Exhibitions are a great way to build relationships with customers, but they can be difficult to compete in. After all, you’re not the only company trying to sell your wares. Other exhibitors are vying for the attention of potential customers, and you have to make sure that your trade show booth stands out from the rest. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to attract attendees away from your competitors.
By taking these steps, you can attract more visitors to your stand, and improve your chances of making valuable connections at an event.
Contact attendees before the event
Reaching out to potential attendees is a great way to create excitement for an upcoming exhibition. You can do this through social media, email, or even personal invitations. Following up with friendly emails in the days leading up to the show will help ensure that people don’t forget about the event. Make sure to promote your exhibition stand or trade booth so that potential visitors know where to find you.
And don’t forget to invite your existing and past customers. They may not have known about the exhibition otherwise, and they’ll appreciate the personal invite. Seeing familiar faces at your stand will also make new potential customers feel more comfortable approaching you.
Give people an incentive to visit you
Give people a clear and concise reason why they should visit your exhibition stand. Think about what would give them a strong incentive to do so. Make that message loud and clear in your invites. What might appeal to people visiting the event and set your business apart? An exclusive product launch perhaps. Or a well-known guest speaker maybe.
Use compelling graphics on your stand
When people are walking by your stand, you want to grab their attention and pull them in. One way to do this is to create powerful visuals. This means using high-quality graphics that are professionally designed and easy to understand. The words and images you use should be clear and concise. Use bold graphics and marketing messages that grab attention and encourage visitors into your event space.
Make sure your event signage and displays are well-lit
You can also make your stand more appealing by making sure it is well-lit. This makes it easier for people to browse and see what you have on display. If you want to really attract attention, go all out with colourful lighting that uses your brand colours. You could even try a moving light show.
Create an interactive experience
People love trying to try things out. Think about providing a product demo, something that visitors can use and experience for themselves.
If a product demo isn’t practical (perhaps you’re a service provider), consider stand activities to give people an interactive learning experience. You might use technologies such iPads or laptops for visitors to access multimedia content, such as video or quizzes. Digital games, augmented reality, social media and digital surveys are all great ways to make your stand more interactive. By using these technologies, you can give visitors a memorable experience that they’re sure to remember.
Host events at your stand
Why not schedule special events at your stand? You might schedule a talk by an expert, for example. This will give potential customers a reason to visit your stand and learn more about what you have to offer.
If you’re not sure what kind of events to host, think about what would be most relevant and interesting to your target audience. Then, reach out to potential speakers or performers and get them on board.
Mini-events are a great way to make your stand more visible and attract attention.
Use multimedia to draw people in
You can count on a good multimedia presentation to draw visitors into your exhibition stand. Use strategically placed big screens to display corporate videos with striking content. These could be about your products, services or company culture. Or, you could use them to show live footage of your stand, the factory production line or the shop floor. This is a great way to generate interest and excitement.
Make sure the volume is turned up so people passing by can hear what’s going on. You might even use audio alone to differentiate yourself from other stands. Choose a certain type of background music, or play a voice-over narration that introduces your business to passers-by.
We made a corporate video presentation the centrepiece of an anniversary event that we organised on behalf of Al Kout Industrial Projects in Kuwait. We hosted the event at Kuwait’s Scientific Centre, using the enormous IMAX screen for the video presentation and the aquarium as the perfect venue for our environmental theme.
Give away branded corporate gifts
Who doesn’t love a free gift? Giving away promotional gifts is a great way to attract attention and generate interest in your business. But don’t just give away any old thing. Make sure the items you choose are relevant to your business and target audience. And make sure they’re high quality. A cheap, flimsy pen with your company name on it isn’t really going to differentiate you from every other company exhibiting alongside you.
Some popular promotional items include: corporate t-shirts, branded caps, mugs, pens, notepads, USB drives, tote bags, and water bottles. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that people will actually value and hopefully keep after the show ends.
Assign greeters to welcome people
Greeters can create a positive first impression and welcome people into your booth. Assign someone (or a few people) to stand at the entrance of your stand and greet visitors. This will make your company seem more welcoming and approachable. And if you have a large stand, they can help direct visitors to the areas they’re most interested in. They should be familiar with the layout of the stand, know where everything is, and be able to answer any basic questions people might have.
Greeters should be able to the most common basic questions (FAQs) about your company or products. But they might not know all the details. So, make sure they know who they can refer potential customers to for more information, and always know where to find them.
It’s also important that they’re friendly and approachable. People should feel welcome when they approach your stand.
Arm them with welcome flyers and leaflets
Your greeters can hand out promotional materials, such as flyers, leaflets, or postcards. If you’re fortunate enough to have a really large stand, you might provide a helpful map to guide people around the various sections. If you have events organised, you could give them a schedule to let them know what’s on and when.
As always, make sure that your print marketing collateral is top-notch. Design for clarity and print professionally, making sure it gives people a good first impression. You don’t want your event materials to look cheap or unprofessional.
Provide a space to stop and relax
Exhibitions are a hectic place, not just for participants and organisers but for visitors too. People visiting a big exhibition hall can clock sizeable walking distances, often weighed down with corporate gifts and marketing material. You would be surprised at how grateful people are for a place to sit down briefly. Making part of your exhibition stand a relaxing space where they can stop for a moment of respite can be a great visitor attraction. It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy. Just a few comfortable chairs, sofas, and a table or two stocked with your reading material will do the trick. Offer free wi-fi and charging ports for your visitors’ smartphones and electronic devices.
We made this a feature of an exhibition stand designed for Al-Ahleia Switchgear Co. in Kuwait. A specially-made bench sofa provided comfortable seating in the centre of the booth. This meeting area was a welcoming environment for visitors to relax in, with branded seating upholstery and carpeting.
Offer people visiting your stand refreshments
It’s always nice to be offered a drink or something to eat, especially if you’ve been walking around for a while. Water, soft drinks, and coffee are always popular (and easy to keep stocked). But you could also offer some light snacks, such as biscuits or fruit to keep visitors going. And if you want to be really generous, you could offer a selection of hot foods. (We organised a hot buffet at the Al Kout Industrial Projects event too.)
Just make sure that whatever you offer is in keeping with your brand image and target audience. And make sure the refreshments area is well-staffed so people don’t have to wait too long for service. Custom-labelled mineral water is always a popular choice with visitors at any exhibition in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. It’s healthy and appreciated in the GCC climate.
Attract more attendees and you’ll be closer to your exhibition goals
All of these tips will help to attract visitors to your exhibition stand or trade show booth.
Make sure that you have greeters on hand to greet visitors and hand out promotional material.
Design a stand with eye-catching graphics and bold branding.
Try getting exhibition visitors to engage with your brand in a fun and informal way.
Think about hosting mini-events, workshops and demonstrations.
Attract visitors with games and multimedia. Ask people to respond to a question or get involved in a problem-solving exercise.
And don’t forget to include a comfortable seating area in your stand design, with plenty of refreshments to hand.
With these strategies in place, you’re sure to see an increase in visitor numbers at your next exhibition. And more visitors to your stand, should mean more potential clients.