There are trade show booths that check all the required boxes… and then there are awesome trade show ideas that make attendees do a double – and triple – take. Or at least that’s the goal, right? But with everyone on the trade show floor vying for visitors’ attention, how do you cut through all the noise? Here are some trade show booth ideas for you to try.
Start with personas
One of the problems with even the most seemingly awesome trade show ideas is that they aim to hook everybody. Whether it’s fresh cookies or a device charging station, the takeaway is the same: anyone and everyone will find value in what you’re offering. This is fine if you want to win a popularity contest or make a bunch of random new friends. But if you want to make sales, and invest in new customer relationships, it’s not the right strategy.
Instead, revisit your buyer personas (if you don’t have these yet, it’s time to make them). Knowing your personas means knowing what defines your target buyers. This will help you cull down the attendee list ahead of time, so you can identify the people you really want to meet. By knowing who these people are, and what matters to them, you can shape your entire messaging and booth around them. This is real targeting, and it really works.
It’s just as important to define your negative personas, too. These are the people who may want to buy from you, but who aren’t optimal for your brand. They may be too demanding, cost you too much money or simply not be a good fit. But it’s important to know who they are so you make sure your messaging and imagery doesn’t attract them. Aim for small groups who are qualified, not for volume.
Nobody today wants a spiel. You can still offer live product demonstrations if they’re interesting and eye-catching. But inviting people to interact with you and your booth is a surefire way to draw in your target visitors. Interactive booth games or surveys are very effective in bringing people to you, so explore using touch screens and valuable prizes to pique the interest of passers-by.
Train your team to be genuine
If we’re being honest, trade show interactions can feel a little, well, forced. Attendees know that the people manning the booths are there to ultimately sell to them. And the people manning the booths know they need all the attendees they can get to seem interested in order to make their bosses happy. It makes for some weird kind of reality TV, minus the TV part of course.
To avoid this, train your team to be conversational. Don’t just say, “How’s it going?” This is overused and people are practiced in saying “good” under their breath as they walk away. Instead, teach your team members to notice things about visitors, like hats with sports teams or designer labels on them, or even types of beverages. Anything can be a conversation starter. While it may seem odd, asking about someone’s love for a giant frothy coffee and the White Sox is a lot more interesting than saying, “How ya doin’?” Trust us.
Most importantly, reinforce the idea that you want your booth to feel welcoming. You want to share information, not pitch or sell. You want visitors to feel like they’re stopping by for good conversation. If you can pull this off, you’ve increased the attractiveness of your booth – and your brand – tenfold.
These trade show booth ideas are solid, they cut through the noise, and they work. We’d love to show you how to creatively use them to come up with your next awesome trade show ideas. Just give us a call!