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Envision's blog contains a series of posts about how to best run your conferences, business etiquette, tips for keeping your meetings productive, and more.

5 Surprising Ways Your Company Can Rock Tradeshows

Introduction

Trade shows and events can yield exciting business opportunities but are often busy, loud and rather chaotic. Standing out can be challenging as there’s only so much time to make a great impression plus with fierce competition, it's important that you do everything you can to magnetize people to your booth.

Capture the attention of nearby event attendees and improve your booth’s potential with these 5 surprising ways that your company can rock tradeshows!

  1. Attract Prospects with Unique and Exciting Motion Technology

According to Forrester Research, video is 600% more effective as a marketing tool when compared to print so you’ll need more than a few posters to attract attention towards your booth. Instead of relying on print, equip your booth with interactive technology such as interactive video boards, augmented reality and video brochures for maximum effectiveness at your next trade show.

Use slideshows and video loops to communicate product information quickly and effectively. Apple iPhone launch videos are the perfect example. They’re gloriously well animated and are extremely effective at showcasing the product’s specifications in a concise and informative manner. Companies like Vidioh can help you create amazing video content and brochures.

If you choose to construct a PowerPoint then make sure it aligns to your business’ visual branding - no WordArt! If you can, display your business’s value proposition on iPads or other tablets so visitors can view your content through whilst visiting your booth.

If you want to go the extra mile and illustrate your business’ technical prowess then consider video brochures. These awesome brochures contain slimline LCD screens that automatically play video when opened! They’re surprisingly inexpensive and can be used to display company information or information on current or upcoming products.

Make sure that you only produce high quality video content, Veast’s blog is a great resource for learning video marketing and this post specifically covers b2b marketing tips and techniques.

    2. Avoid the Dull Status Quo

Over the last few years, we’ve certainly seen more weird and wacky booths pop up at tradeshows around the world. Their one shared common denominator is that they manage to get people talking - that means your company could be shared across social media and viewed by hundreds or even thousands!

Charity: Water created an interactive display at Inbound 2013 where participants were invited to carry 40 pounds of water up and down a walkway in what was dubbed “the WaterWalk”. Not only did this forge a personal connection between attendees and the charity, it also inspired people to give to the charity who raised over $50,000 over the course of the day long event.

Michelin rose to the tricky challenge of marketing tires at the Detroit Auto Show in 2013 by showcasing an interactive booth where participants could simulate life as a tire. Michelin’s innovative display enabled them to transform a typically boring product boring into a meaningful, interactive and memorable experience that captured people’s attention at this particularly busy tradeshow.

Michelin’s “Be the Tire” probably cost $000s to construct but Charity: Water’s “WaterWalk” is a great example of an innovative and inexpensive tradeshow booth that is captivating and impactful.

    3. Professional but friendly style (swag without too much bravado)

Friendly professionalism is the key to face-to-face communication at trade-shows. Often, the primary aim of a tradeshow is to build rapport with prospective clients. It’s vital to progress the conversation at a natural pace so that your prospect is less likely to be put off by a hard sell.

Building Rapport

Tradeshows and corporate events run on a strict schedule. Your time is precious and limited - learning and practicing techniques that rapidly improve your interactions with prospective clients are a must. Meet the king concept of human communication. Rapport...

Rapport is known as the ability to relate to others in a specific way that creates a level of trust and understanding. You can easily improve your rapport building skills by using a psychological framework and methodology known as NLP.

One key NLP technique for rapport is matching. This involves you matching your body language and behaviour with whoever you’re talking to to give the impression that you’re on the same wavelength.

If they talk softly and quietly then match it, if they’re upbeat and loud then match it, if they tilt their head then tilt yours, etc. Spend a few fun hours practicing this with your staff.

Once you and your staff put some practice time into NLP techniques, you’ll notice that they naturally implement into your other day-to-day business conversations.

    4. Focus on Visual Branding

The most visually striking booths will attract the most visitors. We’re all familiar with the importance of visual branding but the limited time available at trade shows makes it all the more important. You have to capture people’s attention and communicate your brand quickly.

An important area of of effective booth branding is color theory. Colors have long been known for their evocative particularities. Red evokes passion and raw emotion, blue evokes coolness and calm, purple evokes class and sophistication and so on. Don’t be limited by one color but do be aware that mixing opposite colors (e.g. blue and red) can create unnecessary contrast.

Examples:

If you’re running a professional IT security outfit then blues, greys and purples can evoke a calming and reassuring sense of professionalism. If you own an adventure company - e.g. white water rafting or similar - then say it loudly with passionate and vibrant colours by using reds or pinks!

Basic color properties:

Yellow - Playful, youthful and optimistic
Red - Powerful, raw and adventurous
Blue - Cool, calm and collected
Green - Conscious, progressive and aware
Purple - Classy, suave and upmarket
Pink - Fresh, progressive and loud
Black/White/Monochrome - Modern, sleek and technological

    5. Be Organised

If you fail to plan the you plan to fail, so cover every aspect of preparation in fine detail. Don’t leave any stone unturned - train staff, prepare your media and arrive early on the day. Create a checklist that covers everything from event equipment to technology, content and collateral.

Consider the tasks of the day and divide your team. You’ll need to meet and greet, showcase work, record information and upload client details.

Quirky Organisation

Streamline your processes by investing in a business card scanner. You’ll be able to scan cards, collect client data and upload all contact information to your CRM automatically. Not only will it enable you to focus more on the the attendees, you’ll also save yourself the time and stress of going through incomplete and poorly written notes once you get back to the office.

Conclusion

Trade shows can provide huge opportunities for businesses. If you really focus on your trade show strategy then you can magnetize clients to your booth, dazzle them with your communicative skills and then collect leads and sales. Grasp the trade show with both hands and make use these tips to make sure that your booth is the one that’s buzzing.


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