Written by Steve Hoffman, Skyline Exhibits & Design, Inc.
If I were to describe to you the thrill of driving a racecar on a track at speeds incomprehensible to the common driver, you would hear “words.” You might get a partial glint in your eye as you try to imagine the physiological strain, mental challenge or fear.
Similarly, if you share a photo, even a huge mural, of a product or a demonstration of services your company provides, presented by your booth staffer the attendee might “get it.” But would they have the same burning desire to ‘get it’ as if they had been immersed in the relevant products’ operations or benefits?
When deciding to invest in a trade show, there is a reason you put your money, time and company reputation on the line. Surely among the hierarchy of goals is to be remembered positively, since most B2B shows aren’t overly focused on writing orders on the spot. Here are a few ways your company can enhance results from exhibit marketing:
Basic booth staff training
Even if you do nothing else, be sure the people working your booth are equipped with a thorough understanding of your company’s goals for the show; knowledge of the lead capture process and ideally both the knowledge and techniques essential to maximising your presence at the event.
Much like the racecar experience above, instead of telling someone about your company, allow them to interact with it. By playing a role in what information gets selected, in what order, perhaps in a fun, interesting, and impactful manner (as compared to a verbal sales pitch) you’ll achieve greater prospect interest and memorability.
Virtual or augmented reality
What just a few years ago may have cost six figures and taken months to create may now be affordable and easily achievable. Whether it’s as simple as a desktop screen system or strapping your smartphone to a headset, there are multiple technologies that can intrigue, inform, train, compare and most importantly involve your attendee prospects in an at-show experience that will pay dividends.
If being hands-on with your product (something tangible or even software) is possible and would offer a unique selling point, then be sure your booth staffers are allowing their visitors to do the touching, to operate the keyboards and get a sense of how the attendee would use it in their work. Greater involvement equals greater memorability.
Appeal to more than one of the five senses
Not every company can create a ‘Cinnabon in the mall’ experience whereby the wonderful smell is creating a pathway to your booth. And most exhibitors aren’t interested in lining their booth spaces with massage chairs. But remember, most booth experiences consist of sight and sound. If you can add taste (hospitality); smell (fragrance is subliminally powerful and memorable) and touch (something that is physically creating a positive sensation) now you’re capturing the best chance at success.
About the Author:
Steve Hoffman, President of Skyline Exhibits & Design, Inc. has spent almost 30 years in the selling and marketing of marketing products. Following a successful career in the TV Program Syndication business, he joined The Holt Group/Skyline Displays as a Marketing Consultant, then moved into management, ultimately purchasing a portion of that company.