Build a better trade show booth by assembling the right team

You have the opportunity to participate in a trade show, and you want your booth to stand out. But how? The answer may become clearer when you consider that trade show booths are most impactful when they don’t look or feel like booths.

Booths are more likely to attract visitors when they break out of their boxy shell. After all, who wants to be trapped in a closed-in space that’s as drab as a beige cubicle?

So what are some alternatives to standard booth displays?

Many booths are feats of tension-fabric engineering and have large brand walls that are curved or uniquely angled. Others resemble a high-end retail environment, complete with digital displays and comfortable lounge seating.

You can go in any number of directions that are refreshingly unbooth-like.

Before you move down any particular path with your booth design, your best step is to begin assembling a team that can develop a strategic marketing plan for your event and execute it, staying within a specified timeline and budget.

1. Start with a strategist.

You have goals for your booth, and the right marketing vendor can work with you well in advance of the show to map out an effective strategy to achieve those goals. This vendor should be able to do a lot of heavy lifting that doesn’t involve plywood frames (see number five).

The strategist will lay the foundation for a lead-generating booth by thinking about all the necessary elements involved in getting prospects to your exhibit and enticing them to see what you have to say.

The strategy should include creative ideas for communicating your brand story in a way that connects with your target audience. Each idea should be supported with tactics that can be carried out in phases, including pre-show, during the show and post-show. Among the key areas of focus for the tactical plan is how to engage prospects and convert them into purchasers.

2. A copywriter tells your story.

A copywriter can define the messaging for your booth and make sure it’s in alignment with your prospects’ needs and interests. The messaging includes high-level headlines and more detailed bullet points, as well as content for social media posts.

If you’re working with a technologist (see number four) to create an interactive display, the copywriter can help with the script for that experience.

Once the show wraps up, the copywriter can support your team in immediately following up with prospects through a series of content marketing emails and maybe a traditional direct mail campaign.

Here’s a bonus should you go with a writer from WordsFresh for your project: At WordsFresh, your writer is also your strategist. This stems from our belief that a solid strategy starts with clear, audience-directed, on-brand words.

3. A designer adds impact.

A great design can be a powerful lure in drawing prospects to your booth. Ideally, you’ll work with a designer who has experience in creating large-format graphics for trade show booths. Beyond considering what might look good on a 12-ft.-wide exhibit, the designer needs to think about how the overall booth design will grab attention from different angles and viewing distances.

The designer on your team should also be comfortable working with precise measurements. For instance, the designer will need to coordinate with the builder to make sure any products you plan to display will fit within the booth walls.

4. Consider adding a technologist.

So in this age of digital ninjas and Chief Amazing Officers, you might be asking yourself what exactly is a “technologist.” A technologist is an expert in experiential or immersive technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality and gamification.

If you’re exhibiting at a high-profile event like the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), you know that the bar is high for delivering an element of the magically unexpected. This means your costs might be on the high side too.

Even if you’re not showcasing your brand or product on “the global stage for innovation,” you have an opportunity to stand out through the delivery of a technology-based experience.

The good news is you can select from a bells-and-whistles-light menu and still make a lasting impression on prospects.

For a tradeshow booth planned on behalf of an engineering solutions client, our WordsFresh team partnered with Jason Latta of Amazing Robot & Sons Interactive to develop a dual-monitor installation that functioned as a product selector. This setup gave visitors the chance to explore custom options for products, and passersby could see selections on a wall-mounted display screen.

5. A builder brings the booth to life.

If you’re planning a custom build-out for your exhibit, you’ll need an expert in trade show booth construction. The vendor should be someone you can rely on to choose materials that meet your design and budget requirements—and help your team conform to venue specifications.

You’ll also want the assurance that the vendor is capable of rising to expectations days before the show, when the pressure is on to get the booth up and running.

6. Don’t forget your salespeople.

Your salespeople are essential to delivering a memorable booth. A well-designed booth with a strong strategy foundation will draw people in, but it’s the sales folks who do the important work of getting face time with prospects and closing the sale.

Need a fresh perspective on your trade booth strategy? Contact WordsFresh for a writer-led plan that gets you to your goals. We can also assemble a team of experts to match your needs. Tell us about your project.

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