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Start planning early to ensure you think about your event goals, concept, materials, and a way to connect with potential customers.  When you plan ahead, you can connect with customers, meet vendors and be remembered later for referrals.  Here are 5 tips to get you heading in the right direction.

1. Keep Your Brand Consistent

For success, all businesses (large and small) need to keep their brand consistent.  This helps define you as a company and earn customer trust & loyalty.  Designing your expo or trade show display is no different.  Use your logo and company colors correctly in your display.  Focus on one clear message, and support it with visuals and any literature you bring.  Make sure visitors get to know you over a series of consistent impressions.

2. Be Authentic in Voice and Visuals

Be amazing… but be YOU.  Keep your company’s message, tone and visuals both clear and authentic.  Customers and vendors want to know who you are and what you’re about.  You might showcase a new product or service, but make sure it’s under the umbrella of who you are as a company.  Your efforts at a trade show should nest nicely with your other marketing throughout the year.

3. Plan for Drive-By’s  (Keep it Simple)

It’s impossible for customers and vendors to read a long service list on a walk by.  Focus on the 1 or 2 most important things you want your visitors to see, engage with and remember when they walk away.  Try to convey this key message or visual hierarchy in 4-5 seconds.  That’s all you may get with some who pass by.

4. Tease the Curiosity and the Senses

Give people something to see, smell, taste or experience about your product.  Let them interact with it in some way.  You will draw more traffic and benefit more if you have a way for them to experience your services or products.  Make space for them to come into your booth and try, test or talk.  Plan an open, inviting space that welcomes your visitors.

5. Plan a Space for Contacts, Appointments or Follow-Ups

If you’ve ever been to a trade show before, you know how critical follow-up is.  Don’t neglect this needed part of the exchange.  Set aside a space or area for visitors to register, sign up or leave their cards.  Make sure it’s easy to reach, as comfortable as possible and clearly identified.

With a little creativity and planning, your booth will reflect your company’s culture, core message and engage your visitors with your product or service.  Don’t forget to get an extra set of hands for breaks, and train your staff or volunteers ahead of time on how to engage potential customers.  Keep the energy high and make sure you follow up with leads after the event.

How do you plan to make your Trade Show experience better?

Related:  Marketing for a Trade Show or Expo

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Cindy is the founding President at 17blue Digital Agency. She's passionate about helping businesses create traction for their brands, reach their goals and make a difference in their communities.