team who can take your thoughts/ideas and make it cohesive to make an informed decision. If you decide to attend the convention don’t go in with grandiose plans. Instead keep it reasonable like 50 new instagram followers, 30 people sign up for the newsletter, or 10 business cards from new prospects all are reasonable goals that you can succeed to build on. 

Cherry

I live in Los Angeles and am a professional in the new media communication and marketing field with experience in non-profit, education, healthcare, political campaign and volunteer management. I’m a trustworthy honest creative professional that is able to offer strategic counseling on marketing & communications using social media.

In my spare time I enjoy cultural events, going to the movies, being a foodie, getting in shape and dating.

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