If your company is attending an upcoming conference or trade show and you have a product or service that appeals to the show’s target audience, it often makes sense to lean in and sponsor a booth.
Once you’ve made the commitment, you need to begin to work to make sure that you can attract enough attendees to make the investment pay off.
Here are some ways we work with our clients to help them prepare to sponsor a booth at an upcoming event.
Spend some money on the booth.
Your booth should be well-designed and eye-catching. Use bright colors, bold graphics, and interesting displays to attract people’s attention. If you can’t get people to slow down and look at your booth, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get them hooked into a conversation.
Offer real value at the booth.
Spend some time thinking about what conference attendees are hoping to find at the business conference. If you can go beyond the typical free samples, giveaways, and demos that will be all over the exhibit hall floor, you have a chance to make a lasting impression. Find a way to offer discounts or other promotions to people who sign up for your email list or follow you on social media. Get those contacts!
Put an engaging team in the booth.
Your booth staff should be friendly, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic. They should be able to answer questions about your products or services and explain why they are valuable to potential customers. I’ve worked with companies who hired magicians or sports heroes or models to sit in their booth. While these tactics will get attention, you need experts in there, too.
Run contests and giveaways.
Running contests and giveaways is a great way to generate excitement and engagement around your booth. You can give away prizes such as gift cards, products, or services. The bottom line, if you choose to go this way, is to make it a fun experience that your booth visitors will remember.
Partner with other businesses.
Partner with other businesses in your industry to cross-promote each other’s booths. You can also offer joint promotions or giveaways. I’ve seen this work well when trade publications create items that stand on the exhibitor’s table and point to a recent publication. If you’re hosting a party with other vendors, make tickets available at the booths.
Use social media at the booth.
Use social media to promote your booth and the activities that you will be hosting there. You can also use social media to connect with potential customers and invite them to come to your booth. The goal here is to post from the booth and offer things that will pull traffic from other parts of the conference venue.
And there are many more ideas we can share with you in a call, including:
- When choosing a location for your booth, try to choose a spot that is in a high-traffic area, such as near the entrance or exit of the show floor.
- Make sure that your booth is well-signed and easy to find. You can also use directional signs to help people find your booth.
- Tell people what you want them to do when they come to your booth. Do you want them to learn more about your products or services? Sign up for your email list? Follow you on social media? Make it clear what you want them to do and make it easy for them to do it.
- Follow up with leads. After the show, follow up with the leads that you generated at your booth. Send them an email thanking them for visiting your booth and offering them more information about your products or services.
If you’re going to spend the money to sponsor a booth at an upcoming show and want some help driving traffic to it during the event, give us a call. In the meantime, check out our Leader’s Guide to Promoting Your Business at a Trade Show.