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5 “Behind the Scenes” Secrets to Successful Trade Show Pre-Planning

Participation in trade shows is a proven way for businesses to attract new customers, reconnect with existing ones and build their brands. icatchers has assisted many clients with creating and building trade show exhibition displays and we have learned there are five secrets to ensuring the success of your organisation’s participation in trade shows.

1. Planning is the key to success

As the old quote reads, “Failing to plan is an indication you are planning to fail”. The same goes for organising a display at a trade show or exhibition. We all know how fast time flies and how it can get away from us.

In our experience 28% of trade show exhibitors start planning their trade show marketing 1-2 months before the show, 22% start planning 2-4 months before and 18% are prepared 4-6 months in advance. The last group tend to have the best trade show journey and experience less stress in the lead up to the event.

2. Location, location, location

Research reveals that only 34% of attendees say they are very satisfied with their experience at exhibitions they visit. The question then becomes, “How can you increase your attendees’ satisfaction levels when they visit your stand?”

When you spend the time, money and effort in purchasing a location at a trade display or exhibition, it is vital you make the most of it. We all know that location, location, location is the key so book early, discuss multiple show position options for better prices and think about your ideal customer during the process.

3. Stand out from the crowd

We’ve all been to shows where we simply walk past exhibitors because there is nothing exciting or interesting about their stand to entice us in. Ensuring you have a Customer-centric design will make a big difference to your potential clients.

There are four things to bear in mind when looking to make an impact:

  • You want to create an impact in a way that appeals to the potential customer’s emotion and imagination. They want to feel something first before they want to take the next step to experiencing something with you.
  • Always think WIIFT (What’s in it for them) – every element should take the customer on a journey providing an insight into how your product or service will benefit them or their business.
  • Flashy colours, unique signage, new fabrics and textures, 3D mapping technology and texturized graphic displays utilizing materials such as metal and wood are all creative options to help your booth stand out. The experienced icatchers team can certainly guide you in this area.
  • Provide engagement opportunities for your clients to enhance the overall experience with you and connect people with your brand through a myriad of sensory experiences (not just visual) and consider introducing scents, sounds and tastes too.

4. Use your display to market something new and fresh

92% of exhibitors have said the #1 reason for attending a trade show is to see the launch of new products.

From a marketing perspective, plan to:

  • Try and launch a new product at the show when possible. Make sure it is obvious from a display point of view. Offer a “show special” or promotional material to make it stand out.
  • Back up the launch with your social media and email marketing to current and potential clients – offer them a competition or special guest appearance to encourage a visit and participation at the show. There’s nothing better than a line of people waiting to get into your stand – we’ve all seen it at the doughnut stand ­– crowds attract crowds!
  • Pre-schedule client meetings during the show. 65% of exhibitors commented that they attend the shows to meet or touch base with their current clients – as time is a huge factor in our daily lives, it is getting more and more difficult to organise face to face time with our clients. A trade show is a perfect way to strengthen and build the relationship.

5. A post-show follow-up plan will maximise conversions

Standing at a trade show for a couple of days can be exhausting only to find that you have not received any new clients. Contacting your attendees/visitors post-show, within 48 hours, is crucial to success.

81% of exhibitors said they use email to follow up their trade show leads. Why not try something a little different utilising a follow up networking event or online session – use social media to coordinate this.

Our team works with you from concept to final installation, to deliver a product that will create a memorable “icatching” experience for your potential client and deliver the results you desire. Don’t hesitate to connect with me by email at [email protected], to ask any questions or call the office on 1300 422 824.

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