Trade shows provide one of the most effective ways of marketing products and services to potential customers.
Across the USA, thousands of trade shows take place that provide a number of opportunities as sellers and buyers can interact on a face-to-face basis (Bathelt, Golfetto, & Rinallo, 2014). The advantage associated with exhibiting at a trade show is that the business can share its products/services with a targeted audience while, at the same time, taking note of competition. Trade shows also provide an ideal opportunity for nurturing relationships with customers – both existing and new ones (Shankar & Srividhya, 2012). In this essay, it is emphasized that proper planning and the use of well-designed booths coupled with display and signage is crucial for success at a trade show. Thus, while exhibiting at a trade show might be costly, it is a worthwhile initiative for business due to its proven effectiveness in generating targeted business leads and strengthening the brand.
Important Trade Shows in New York and Las Vegas
New York hosts several trade shows annually that involve players from various industries. Some trade shows are industry-specific, whereas others are open to any industry. Notable examples of trade shows that are organized in New York include the International Trade Expo, Let’s Go Global! International Trade Conference and Expo, Long Island Business Expo, FTG Business Social Gathering, and Small Business Expo – 2017 – New York City (“New York,” 2017). Similarly, Las Vegas hosts several trade shows. Some of the most important ones are International Sign Expo, Global Shop, and Magic Las Vegas (“Las Vegas trade shows,” 2017).
How a Business Can Succeed on a Trade Show With a Booth
The benefits associated with trade show exhibitions can exceed those from marketing efforts. Millions of business deals are sealed at trade shows on annual basis. Having the best and biggest show booth is an added advantage; however, more effort is needed to ensure success at a trade show using a booth (Gibson, 2016). It requires the adoption of specific success strategies. The first important recipe is to ensure that a booth is located in a prime area. The downside of securing a prime location for a booth is the high price. If the business is willing to part with the extra costs, the securing a prime booth location is an important consideration (Larson, 2014). Thus, early plans should be made since such locations tend be sold out quickly. It is recommended that if the business is planning to attend the trade show on a long-term basis, negotiations can be made to secure the prime location for subsequent trade shows.
The second way of succeeding at a trade show using a booth entails the use of good-looking booths. Studies show that buyers have a liking for booths that are visually appealing (Larson, 2014; Carter, 2017). The business should consider utilizing bright colors and putting considerable effort in designing a booth as it is a significant factor that determines whether a consumer walks past or stops by the booth (Larson, 2014; Carter, 2017). The messaging should be clear and visible from any direction regardless of the distance. Optimum lighting and signs are also recommended.
Another important approach for success at trade shows is to increase the approachability of a booth. Besides having a good looking booth, it is essential to ensure that consumers find it approachable (Gibson, 2016). This requirement can be achieved by having professional booth attendants. Moreover, different display options can be adopted in order to appeal to different categories of people. Some consumers might prefer flyers, others reading materials, whereas some might like visual media (Carter, 2017). It is also imperative to ensure that a booth has adequate personnel (Gibson, 2016).
Equally important is ensuring that the hosts at a booth are adequately trained and capable of answering questions and directing consumers to the appropriate personnel at a booth (Gibson, 2016). One should consider using entertainers for this role. Other helpful strategies that can lead to success at trade shows include highlighting specials clearly, arranging some promotions and contests to attract people to a booth, providing attendees with drinks and snacks that are aligned with a company’s theme and branding, and integrating social media marketing into the trade show (Carter, 2017). Additionally, providing the right promotional products, such as pens, bags, mugs, and note pads, have been reported to attract attendees to a booth (Larson, 2014).
Trade Show Displays
Trade show displays represent an integral role in driving potential clients towards a booth, hence, attracting attendees (Bathelt et al., 2014). Making use of the right booth signs and displays can result in a significant difference. Displays are needed to highlight what is unique regarding the business and facilitate the easy understanding of the information. They should be appealing visually and leave a significant impression on the attendees. There are several trade show display options for businesses participating in trade shows (Bathelt et al., 2014). The first display that companies can use at a trade show is a table cover, which is essential in creating a professional and attractive display. Table covers, such as tablecloths and table runners, can help enhance a firm’s presentation at the trade show. The table space is important since it is where the exhibitors connect with the target customers. An ideal addition to the table cover is table top display. Banner displays are also important in trade shows (Bathelt et al., 2014). They are mainly used for complementing the trade show booths, as well as attracting curious attendees to the booths. Numerous types of banner displays can be applied, including pop-up displays, roll stands, non-retracting displays, teardrop banners, feather banners, message flags, and hanging banners (Bathelt et al., 2014). Booth backdrops are another important displays for use at trade shows, which are effective in attracting the attention of attendees and standing out among other exhibitors. Other types of displays that can be incorporated at trade shows include literature stands, monitors, and TV displays (Bathelt et al., 2014).
Importance of Signage at Trade Shows
Signage is one of the important considerations when planning for a trade show. Signage plays a great deal in reducing the confusion that occur at trade shows. Through clear signage, exhibitors and attendees are informed of where things are, where to commence, and what things they can access (Bathelt et al., 2014). Thus, signage ensures that visibility of the exhibitor and prevents the confusion. A good sign is a sure way of letting people know where a company’s stand is located. This poses the need to guarantee the sign is placed high enough to enable its visibility to even those who are far away. The signage should be legible in clean fonts and have a color contrast (Bathelt et al., 2014).
Trade shows provide an ideal marketing opportunity to interact with customers and generate valuable sales leads. However, succeeding at a trade show requires considerable planning. Trade shows are often considered a risk because they are short-term in nature and costly; thus, careful planning is imperative to ensure their success. Attracting buyers to a booth requires several efforts, such as using a prime booth location, designing a good-looking booth, ensuring a booth is approachable, using informed booth hosts and professionals, highlighting specials, organizing promotions and contests, providing attendees with drinks and snacks, and integrating social media marketing into trade show marketing.