First-Time Exhibitors: 6 Tips to Maximize Your Exhibit Experience
Your first time exhibiting at a trade show in Las Vegas may seem more daunting than your first day of freshman year of high school. We have all heard those clichés – “planning is everything” or “it’s all about the details”. While we hate clichés, they are very true. Planning and paying attention to the details will be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful trade show exhibiting experience.
Trade shows are growing. It’s super competitive on the trade show floor whether you are a first-time exhibitor or a veteran exhibitor. Everyone is fighting for attention. Finding ways to stand out from the crowd is imperative to having a successful trade show.
When done correctly, exhibiting at trade shows can and do produce great results for your company. There is a learning curve when exhibiting for the first time, so we have compiled the six best tips for you to maximize your exhibit experience.
1. Determine what you want your booth to do for you
Setting a goal and knowing what you want to achieve with your booth is vital to maximizing your trade show exhibiting experience. Everything that you do pre-show, during the show, and post-show must be centered around what you want your booth to do for you. Not having a goal is going to lead to an unsuccessful show.
Some goals for companies that are exhibiting at a trade show include:
- Boosting brand awareness
- Generate sales leads
- Strengthen existing client relationships
- Build new relationships
2. Planning is Everything
Trade shows are deadline driven. The further out you begin planning the better, especially when striving to keep your costs down. Waiting to the last-minute hurts in many ways especially with higher costs and less ROI.
Being a first-time exhibitor, start your trade show booth planning in advance. Six to nine months in advance is ideal especially for larger trade show booths. First-time exhibitors with a smaller booth should give themselves at least 3-4 months in advance.
When exhibiting at a trade show in Las Vegas for the first time, there are plenty of resources available to learn the answers to the most important logistical questions. By taking the time in planning, you will avoid some of the common mishaps from happening on the day of the show. Do you need electricity? How is the lighting near your booth, will you need lights?
3. Prepare a thorough and flexible budget
Remember those pesky clichés about how planning is everything and it’s all about the details? Reading your show’s exhibitor manual is the best resource in determining the types of expenses exhibitors incur at your trade show. Talking to other exhibitors is another great learning resource. The difference between maximizing your trade show exhibit and dealing with a stress filled, costly exhibiting nightmare is preparing a thorough and flexible budget.
By taking the time to prepare a detailed and thorough budget, it enables you to see where exactly your money is going but also is one of the best ways to ensure that every aspect has been prepared for prior to your trade show.
Realistically determining what you can afford is effective at maximizing your exhibiting experience.
4. Be consistent with your branding from top to bottom
When designing your trade show booth, it is imperative to be consistent with your branding from top to bottom. Your branding must be consistent across all booth elements. Knowing what you want your booth to do for you will enable you to build brand awareness.
Utilizing the right colors for your trade show booth helps you stand out from the crowd as well as promotes the message you want to get out. The cooler colors such as blue, green, and white do give that professional look, however they are not big attention-grabbers. The warmer colors such as red, orange, and yellow are more engaging, but need to be incorporated wisely since they can be overbearing, if you use them excessively.
Regardless of the size of your trade show booth, one of the most important aspects that first-time exhibitors must not overlook is making the most out of your graphical “real estate”. To maximize your exhibit experience, determine the focal point of your booth and this is where you put your logo, message, and most important design element. For most smaller and mid-size booths the back wall is the focus of attention. Most larger booths have multiple focal points. These areas are always the centerpiece for your exhibit’s graphical real estate.
You get one chance to make a first impression. By being consistent with your branding from top to bottom in your booth than you will leave a positive, lasting impression on visitors.
5. Ensure attendees know exactly what you do
Larger companies have the luxury of brand recognition. When you see the Apple logo or the McDonalds logo, you know exactly who they are and what they do. Smaller companies, especially startups, do not have that luxury.
First-time exhibitors commonly make the mistake in thinking that their logo and company name must be at the top of their trade show booth. With new companies, having a bold positioning statement at the top can be a lot more effective.
One of our clients, freshworks, put “THE ULTIMATE CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT PLATFORM” at the top of the backwall in their 10×10 trade show booth. They realized that telling booth visitors what they provide was most important, and that their visitors would soon find out the who, how, and when.
By telling visitors what you do right away, will lead to visitors that are sincerely interested and they will ask more specific questions. The longer your booth staff spend speaking with visitors the better chance a visitor will turn into a client thus maximizing your exhibiting experience.
6. Have a reason for attendees to stop at your booth
You have spent a lot of time on planning and logistics, everything looks great. How are you drive traffic to stop and stay at your booth? There are many ways to do this. Using promotions, whether through interactive activities, entertainment, or giveaways will draw attendees in but they will stay longer as well as remember you once the show ends. Giveaways are another branding opportunity for you as well.
One of the best ways to entice show attendees is through interactive games. According to a study conducted by Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) in 2017, only about 7% of trade show exhibitors used games to educate booth visitors about their products. Interactive games that helped attendees learn about products in a fun way was the second-most engagement tactic attendees used.
As a first-time exhibitor, finding ways to outshine your competition may seem daunting however thinking outside the box is another way to increase your ROI and maximize your exhibiting experience. Utilizing a trade show game increases booth traffic, increases opportunities for booth staff to conversate with visitors, and more leads and sales.
Interaction is so important in our world today. People crave interaction. Incorporating touch screen technology, having giveaways, playing games, or providing interactive product demos gives attendees a reason to stop at your trade show booth.
Exhibiting at your first trade show can seem quite daunting. Planning is everything and it truly is all about the details. When you know what to expect it becomes a lot easier. Your dedicated account manager at LV Exhibit Rentals in Las Vegas is your partner and will be there each step of the way to ensure you have a positive exhibiting experience.