As I was cleaning my office the other day, I came across an article in Trade Show Week that was written almost 20 years ago by Michael Falkowitz, who, at that time, was Sales Development Manager at Nabisco.
Although it was printed some time ago, I would like to share a few lines of timeless advice from that article.
Following are five principles that will ensure both exhibit and job success:
Never stop learning. The huge technical development that can be [attained] at trade shows is one example of the reasons why exhibit managers must continue to learn. Being a successful exhibit manager will involve knowing and applying this ever-evolving technology.
Maintain a positive attitude even in stressful times. Respond to all inquiries. Ours is a communication business. It is rude [to] not respond to phone calls. Know everything there is to know about your company, and go the extra mile, no matter what task you face.
Keeping a sense of humor can see you through stressful periods and make your- and your team members’- jobs much easier.
Like going the extra mile, doing the best possible job will help make your exhibit the center of attention. Hard work and sacrifice are part of the job.
When the show is done, it’s time to take back what you have learned and start applying those principles to the next trade show.
In closing, it is important to remember that a tradeshow display is not a museum. It’s a billboard, a time-compressed live marketing event and a communication process. Creating an exhibit that’s the center of attention is a matter of taking advantage of those features creatively.
Written by Francine Brooks, President of FB Displays & Designs, Inc.
Renting a trade show display is an increasingly popular way to make your presence known at an exhibition.
In recent years, more & more of our clients have been interested in the option to rent a trade show booth.
Reasons why you might need a trade show booth rental include:
- You’re exhibiting at more shows than you have displays available
- You have a display that can’t be repaired in time
- You exhibit at trade shows too infrequently and prefer to rent
- You want a new look each time you attend an annual show
- You need a professional look, but don’t have the budget to purchase
No matter the reason, renting a trade show booth allows you to have the professional look you require without all of the usual expenses of ownership. These can include warehousing & storage, as well as regular maintenance.
Here are some thoughts you should keep in mind when considering a trade show exhibit rental:
- The size of your tradeshow booth space-
While it might seem obvious, it is important to think about the area you will have at the show. Certain display systems are more appropriate than others in either large or small footprints.
- The rules set by show management-
It is important to consider the amount of time it will take to install your booth compared to the official setup & teardown hours assigned by the managers of the trade show. If the time allotted for installation is short, an uncomplicated system would be best. In addition, you should look at the booth height limitations in the exhibitor’s manual and choose a booth that will comply with those rules.
- Creativity in design-
Use this opportunity to show some creative flare with artwork that will grab attendees’ attention. This may be a great time to test a more daring concept than what you’re used to!
- Consider a hardware system that’s new to you-
Especially if you will be in the market for a new display system in the near future, it might make sense to try out new hardware you are unfamiliar with. (Who doesn’t like to “try before you buy”?)
- Be flexible-
Since you will be working with your trade show design company and utilizing their rental inventory, be as flexible as possible with your criteria for choosing a display system. There will likely be some traditional as well as trendy options available.
- Usability of graphics-
While you may only be exhibiting with this arrangement one time, it would be helpful to design the graphic elements in your booth so that they can be re-used in future displays, on other display systems you already own, in your showroom or in your lobby.
- Length of rental-
Pay close attention to the installation & dismantle dates for your trade show and make sure the length of your rental allows enough time to ship the display to and from the show.
In addition to the display itself, you can usually rent many items to enhance your booth such as lighting, flooring & furniture. Renting allows you to have high quality pieces in your booth without breaking the budget!
Now that you’ve considered exhibit rentals, take a look through our other blog entries for more tips. If you have a suggestion to share, please leave it in the comments, below!
Your mobile device can be the “backup” to your “backup plan” and help you to save time and make better decisions. Here are some of our favorite apps and why they’ll be a great resource when you travel to your next trade show.
Boost the “Curb Appeal” at your next trade show!
Have you ever thought about the similarities between the “curb appeal” of a home that’s for sale and that of your trade show booth? In both instances, the first impressions that newcomers have are crucial in determining whether they will stop, learn more and ultimately, if they will buy. Attendees at a trade show are going to make judgments about your company & products, based on your booth’s curb appeal (or lack thereof…) before they ever talk to you.
Here’s some familiar advice for increasing the curb appeal of a home, translated into ideas for success at your next face-to-face marketing event.
- “Have a welcoming entryway” – Just as you want guests to feel welcome in your home, you want attendees to feel the same in your booth. Visitors are more likely to enter a warm, inviting environment. Adding greenery/ potted plants & having professionally dressed staff will help with visual appeal. Also, as a general rule, you want at least 60% of the frontage open to avoid a perceived barrier to entry.
- “Keep it bright” – Lighting along the outside of a house enhances architectural elements, adding a decorative touch. Lighting in your booth ensures that your display is prominent & can be used to focus attention on specific messages.
- “Put on a fresh coat of paint” – Sometimes, a new coat of paint can help a house that feels ordinary or dated. Similarly, updated graphics could help to draw attention to your booth and better communicate your messaging.
- “Cut back on clutter” – Having too much clutter in a house, or trade show booth, creates visual noise that distracts prospects & keeps them from focusing on the benefits you’re trying to convey. Organize your literature & samples, and try to have at least 60% of the floor space unoccupied so your area won’t seem cramped.
- “Keep it clean” – Dust & dirt in a home make potential buyers wary of other kinds of neglect in the property. When you keep the elements of your display clean, free of dust & visually appealing, the “take away” for attendees will be that your company knows how to handle the small details.
- “Be in a great neighborhood” – While most homeowners can’t choose where their property is located and can’t influence how neighbors maintain their homes, you-as an exhibitor-can select where your “real estate” will be. Opt for a booth space in a section of the hall that will have good traffic throughout the show. If you’ve been to this particular show before, choose to be near neighbors who do not have loud/distracting displays, and stay away from those who construct displays that will block attendees’ ability to see you when walking the aisles.
- “Cut the grass” The ultimate tip for improving curb appeal is to keep the lawn in pristine condition. At a show, your choice of flooring and how well it is maintained will tell the client something about you. Choose a color/material that matches well with your graphics and pick something that’s comfortable to stand on. (Clean/vacuum the floor as needed.)
Focusing on these improvements before your next show could help boost the number of attendees that stop, and at the end of the day, the number of leads you walk away with.
We did our homework on curb appeal at the Advice section of Realtor.com.
What ideas do you have to impact the curb appeal of a trade show display? We welcome your comments, below!