Here are 7 ways to create memorable brand experiences at tradeshow in 2023. They will help you cut through all the noise and create a memorable brand experience that will last a life time.
Trade shows and industry networking events can be an excellent way to grow your business, gain exposure and meet prospective clients. But in a venue crawling with glitzy, gimmicky competitors, it can be easy to get lost in the crowd. Standing out at a trade show doesn’t only mean grabbing the attention of your prospects – it also means getting them to remember you and your brand long after the show is over.
As the old saying goes, “You only have one chance to make a first impression”, and that’s why how your stand looks, how your staff communicate and how the attendees are being treated is of utmost importance.
1. Start building hype before the event
One of the biggest mistakes a business can make when exhibiting at a trade show is not properly utilising the lead-up time to create awareness and hype in advance. Industry stats tell us that most attendees will arrive at the expo with 75%* of the exhibitors they’d like to visit already chosen, so the promotion of your upcoming appearance should start well before the day of the event. Take the time to build a multi-channel awareness campaign that will let your prospective customers know where to find you and what they can expect.
Some easy, cost-effective ways to do this may include:
- Create a ‘teaser’ email campaign to build excitement and hint at a ‘not to be missed’ opportunity, only available by visiting your event stand on the day.
- Utilise Social Media with some dedicated posts in the lead-up to the event and to get your unique, event-related hashtags to start building steam.
- Encourage attendees to get involved by enabling people to enter a competition or pre-book an appointment with you ahead of time.
2. Invest in an eye-catching exhibition stand
With so many great exhibition products available on the market today, there’s simply no excuse for a boring, uninspired expo display. Even if you don’t have the budget for an all-out custom job there are lots of quality pop-up products available that you can customize with your own graphics and brand colours to create an impressive expo kit that you can reuse for future events.
Think about your product or service, your value proposition, and what need your business fulfills for your customers. Then, try to correlate that with a fun, unique theme. Get creative and think outside the box!
3. The right staff for the job
It should go without saying that the staff manning your expo stand can either make or break the success of your event. Approachable, energetic staff who have a solid understanding of what you are offering and knowledgeable enough on the subject to answer any question that may arise can make all the difference.
Your expo team should also look like a team. Matching uniforms in your company colours will significantly boost brand recognition and help to set the right first impression. Think of your team’s uniforms as free ad-space, so create walking billboards for your brand with custom branded gear made especially for the event.
4. Competitions & Giveaways
Competitions and giveaways are a great way to attract more people to your trade show booth, as long as the offering is in line with your brand’s message and target audience. Items like pens and tote bags are a classic, but you should also try to get creative and offer something a little more unique and memorable.
How about a reusable Tote bag that is bigger than everyone else’s (so that everything gets put into your bag)?
Small, handy items such as screen wipes, USB sticks, stress balls and stylus pens are great expo giveaways which are not only practical, but surprisingly cost effective too. It’s a win-win!
What about branded water bottles, lollies or mints? While these items won’t last forever, they’re extremely effective for bringing people to your stand on event day.
And don’t just limit yourself to small items. Consider investing in a great, bigger-ticket item and pair it with a fun and interesting way to win.
The options are literally endless!
5. Create an experience that gets people talking!
Don’t just talk to your prospects, get them involved! An experiential event is a fantastic way to create a buzz by immersing people in your brand in a fun and memorable way.
Why not create a game that attendees can play as way of winning a prize? You could create Insta-worthy selfie frames with a fun backdrop & props. Or simply demonstrate your product’s most impressive features and allow people to get hands-on and join in.
Virtual Reality (VR) interactive or Simulator activities are very popular and have the novelty factor. Any kind of VR or Simulator are interesting and draw crowds. Even though they are pricey to buy, solutions can also be rented. Solutions can range from simple VR goggles to full motion simulators. As an example, you can find a game relevant to your industry, generate creative / signage / branding that connects your brand to the activity, and watch the crowds lining up for the memorable brand experience. Hey don’t forget to add a give-away and capture the right data.
Check out these memorable examples.
6. Leverage Social Media
Events tend to garner a lot of attention in the social media sphere so it’s essential that you’re utilizing this throughout the event, not just in the lead-up. With consistent, strategic participation, not only will your booth remain top of mind with attendees, but the added exposure can effectively expand your brand’s social reach.
For optimal results create and stick to a strategic social media plan that includes:
- Utilizing event hashtags so your content can be easily found by attendees.
- Engage with attendees and other exhibitor’s social content by answering or asking questions, providing assistance, congratulating speakers, or just saying hi.
- Share some candid, behind-the-scenes footage or live stream from the event.
Consistently let people know where they can find your booth and highlight any special components like games, giveaways or other things attendees can expect when they stop by.
7. The Show Must Go On …
Post event / trade show follow up can make or break the return on your investment. Subject to nature of your main activity, the data you are capturing and call to action make sure your follow up is on point.
Your follow up must:
- deliver on any promises made
- be in line with the participants expectations
- be both personal and automated
- provide a next action option to keep the conversation going
At bare minimum, after the trade show or event, be sure to follow up with new leads and connections via email and make sure your email includes links to your blog as well as your social media accounts.
You don’t have to go at it alone
Follow these 7 key tips and you’ll be well on your way to becoming the standout brand at your next trade show. But you don’t have to go at it alone. While you are busy focussing on customer success, our team at VooDu Marketing can be your expert Experiential Marketing Partner. We will not only take all the logistics off your hands, we will also help you create a memorable brand experience that will last a lifetime.
If you need help incorporating these 7 tips at your next industry event, contact us today on 9077 4888 for a Free Strategy Session