As an exhibitor, it is important to be engaged in social media conversations, whether on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Often times now at trade shows, there are official hashtags for Twitter and official Facebook pages for participants and guests to follow along. Well, as important it is to have an online presence and to update your fans with what you're doing... it is also important to pay attention to your content. You want it to be meaningful, for if it isn't, you might as well just skip it all together. Relevant content is a must, so make sure it is something your audience will want to see. And these days, people want to actually SEE what you're doing, so don't be afraid to snap pictures and Tweet or Facebook them. Our recent trip to EXHIBITOR2013 proved that people love SEEING what you're up to. Trade Show Emporium got more feedback and people were more engaged with what the team was doing at EXHIBITOR2013 when they could see pictures. So, become a "photographer" during your exhibit. Stay true to your brand and show your audience what is happening, instead of just telling them.
Here is another little tid-bit on planning before your trade show… when you’re making your trade show plan before the show… make sure you include an itinerary!
For the Trade Show Emporium's upcoming trip to Exhibitor in Vegas, I have taken the time and written a complete itinerary so the whole team know what is going on when and who/ what we need to see when. It's a great organization and visual tool.
What a novel idea! But seriously, an itinerary will keep you organized and on track. Not to mention it’s kind of a “check list” of what you need to accomplish. Stick to your itinerary (and remember always leave a little wiggle room on your itinerary—just in case) and you will conquer all that you needed to at the trade show!
We've all seen it... too much text in too small font in a too big of space. Don't let your trade show booth background be like that. You don't want to bore your patrons with a paragraph of text where your "eye-catching" image is supposed to be. People will lose interest immediately if they are overwhelmed with reading. So don't do that! Instead, let your trade show graphics do the talking. Really the only text that is "acceptable" to put on your graphic is your company's logo and at most, a slogan. Here are a few other little things to keep in mind when dealing with graphics.
1) Keep it simple. Don't overwhelm the eye with your graphic, either. Make sure your image, color scheme and placement all "jive" together.
2) Make sure it's relevant. Puppies are cute, but if you are selling bottled water puppies are probably not the image you want to include on your trade show banner.
3) Let the trade show display gurus help you with graphic specs and graphic design. Ahem, that's what we're here for!
The above tidbits are just a start for graphics. Your image on your trade show display is one of the most important thing--it's what gets people talking and interested. So make sure you give trade show goers something to talk about it!
So, our last tip installment talked about the post show huddle that you should have with your staff after a trade show. Well, today we are going to give you this tip: always have a trade show plan.
Be proactive and actually write down what your plan of attack is going to be. This includes who is going to be manning what area of your booth and when, what products or topics you really want to focus on and how many leads you want to get out of the show. Going into a show without a plan is like being the quarterback of a football team heading into the fourth down without a play. It’s fourth down. You’re going to have a play.
Before hitting the trade show floor, make sure your team is up to date on any and all pertinent information. The worst thing you could do is send an associate on the floor who doesn’t know what in the world they are talking about, or send them out with wrong information.
Having a plan also allows you to evaluate how the trade show went (see the tip below) a little easier and a little more thoroughly.
So, here you are cleaning up your booth at what you think to have been a successful trade show. You feel like you achieved what you came for—new leads, new ideas and new excitement. But, now to quantify your time and effort spent at the show. How should you go about this?
First of all, we’ve talked about goals before. You need to have these in place before you hit the show floor. Make sure all employees manning the booth are on the same page as far as objectives go. Try and attach a number to each goal… hence the quantifying comment above.
Second of all, soon after the show (preferably the day after), have a group huddle and discuss what went well and what didn’t. What worked? What failed? A simple discussion and re-hashing of the event can realign your goals for the next show. All of the reflections should be written down in one form or another so you can keep track of thoughts and ideas. This will help tremendously with the future of your trade shows.
Make it fun, bring donuts and talk the talk.