You’ve been preparing for months – training your booth staff, racing deadlines, and scheduling meetings with clients at the trade show. You’ve invested time, energy and resources to draw attendees to your booth. The show starts and you have good traffic flow and maybe, what seems like a decent amount of engagement.
About a month later, you’re excited to see the fruit of your labor – when your sales team reports that the leads gathered from the show are not converting. Even more surprising, several of those leads are reflecting low brand awareness or an understanding of your company’s offerings.
As important as having a great exhibit design and knowledgeable, approachable staff are – it’s crucial that how you’re engaging attendees is memorable, and even more so, makes sense. No matter your main goal at the show, creating an engaging experience that is equally appealing as it is clearly related to your brand will help you to achieve awareness – and conversions – well after the event.
Here are 4 steps you should consider when determining the best way to engage attendees at your booth:
Know Your Ideal Attendees
Before you can create the right engagement strategy, you need to be aware of who you are engaging. This doesn’t just mean knowing who goes to the trade show you’re exhibiting at – but who in the crowd is your ideal client. Whose problems can be solved with your company’s solutions? Who are the decision-makers? What are they looking for? What are their concerns? And how will your brand’s presence at the show bring them peace of mind in the weeks, months, and possibly years to follow?
Once you’ve determined your ideal attendees at the show, you can then prepare how to best engage them in a way that doesn’t just capture their attention but creates a connection.
Determine One Focus
Establish ONE big idea you want your attendees to leave your exhibit knowing about you, whether that’s a key differentiator, a new product launching, or how to use your company’s services. Having one focus not only clears your exhibit of too many messages that tend to leave attendees overwhelmed and worse, confused about your brand, it also helps your engagement element to be memorable. The more exhibitors at the show, the more important it is that you make a lasting impression.
This doesn’t mean you can’t elaborate on the many other features of your company in conversation, but in order to draw in your ideal attendees and help them remember you afterward, it’s easier to have them remember one big thing than a million little things.
Make the Client the Focus
Once you have determined whom you’re targeting and the most important takeaway for them, arrange your engagement to keep them at the focus.
For example, maybe you’re an IT company with a unique training system for new hires. You’re engaging attendees by allowing them to interact with the system through a tablet or touchscreen. Instead of trying to draw them in with messaging like “Try our new training system,” consider focusing on their needs by using messaging like “train your new hires in HALF the time.”
Feel the difference? As a consumer, you want to know the company you’re investing in pays off for YOU. It’s common that companies could be offering the same product or service, but the one clearly focused on the client’s best interest instead of their company’s gain will have higher conversions – and quite possibly longer retention rates. Any engagement, from demos, games, giveaways, or conversations, should be focused on the good and growth of the attendee.
Stay on Theme
Above all – stay on theme. If your engagement does not align with your brand, the interaction will fall flat.
Creating a photo opportunity with bright colors and fun props is great, but what did the client capture about your brand? Having attendees enter a raffle for an Alexa or Google Home is exciting, but did they discover how your brand finds them solutions?
Creating an over-the-top themed space or interaction that has no correlation to your brand, offerings or relevancy to your attendance can be “show-stopping” but leaves attendees clueless to what you really bring to the table.
Creating an exhibit that reflects your brand, speaks to your ideal attendees and meets your specific needs is all part of the experience we create at Rockway. Helping you to create a lasting impression and meaningful engagement is our goal. If you need consulting or ideas on more than just your exhibit design – we offer our team’s marketing-centric minds to help you create the best strategy to make meaningful connections on the show floor. Contact us today and let us know what you want your attendees to remember you for – we’ll provide the exhibit and strategy to make it happen.