There are multiple components to a successful trade show booth design. First, your booth has to stand out from the crowd and attract attention, encouraging attendees to step inside and talk to your sales representatives.
The second component is engagement. An engaging, effective design not only attracts plenty of attention from trade show attendees — it also puts them in the right mood to speak to your sales team and take action.
Developing engagement can be done through design — particularly images, word choice and a variety of other factors — as well as through training your sales team to tap into a prospect’s key motivators and needs.
Below, we’ll cover the design side of the process, with five actionable tactics that you can use to make your trade show booth more engaging, targeted and effective, from a lead generation and sales perspective.
Use signage to tap into key customer needs
The most effective trade show signage doesn’t just stand out using bright colors and bold fonts — it also stands out on a psychological level. By tapping into the needs of your customers, you can attract prospects that are more motivated, engaged and interested.
When you’re designing your trade show signage, keep one question in mind: “What do our top customers/clients need in a product or service provider?”
Are your customers looking for reliability? If so, make it the key focus of your signage. Value for money? Emphasize your affordable pricing. The very best? Use your signage to illustrate how your product or service stands above the competition.
By focusing on the needs of a specific audience, there’s a slight risk you’ll downsize your total audience. However, the people you attract into your booth are likely to be more motivated and interested than they otherwise would be, helping you close deals and generate more leads.
Promote the benefits, then explain the features
One of the most common marketing mistakes (both in trade shows and in media campaigns) is to promote a product’s features rather than its benefits.
The vast majority of customers are motivated more by a product or service’s benefits. They tend to care about how a product or service will help them, rather than the specific features that allow it to be helpful or valuable.
To increase your trade show booth’s engagement factor, design your signage around the major benefits of your product. Will it help people save time? Save money? Improve their lives or grow their businesses? The bigger a benefit, the more it’s likely to increase customer engagement.
Then, once a prospect enters into your rental booth, you can explain the technical side of your product or service based on their specific questions. In short, promote the benefits, then explain the key features that attract a prospect’s interest to increase engagement and close the deal.
Use product demos to build engagement and interest
Want a quick way to make attendees engaged and interested? Instead of just talking about your latest product or service, show it off with a product demo.
If your product is aesthetically pleasing, you can show it off as part of your booth. If its real value is only apparent when it’s in use, schedule product demos for throughout the trade show to give your booth an “event” feel and attract passersby.
It’s one thing to read about a product or service — it’s another to see it in action. Employ product demonstrations effectively and you can rapidly warm up prospects by showing them what you’ve got to offer, putting your business ahead of its competitors.
Add displays to your booth to keep visitors interested
Great trade show booths use technology to their advantage. If you’re expecting a large number of visitors and don’t think you’ll be able to provide personal service to everyone, adding displays to your booth is a great way to keep people engaged and interested.
When used effectively, digital displays can help attendees learn more about your products and services, “warming them up” before your sales representatives step in and connect with them.
Unfortunately, many exhibitors use displays the wrong way, viewing them as visual items that serve to attract attention rather than deliver information.
If you’re planning to add LCD or LED displays to your booth, use them as effectively as possible by preparing detailed, engaging and fun videos that showcase your product or service in action and explain its key benefits, technical features and unique selling points.
Don’t “give everything away” in your signage
Finally, it’s important not to give everything away in your signage. Share your product’s features, benefits and pricing and attendees might not feel motivated to ask more, restricting your results and return on investment.
Use your signage to focus on the key, “big picture” aspects of your product or service. Then, as attendees step into your booth, focus on tapping into their needs and explaining the finer details of your offering in person.
Just like traditional sales channels, trade shows are all about balance. Offer enough information through your signage to attract attention and generate interest, but not so much that prospects feel as if there’s no need to engage with your event staff.
Done right, this approach will give you the optimal balance of attention, interest, desire and final action — the key elements of generating leads, attracting prospects and closing new deals.