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What a sinking feeling. You’ve just returned from exhibiting at a trade show and have called a major client and you hear these words … “Oh, you were there? How did I miss you?” Admit it – it’s happened more than once. Your trade show floor presence has become the Hidden Picture Page from your childhood Highlights Magazine! Don’t spend all the money to be an exhibitor and not have a pre-show plan that will guarantee exhibit attendance. Start with pre-show marketing – invite your clients and potential clients, make your exhibit a must-see. More attendees are pre-planning which exhibits to visit (approximately 50% to 75%). Time is expensive. You must get in their face long before they set foot on the show floor and drive them to your exhibit.

Get Them to Your Exhibit

Dare to be different with your exhibit. A carefully designed trade show exhibit and graphic presentation can increase traffic. Boost the exhibit up a notch with an interactive presentation about your company shown on computer, TV, or projector screens that will create excitement and buzz around your exhibit. Get out to the front aisle – don’t use tables and counters as barriers. At the show, you are competing for attention not only with other businesses in your industry, but with your neighboring exhibits as well. To be noticed, use features, such as colors that are exaggerated. An exhibit that looks muted in a showroom may virtually disappear around brighter neighboring displays. Add as much lighting as possible. Backlit images are very effective. Movement helps in being noticed. This can be achieved with rotators on the booth, or with working models if your product lends itself to this type of exhibit.

Exhibitors that neglect to invite customers and potential customers and then further fail to excite attendees on the show floor might as well save the exhibition fees and turn their marketing dollars elsewhere. However, the greatest potential to awaken new clients in the shortest amount of time is proven to happen at your industry trade show. From CEIR – Center for Exhibition Industry Research: Exhibition leads are 38% less expensive to close. Exhibition sales average only 1.6 calls to close. Exhibition leads are 31% less expensive to contact. Think ahead – that has to be your plan.

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