From celebrity promoters to next-level artificial reality adventures, trade shows are becoming less about selling and more about experiencing. By design, trade show trends shift with the culture at large. Today, we find a few trends that are especially noteworthy in helping to boost the all-around effectiveness of your trade show promotions.
Time is money. We want to be sure that any time we spend planning and coordinating a trade show strategy is best for our business. While the purpose of trade shows is to build your brand, create awareness, and ultimately make sales and profit, your focus should not be built around selling. People that attend trade shows are doing so for the experience and the education it provides them. They wish to learn new information and interact with interesting products and services, creating memories that later turn into top-of-mind awareness. How do you make your booth stand out, and become memorable?
Engage, Engage, Engage
The #1 trend in trade shows for 2019 is engagement. Now more than ever, visitors want a hands-on experience, immersing themselves in new and exciting products and services. But not every business has something new and exciting – and that’s okay. The key is to find a way to take what you have and create a memorable experience from it.
Let’s say you sell flooring. Walking up to a booth that merely displays flooring on a stand is lackluster. After all, we see flooring all day, every day, each time we look down. But if you were to instead, set up a 3D virtual reality tour of homes with various flooring options that your business offers, you’ve now created an engaging experience. By utilizing a virtual reality headset to “walk through” homes featuring your products, guests are able to get a true feel for the look of it in a real space. This would provide a much more hands-on, immersive encounter that your booth visitors will recollect in a positive way.
Do you bake cakes? Don’t just offer samples – anyone can do that (and they will). Have a “name the flavor” contest, offering guests the chance to taste your cakes while attempting to guess what they are and offer a prize to whoever guesses the most flavors correctly. Not only does this involve your booth visitors in a next level way, but it also creates a buzz. They may tell other trade show visitors to go check it out because you created something memorable and engaging.
Simple is Best
According to a new study, humans now have a shorter attention span than goldfish. Unless your target buyer persona has fins, your best bet is to keep it simple. Strategize what your top focus should be and stick to it. The more clutter your guests have to look at, the less likely they are to really absorb what it is you’re trying to show them.
As much as you’d love to throw in every bit you can while you have their attention, showing them an 8’x8′ walk-through display of every product you have to offer isn’t the best way to keep it simple. Your guests can always inquire if they’d like to know more, but once you’ve overloaded their heads with a plethora of stimuli and information, they’re less likely to retain any of it.
A clean, simple booth keeps your potential customers focused on what matters.
Knowledge is Everything
The most important thing to remember in these trade show trends is to continue to provide your customers with the knowledge they are seeking. Just as we know the importance of your content with inbound marketing and demand generation, the face-to-face “content” you’re providing your potential customers at a trade show is what ultimately reaffirms you as a leader in your industry.