5 Tips for Incorporating Technology into your Booth

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Integrating technology is one of the easiest and most effective ways to enhance your booth setup. Technology can be used to engage booth visitors and help you stand out against the competition at an event.

Read our 5 tips for incorporating technology into your booth…


1. Create a Technology “Wow” Factor
People at trade shows are very busy and may easily pass over your booth. You want to create a booth that stands out at the event. Technology can be used to grab the attention of passer-by’s and make them want to stop and visit your booth.

For example, using digital displays or moving images on video monitors is a great way to showcase your products and get people to stop and watch. This is also a great way to consistently update your message without having to keep printing new graphics. Click here to view the Expand MonitorStand XL.

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Lighting is another way to get your booth to booth stand out. A well-lit display is likely to grab attention in a dark venue. LED lighting can be strategically used to highlight products, make a statement, or set the mood for the booth. Click here to view Expand’s backlit displays.

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2. Create an Interactive Booth Experience
Most people who exhibit at an event have a traditional booth setup. You can stand out and draw more people to your booth by creating a fun, interactive “event experience.” An interactive experience makes your brand more memorable and allows you to interact directly with your consumers. Some examples of how to create this kind of experience include virtual reality goggles, food or beverage tastings, and touch screen displays.

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Incorporating touch screen monitors, tablets, or iPads allows you to be much more interactive with show attendees. You can upload all your literature, case studies, etc. and have everything right at your fingertips when talking to potential prospects.

3. Provide a Charging Station
These days, everyone carries their cellphone with them and many people at trade shows also bring a laptop, kindle, etc. Surprisingly, many trade shows don’t have charging stations widely available. A charging station will bring people to your booth because it offers a convenient location to charge their devices, without having to worry about them getting stolen. And w
hile they are waiting for their phone or tablet to charge, it’s a great time to strike up a conversation about the products or services you can offer them!

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4. Provide Digital Product Information
People receive a lot of brochures, catalogs and one-page handouts when attending a trade show or event. These often end up in a pile and eventually get thrown away. Why spend money on having your company catalogs shipped or drive yourself crazy making room for them in your luggage, if people aren’t even going to keep them?  Instead, provide a QR code that visitors can scan to access your website or have a thumb drive with all of your company catalogs and brochures on it as a booth giveaway.  (The iOS 11 that Apple just released has a QR scanner built right into the camera app!)

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Give booth visitors a QR code that they can scan with their phones to get to your website. 

5. Be social
A social media post mentioning your booth number or location makes attendees more likely to take time to visit your booth. If you’re exhibiting at a big show or an event that only lasts a few hours, not everyone will have time to see every booth, so you want to make sure that they see coming by your booth as a priority!

Tag the event location and/or company that is hosting the event and use hashtags (including the show hashtag if there is one) to reach a larger audience and draw more visitors. Below is a Tweet that Expand posted during a trade show we exhibited at in May:

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After the event…

  • A few days after the show, send an email or mobile push notification thanking people for coming by your booth. Direct them to more information.
  • Send them a brochure. Although most attendees receive too many print materials at the event, they’re more likely to have time to look at them after the event.
  • Follow up with your leads via email or phone and ask them if they would like additional materials. 

Click here for More Expand Tips for Exhibitors >> 

Contact us to see how Expand can meet your booth needs >>


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Tips for Exhibitors – 5 Things to Do Before Leaving a Trade Show!

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We hope you had a chance to read our previous posts about getting ready for a trade show or event. Planning prior to the event is important, but it’s also important to do certain things while you are at the event.

Read on for our 5 tips on what to do before you leave a trade show…


1. Get Leads and Take Notes
It’s expensive to exhibit, so make sure it’s worth the money you put into your event by getting a lot of high-quality leads and jotting down all of their information. Depending on the size of event, you may end up talking with hundreds of people and it’s very unlikely that you’ll remember exactly what a certain person asked for. Ask everyone you meet for a business card and take notes on the back. That way, you’ll have all their contact information, with specific details on the other side.

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Most shows also give you the option of renting a lead scanner, which allows you to scan an attendee’s badge. This is a very helpful tool and usually worth the investment.  Some shows even have lead scanning apps that you can download right to your phone!

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2. Schedule appointments
It’s fine to receive business cards from your leads and call them after the show, but it’s also great if you can get them to schedule an appointment to meet with you while at the event! Try to set an actual date and time to follow up with your potential customers. That way they can put it in their calendar right away and you’ll know that they’ll be free when you call them at that specific date and time. People are very busy and it’s much easier to follow up with someone after an event if they’ve carved out a specific time to talk to you.

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3. Have a Raffle or Giveaway at your Booth
Having a raffle or a giveaway will help draw people to your booth. With so many different things going on and so many different booths for people to visit, you have a very short time frame to catch the attendee’s attention. A raffle or booth giveaway is a great way to drive traffic to your booth, and once they come by you can engage them on what you do. It doesn’t have to be something big; Promotional items, pens, and candy are all great giveaways that will get people over to your booth.

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4. Walk around the Show Floor and Talk to Everyone
Another great way to engage people at an event is for YOU to go up to THEM. Walk up to someone and tell them what you do, hand them your business card and ask them to visit your booth for more information. You can also talk to other exhibitors and discuss how they think the show is going and how it compares to other shows. You can even try to think of a way that your two companies can work together (in a way that will benefit you both!)

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5. Evaluate to see if you reached your goals:
In our previous blog post with Five Tips for Exhibitors, we talked about setting clear goals for what you want to achieve at an event – i.e. building your brand, educating your booth visitors, reaching new customers, etc. Did you accomplish the goals that you set out to meet? Did you collect as many leads as you had hoped to?

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It’s important to determine whether your goals were met in order to figure out if you  should exhibit at the same event again next year. Figure out the amount that you spent on the show and then how many leads or sales you got afterward to figure out if the event was worth it. If you received a lot of revenue from the event, it’s probably worth it to exhibit again. If not, maybe your next year’s event budget should be used to attend a smaller, local trade show instead.

After the event…

followup1Follow up with your leads. Most important of all: Get back to the leads you collected during the trade show and do it right away! You put a lot of effort into talking with people at an event, and you want to make sure that you follow up with them in a timely manner.

Follow up with a phone call to schedule a face-to-face appointment within one to two weeks after the show.

Check out our other posts for more helpful event tips:

Contact us to see how Expand can help you with your trade show & event needs >>


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3 Tips on Lighting – For Your Next TradeShow or Event!

Lighting-School-ENG-665pxWhen planning a tradeshow or event, lighting is often planned at the last minute or completely forgotten about. However, the lighting is an extremely important part of planning your booth setup, as it enhances your message, creates a welcoming atmosphere and attracts more visitors.

You spent a lot of money on the booth – Lights bring it to life! 


We have developed 3 tradeshow lighting tips for enhancing your booth or display…

1. Create an atmosphere that carries your message
Illuminating a display isn’t just about making it bright, but also about communicating a feeling or a quality. A well-illuminated tradeshow display feels more welcoming and will make your guests want to stay longer. They may even stay to take pictures in front of your booth!

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Think about what feeling or quality you want to portray with your tradeshow booth lighting. Do you want it to feel relaxed? Luxurious? Energetic? Dramatic? Try to illuminate your booth to communicate the qualities of your brand or product and thus enhance the experience of your branding.

2. Work with contrasts and different light sources
A common mistake is to choose lighting that is too strong or too weak, which makes your display fall flat and look plain. Work with contrasts and different light sources. Direct the light to what you want your visitors to see when passing by your booth.

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Incorporate a backlit wall or a lightbox to highlight a product or a message. This will help the viewer to instinctively focus on what is most important and it will make your display more interesting.

Click here to see Expand’s fabric lightboxes & fabric backlit walls >>

3. Choose an environmentally friendly light source
Today it’s more important than ever to conserve the earth’s resources. LED lights that draw minimal power or solar power and renewable energy are a good choice.

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Click here to see Expand’s different Spotlights >>

Remember, you have a very short time frame to catch people’s attention in a busy tradeshow hall. Lighting is a great way to grab their attention and get your booth to stand out against the competition.

So next time you plan a tradeshow or event – don’t forget the lights!


See how our customers have enhanced their communication with lighting >>

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Read more lighting tips on our website >>


Click here for more tradeshow tips for exhibitors

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5 Tips for Exhibitors – Make Your Next Event a Success!

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What do you need to think about when planning your next trade show or event? How do you create the right conditions to be successful? What goals to you need to set?

We have developed 5 tips for setting clear goals that can help you evaluate your efforts…


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1. Start Early
To get the most out of an event, it’s important to get started early. Select a Project Manager who will have the main responsibility and let that person involve others who should be part of the planning. Know the important deadlines and remember that usually an early registration for items like hotel rooms and flights can save you money.

2. What to achieve and who to reach:
Set clear goals for yourself or your customers. Do you want to build your brand? Launch a product? Educate the visitors? Would you like to reach existing customers or is the main focus to meet potential new customers? How many leads would you like to collect? Who do you want to invite? Try to make your goals measurable – it makes it easier to evaluate afterwards.

Clarify the goals for everyone who is involved in the planning and everyone who will be exhibiting at the trade show or event.

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3. Choose your message carefully
You have a very short time frame to catch the visitors’ attention. Choose your main message for the target audience based on your goals above and communicate the message clearly!

Your message will compete with many other messages. Try to find a concept that will stand out. It is also important that your booth does not look too similar to the adjacent booths and that your logo or brand message is visible from a distance. Remember that your message and logotype may need to be visible from several directions.

4. Be consistent!
Make sure to be consistent in everything you do from invitation to giveaways, design of your space, clothes, snacks, bags, etc.

5. Follow-up and evaluation
Most important of all: Get back to the leads you collected during the trade show and do it right away! follow-up

Evaluate your success by comparing your results with your set goals. What worked well and what can you differently next time?

Summarize and save this information for the next event or trade show!

Click here for Expand’s three display concepts >>


For help setting up a booth layout…
Plan your event display with the Expand DisplayBuilder: a FREE rending tool that allows you or your customer to layout your event display before making an investments.

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  •  Brand the pdf and 3-D link with your logo
  • Skin the products with customer relevant images, such as the logo and products.
  • Save a step by giving your Sales Team a tool they use on their own – No need to go the Graphics Department.
  • ***Update: DisplayBuilder now only runs on Internet Explorer (PC) or Safari (Mac). For Internet Expolorer, please ensure you can run ActiveX Controls and have the latest version on Java installed.

Click below for more tips on getting your event display to stand out:

Get Your Booth to Stand Out Against the Competition >>

3 Tips on Lighting – For Your Next TradeShow or Event >>

Or Click here to Contact Us for additional information or if you have any questions!


Click below to follow the Expand blog and get all of our latest updates:

Expand Tips from the Experts: Get Your Booth to Stand Out Against the Competition

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Susan Volovski, Marketing Content Producer, Expand

Hi, my name is Susan and I am part of the Marketing Department at Expand.

There are 2 areas to focus on when planning a trade show: How to get people to your booth and how to evaluate trade show participation after the event. Today I’d like to talk about getting people to your booth.

Read my below post about getting your booth to stand out against the competition!


Getting Your Booth to Stand Out
In order to get people to come to your booth, you need to capture their attention in a way that makes you stand out against your competitor’s booths. There are a lot of different booths set up at a trade show venue and trade show attendees are often overwhelmed. With all of this over-stimulation, how do you get people to want to stop by your booth?

Here are some tips to help you stand out against your competition at a trade show:

1. Break a Rule
This technique involves thinking outside the box to go against the normal “rules” that keep many companies from stepping outside their comfort zones. By bringing people out of their comfort zones, you can make an immediate impact. Once you establish your audience, you can connect and communicate in any way you choose. 1

For example, you can use larger-than-life objects in your booth, slant your walls, or even change the variance height in your booth. (Although some shows have rules about the variance height of your booth, some will allow it and it doesn’t hurt to ask. The worst that they can say is “no”.) By not confining yourself to these usual “rules” that most people adhere to, you can make small changes that will help you to stand out.

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Using slanted walls or adding larger than life objects are ways to break the usual “rules” that people conform to at trade shows and help your booth stand out against the competition.

 2. Use Humor
Serious trade show exhibiting is expected and quite honestly, a little boring.  A light-hearted approach to trade show marketing is surprising and refreshing. When communicating with a general audience, you can often achieve more with humor than with a serious approach. Humor establishes rapport, breaks down walls, establishes openness and will grab people’s attention long enough that they will want to stop by your booth.

The humor used when marketing your trade show booth doesn’t have to be laugh-out-loud funny, just something that is a little out of the ordinary. For example, Expand recently attended a healthcare show, and gave out Swedish fish and chocolate candies as a giveaway. It was a little humorous to give out candy at a healthcare show, and it also made us stand out as none of the other booths were doing this. It was a little unexpected and amusing. Everyone came up to the Expand booth saying, “I hear you’re giving out Swedish fish!” Then since people were already at our booth, they asked us who we are and what we do. We ended up handing out a lot of brochures and capturing a lot of leads from the event.

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The Expand Booth at the HCEA healthcare show.

3. Get People to Interact at Your Booth
Today, people are so bombarded with marketing messages that they want to avoid companies who are trying to sell them something with the same old message. This is especially true at a trade show, where everyone is trying to scan their attendee badge or sell them the same thing. In order to rise above this over-stimulation, you need to think of a creative solution that will capture trade show attendees’ attention. One way to do this is to create an experience within your booth space. 2

Most people are not going to stop by your booth if there is nothing to do. Instead try doing something interactive. Have a fun with this! If you have fun, your clients will have fun too. For example, a sports drink company created an interactive booth setup where people could participate in climbing a rock wall, punching a punching meter, and using an ad-lifting pulley bar. Then at the end of the day, everyone who participated could come back to the booth to receive a free sports drink.

Another example is when companies use interactive touch screens or when they use technology to create a “virtual reality” inside their booth space.  A music company, Polk Audio, created a band inside of a sound-proof booth.Instead of people walking by and ignoring their message, people came inside the booth to listen to the music, which lead to a spike in demos and the company was able to collect thousands of email addresses from people who entered their booth. 3

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Touchscreen technology is one way to get people to interact at your booth.

Of course, you may not have the budget to afford this high-tech software for your booth. That’s okay! There are other things that you can plan that will bring people to your booth, such as a giveaway or a drawing for a chance to win a free item. Create a game that they can play at the booth or ask them trivia questions for a chance to win a prize. Anything that helps the attendees engage will help with your booth presence and draw more people.

4. Use a Dramatic Booth Setup
Being dramatic with your booth setup is a great way to get it to stand out and to grab the attention of passers-by. Weave a story, and then tell it through your structure.  Use bright colors and artwork that attendees will remember. Unique items that are out of the ordinary also help play up the drama of your booth. Think larger than life elements, possibly suspended from overhead.

And don’t forget the lighting! When a visitor comments on a booth being dramatic, it is almost always because the exhibit was well lit. A well-lit stand in an exhibit hall creates a welcoming atmosphere and attracts more visitors to your booth. Direct the light to what you want your visitors to see and consider incorporating a backlit wall or lightbox to highlight a product or message.

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A well-lit booth attracts more visitors & helps your message stand out.

What if you have a limited budget?
You can still create a great booth setup on a limited budget. Most of what I mentioned in the above guidelines doesn’t require a huge budget. For example, changing the variance height on your booth shouldn’t cost you much extra. You can also have giveaways at your booth that are not expensive, such as candy. Keep in mind, one way to stick to a trade show budget is to only send employees who need to be at the show. Downsize the team of people attending to the main decision makers or key sales people to save money on travel, hotels and meals. Then that money saved can instead be used toward your booth layout and finding ways to attract visitors to your booth.

*Remember, in order be able to think outside the box when designing your booth, you will have to start planning your booth layout early. Click here to see some of Expand’s ready-made booth setups to help you get started >>

It’s also important to “Reality Check” your ideas early on when you start creating your booth setup. No one wants to have an idea of how their booth will be set up and then find out two weeks before the event that it cannot work in their booth space.4

Use the 3-D Display Builder Tool to Create Your Own Booth Setup!  >>

Once you get people to come to your booth, you also want to make sure that you accurately capture the leads from the show. Stay tuned for my next post, where I will discuss how to measure trade show participation and accurately track all of the leads from your event!

Footnotes

1. Leo Boczar, The Skapa Group, presentation at Exhibitor FastTrak conference www.linkedin.com/in/lboczar
2. Studio North: www.studionorth.com/blog/3-ways-to-make-your-event-booth-a-buzzing-interactive-crowd-magnet 
3. Exhibitor Magazine: www.exhibitoronline.com/topics/article.asp?ID=1738
4.  Joe Federbush, Evolio Marketing, presentation at Exhbitor Fast Trak conference http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=205331


I hope that you found this information helpful.
Click here to see additional Tips on the Expand Blog!

Questions? Click here to contact us.

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