Trade shows serve as one of the best ways in which entrepreneurs can build awareness about their brand, create connections with others in their industry, launch and demo new products, and even gain new customers. But, the idea of participating in a trade show, especially one in Orlando, can be overwhelming. Orlando is known for drawing the biggest names on the trade show circuit.
If you have decided to take your brand to an upcoming event in the City Beautiful, it’s absolutely crucial that you get the marketing right for your trade show displays in Orlando. If you’re wondering what you can do to nail your trade show marketing game, here are some important dos and don’ts that you need to keep in mind.
Trade Show Marketing Dos
Have a Clear Understanding of Your Strategy and Goals
Whenever you choose to attend a trade show, you need to have a clear goal for that show in mind. Make sure that the success of your goal is something that you can quantify. For example, let’s say your goal at an upcoming event is to gain new leads.
The first thing you need to do is add a number to your goal – this makes it easier for you to understand your success. So, your modified goal will be to gain 50 new leads. Now, you can track how well you’re doing by keeping count of the number of people who leave their business cards with you or your staff, or by counting the number of face-to-face meetings you take in the booth. Once you know what your goals are and how you intend to quantify them, you can come up with an effective strategy to help you achieve them.
Stick to Your Budget
The minute you have a clear idea of what you’d like to achieve at your next trade show, you can go ahead and outline your budget. Trade shows may seem expensive, but the returns are truly worth it. It’s important that you don’t significantly underestimate how much money you will need. Keep in mind that your budget will have to include allowances for travelling to the event, getting your customized booth there, hiring staff if required, and even putting them up for the days of the show if you aren’t a local.
A good way to understand how much money you need is by first figuring out the cost of the space. Generally, you can triple this cost and that’s a good enough budget to get you through a show successfully. Generally speaking, you can break down your budget as follows – 35% for the space, 10% for design and construction, 10% for shipping, 12% for show services, 6% for promotional activities, 14% for boarding and lodging, 6% for graphics, design and production of your booth and the remaining 7% can be used for any other miscellaneous expenses.
Customize Your Trade Show Display in Orlando
If you’re working with a small budget, it may seem incredibly tempting to opt for a standard booth with minimal graphic changes. But the fact of the matter is that this will do you far more harm than good. You’re already spending a lot of money on attending the trade show. If you land up with a sub-par booth, nobody will even give your brand a second glance.
But, if you have a customized booth with graphics that quickly let people know what your brand stands for, you’re sure to have a more successful time at the show. If you think purchasing customized displays is still too expensive, you can opt for rental trade show displays in Orlando instead. This will help you get a customized booth at a lower cost.
Design Your Trade Show Booth Carefully in Orlando
The way you lay your booth out could really make or break your entire show. You don’t want to end up in a situation where people are struggling to enter your booth or get in touch with a sales representative. It’s always best to design a booth that is open and that has a natural flow so that customers can experience an exciting journey as they walk through your booth.
Depending on how big or small your booth is, you could also decide to dedicate space for product demos or private meetings with potential clients. It’s important to remember that the spaces that you decide to incorporate in your booth will depend on your trade show marketing goals.
Trade Show Marketing Don’ts
Trust Anybody and Everybody with Your Trade Show Display in Orlando
Irrespective of whether you’ve decided to purchase a booth or rent one, you need to be incredibly careful about who you’re sharing information with. A lot of brands make the mistake of working with different agencies while creating their booth. They’ll rely on one company to help with the design and another to help them sort out the logistics of shipping and installing the booth.
This leads to two issues. Firstly, it takes up a lot of your time and effort, coordinating with so many different people. Secondly, since you’re sharing your ideas and concepts with a large number of people, it’s quite easy for competitors to get their hands on your work. Instead, you can choose to partner with a full-service agency like Exponents, who will help you look after everything from outlining your goals for the event to providing on-site support and even dismantling the booth and putting it in storage for you.
Leave Expenses Out of Your Budget
Your trade show budget generally dictates how much you can afford to spend on creating truly eyeball-grabbing trade show displays in Orlando. But, you need to make sure that you plan for absolutely all expenses upfront, so you aren’t left scrambling for money at the last moment. Most people forget to include the cost of shipping the booth to the venue, installation, dismantling the booth and finally storing and maintaining it when not on the trade show circuit.
There’s also the expense of getting marketing materials in order or running an online campaign to get people involved with your brand. When planning your budget, it’s crucial that you remember to look at every aspect of the trade show and correctly estimate how much it will cost you.
Assume People Will Come to You
While preparing for a trade show, most people spend every waking moment worried about their booth, forgetting that they need to have a pre-show marketing plan in place. They’ll spend hours thinking about the kind of graphics on display or the layout of the booth and not enough time thinking about the e-mails they should send to invite people for the event. Many people assume that once they show up at the event with a stellar display and a great team, they’ll walk away successful.
Sadly, this is not what happens. Most attendees head into trade shows with a clear understanding of which booths they intend to visit. So, irrespective of how great your booth looks, make sure you spend enough time reaching out to your clients and potential customers. Let them know you’re heading to a trade show and that you have something exciting planned for them. It will go a long way in increasing the footfall to your booth, which could make you one of the more popular booths at the show.
Fill Your Booth with Product Displays
Tempting though it may be, it’s a terrible idea to fill your booth with shelves upon shelves of your products. Firstly, it will greatly disrupt the flow of your booth and make it seem cluttered and overcrowded. Secondly, if you decide to display every product you have on offer, it could confuse your clients, which is not at all ideal. Instead, be strategic about what you showcase in your booth.
Ideally, having only your newest or best-selling products on display is the best strategy as it is what your customers will relate to the most. Plus, if you have a product that is unlike anything your competitors are currently offering, it will definitely give you an edge over your competition at the event itself. When it comes to creating product displays for your booth, less is always more.
With these handy trade show marketing tips, you can prepare for success at your next event. Shows in Orlando are known for being quite cut-throat, but with a little careful budgeting and planning, you can definitely achieve the goals you’ve set yourself. While these dos and don’ts will help you get the ball rolling, there’s still a lot to take care of.
While you’re working on getting your display ready, don’t forget to send your marketing materials, like brochures and giveaways, to print. You can even set yourself a trade show timeline, which will help you plan important milestones in the run-up to the event. After all, if you’re heading to a show in Orlando, you need to go in with a carefully thought-out plan and your eyes wide open.
Read More – Marketing tips for trade show booth manager.