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5 Ways to Stand Out at a Trade Show

by Naveen Agarwal

One of the best ways to increase awareness of your brand and expose your product or service to new audiences is to attend a trade show. However, simply turning up with some pop-up banners and a few flyers is unlikely to get you noticed. In fact, without preparation and creativity, exhibiting at trade shows can be an expensive waste of time. To make the most of the opportunity and increase the likelihood that you will see a return on your investment, here are five great ways to ensure your business stands out from the crowd at your next trade show.

1) Start Promoting Your Attendance ASAP

A common mistake that many businesses make is failing to market themselves before the event. By shouting about the fact that you will be attending the trade show on social media and in email marketing campaigns, you can initiate conversations with other brands and potential customers who will also be attending. If you will be handing out promotional gifts, ask people to vote for the types of gifts they would like. If you will be running a competition, create some buzz around the activities and prizes. When you know where your stand will be, you can publicize your location and let people know when demonstrations or activities will be taking place.

2) Be Creative With Your Giveaways

While giving visitors to your stand a free gift branded with your logo is not a groundbreaking idea, you can stand out by choosing a less common product. Rather than opting for mugs, stationery, or t-shirts, consider a custom magic 8 ball, Rubik’s cubes, headphones, USB sticks, or even headphones. Remember to also give away reusable bags that your visitors can take away with them – and make them as big and bright as possible so that they act as mobile advertisements as they are carried around the venue.

3) Research the Other Exhibitors

Take a look at photos of the event from previous years. You will be able to learn a lot from the other exhibitors’ past appearances, especially if they have been attending the event for many years and have much bigger budgets than you. They have probably tried and tested lots of tactics over the years, and you will know what you are competing with in terms of attention-grabbing techniques.

4) Make Your Stand Eye-Catching

With so many businesses in one place, it is incredibly easy to be lost in the crowd. The key is to make your stand as eye-catching and engaging as possible so that you draw the attention of passers-by. It can be costly to invest in visual displays but choosing cheap and simple options could make the whole day a waste of time and money. Consider designing display items that you can reuse in future years, i.e., don’t include dates or other event-specific information. A video playing on a large screen can be a great way to grab attention and introduce your brand quickly.

5) Put on Some Entertainment

The less well-known your brand is, the more effort you will need to put in to differentiate your business, and that means some noise, color, creativity, and innovation are required. Think about providing interactive technology, games, contests, live performers, or serving food. Ideally, the entertainment or activities will be themed and connected to your brand to make it more memorable.

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