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Tradeshow Branding Do’s and Don’ts: How to Maximize ROI and Results at Industry Events

Tradeshow Branding Do’s and Don’ts: How to Maximize ROI and Results at Industry Events

It’s winter, the time many firms start to ramp up for the most important trade occasions of the yr in January, February, and March. In Q1 alone, for instance, retail companies have NRF’s “Huge Present,” tech firms have CES, and the digital music, advertising, and leisure crowds converge on Austin for SXSW.

Whether or not you’re a budget-challenged startup or a company marketer headed to a tradeshow for the primary time, to organize your organization’s branding for an look at one of many main occasions might be daunting.

These challenges embody figuring out…

  • What you actually need by way of sales space signage/banners, props, tchotchkes, handouts
  • How early you begin to get supplies produced and delivered by the point of the occasion—and the way a lot you’ll must finances for these supplies
  • How will you set up and reinforce your model’s presence in a crowded discipline—amongst enterprise prospects and media—with out breaking the financial institution

As a veteran of too many trade tradeshows, and somebody whose firm helps 1000’s of entrepreneurs put together for these trade occasions, I can share the next “Do’s” and “Don’ts” to efficiently maximize your ROI and obtain the most effective outcomes at occasions from a branding perspective.

Grey field model 1: Textual content + Button
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Do begin early and store round, notably with regard to producing signage and banners for a sales space or desk.

Distributors can produce supplies in a pinch (after you’ve got nailed down the required specs and restrictions from the present in your sales space and desk house), however at the very least 4-6 weeks forward of the present you will must ship proofs of something you want to print or produce, until you are completely satisfied to pay outrageous rush charges so plan forward.

And there is extra to supply than simply banners and desk toppers. For instance, when you plan to showcase pattern merchandise at your desk, you will want smaller signage to establish and direct consideration to gadgets. Or if you wish to supply attendees a promo code, you may create a four-color postcard for media and others to take out of your sales space so you do not lose that lead.

Do not neglect to verify any props, signage, and different printed gadgets earlier than you get to the occasion. Longtime PR professional and CES veteran Lindsay Stevens remembers a time she needed to have a number of banners rush-printed to get them to a tradeshow on time, solely to open them on the present flooring to seek out one of many stands was damaged and there was a manifestly awkward typo on one other. Now she opts to journey with the banners, noting that the effort is price it to keep away from the chance of typos or different snafus at a degree too late to rectify.

Do not get sucked into the excessive rental costs from the present. It might probably truly be more cost effective to buy a monitor or projector, for instance, and return it even when there’s a restocking payment. However, there are causes to pay the Wi-Fi entry charges relatively than risking the usage of a hotspot on the present flooring.

Do get inventive and experiential. If there is a technique to demo your product in a manner that may entice site visitors to your sales space, go for it (however even gimmicky attention-grabbing methods work if it will get individuals to cease and have a look). For instance, employees comp insurance coverage firm Utilized Underwriters encompasses a large “bobblehead” model of its company mascot (a St. Bernard canine) in its sales space, inviting attendees to take a photograph with the canine to put up to social media.

White offset field model 3: Picture solely

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Don’t have the finances for an enormous pooch? Generally even easy methods like a popcorn machine or an outsized prize wheel may also help break by way of the muddle and encourage interplay together with your model. I imply, who can resist the aroma of fresh-popped corn or the prospect to win one thing?

Do use video to seize consideration and illustrate your worth proposition—however be mindful you’ll want to supply one thing that isn’t reliant on audio (because it’s seemingly going to be very loud within the corridor). Your video ought to have the ability to stand alone, by way of visuals and textual content. And be sure to can play it on a loop efficiently with out your display going into sleep mode!

Don’t hassle with boring branded tchotchkes corresponding to bounce drives, keychains, stress balls, or much more inventive novelty gadgets, as a result of they’re more likely to get tossed shortly after attendees depart the present. An affiliate of mine remembers the time her firm gave away sleeping masks; she nonetheless has packing containers of them taking on manner an excessive amount of room in her workplace. Extra inventive and but nonetheless helpful gadgets can embody customized greeting playing cards, hats (particularly in case your sales space is exterior or in a hot-climate location!), and even tote luggage.

Do use sweet to lure individuals to the sales space. It’s the oldest trick within the ebook, however a fishbowl crammed with Wintergreen lifesavers, Hershey’s kisses, or Starbursts is a tried and true tactic that works each time. To not point out, with all of the speaking you’re doing, a mint or two in your pocket will come in useful.

Do put on branded apparel—together with execs (even when underneath a blazer). Why lose the chance to bolster your organization’s title and id at each flip?

Don’t neglect to replace your on-line presence as properly. Make certain your web site is up-to-date (right and present contact info, and a press web page with current protection and press releases, and many others.) and, most essential, mobile-responsive. Guarantee your social channels are up to date and that somebody on-site is monitoring interactions all through the weekend.

Don’t neglect the enterprise playing cards—up to date, and for everybody in your workforce, even at your company. We all know, we all know… it’s virtually 2019, and we’re nonetheless speaking about enterprise playing cards. However at occasions like CES, this seemingly archaic token from a bygone period can nonetheless be one of the best ways to remind new contacts to attach after the occasion (after which promptly toss your small business card within the recycling bin). That in thoughts, think about revamping yours earlier than the present, and ensure everybody attending in your firm’s behalf has a lot at hand out. Depart some white house on the cardboard for the recipient to jot down themselves a observe after your assembly—alongside the traces of “don’t neglect to electronic mail this particular person!” (Additionally, usually, there are some good raffles that require enterprise playing cards for entry!)

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