Trade shows or industry conferences can be a stressful event, can’t they? You put considerable time, effort and money into a booth or display and hope it attracts your target audience. So, how do you stand out in a sea of 10‘ by 10’ booths? At our Minneapolis and Apple Valley commercial print centers, we’ve helped countless customers conceptualize, design and produce their trade show experience. From elaborate to basic, we’ve found three things that are key to ensuring your booth stands out from the crowd and visually engages customers.
Design for the First Impression
We find that a lot of our customers come to us focused on what they are going to give the attendee once they stop at or enter their booth. We always respectfully ask them to back up a step and address how they are going to get people to stop in the first place! Don’t get us wrong, we are all for creating smart trade show materials (and we can help with that as well)! But, we always encourage our customers to think about designing their trade show booth or conference booth for the ‘first impression’. After all, what good are amazing trade show materials, branded promotional items, etc. if you can’t get them to take the first step of stopping at your booth! No matter what the size of your budget, creative design, engaging graphics, vibrant colors and brief and bold messaging will help draw the right attendees to your booth. You have just seconds to make an impression as an attendee walks by. Make sure you’re investing enough time and budget into your design and image so that all your hard work gets noticed!
Create an Experience
Don’t think your business revolves around something that can be turned into an experience? Think again! One of the better booth displays we’ve seen was at the 2017 Minnesota State Fair. The booth represented the Minnesota chapter of the American Water Works Association and the booth’s intent was to promote municipal tap water. Pretty boring subject, right? Think again. The American Water Works association took a creative approach to creating an experience. They set up a ‘municipal water tasting experience’ and let people vote on the best tasting water from different municipalities across the state. It was set up just like a wine bar, with a long wood bar and stools that customers sat at with ‘flights’ of water served in wooden trays with glasses. Messaging was built into the booth backdrop and signage. People were waiting in lines and staying at the booth for 5+ minutes just to taste tap water and read about how municipal water is treated, etc. Talk about a captive audience! They turned what could have been a very boring walk-up booth into an interactive experience that encouraged people to stick around and read their signage and materials on the spot. Brilliant! (If you are curious – St. Cloud was voted to have the best tasting municipal tap water!)
So, consider how you can create an experience that engages your audience and allows you to build your trade show backdrops, booth displays and trade show materials into the experience in way that has them ‘leaning in’ to hear what you have to say.
Get the Word Out Ahead of Time
Want to ensure that potential customers or current clients stop by your booth? Invite them! You’ve created an amazing first impression and engaging experience, so get the word out about it. Sending a postcard or invitation to your clients or target audience ahead of time will not only ensure they know about the event but will have them looking for you as well! There are many ways to encourage them to stop by your booth. Ideas include sending them a personalized URL that allows them to pre-register for a prize or activity at your booth or sending them a personal invitation with tickets to the event. Whatever your method, don’t rely on the trade show or conference coordinators to invite your target audience. Invite them yourself and offer them something that will have them hunting for, rather than accidentally bumping in to, your booth!
Help is Here!
Overwhelmed, don’t know where to start or simply don’t have the staff to help you pull this together? We can help. With our downtown Minneapolis commercial print center and Apple Valley commercial print center, we conveniently service most of the Twin Cities including Plymouth, Minnetonka, Edina, St Louis Park, Golden Valley as well as Eagan, Burnsville and Lakeville. Our team of professional and experienced print, marketing and signage experts are here to help you every step of the way. From concept to design to production, we can help you ensure your next trade show or conference event delivers the ROI you are hoping for. When you work with AlphaGraphics, you’ll have a team at your side that is just as invested in your results as you are. Reach out to us – we’d love to start and conversation and learn more about your trade show needs.