To make a lasting impression at a trade show and generate leads, you need to first have branding that integrates into all elements of your trade show displays. With proper planning, you can build up your trade show booth to stand out from the competition. Here are some of the best ways to establish your brand in the trade show environment:
Integrating Branding with your Trade Show Displays
Your brand is more than a logo and complimentary colors. Companies that have a strong brand infuse their vision, values, and mission into their branding and marketing materials to create a strong and lasting impression for consumers. From Coca Cola to Tom’s Shoes, strong brands rely on consumers to remember who they are and what they offer.
Trade shows allow you to create an immersive environment where attendees can talk, touch, play, learn, and engage with your products in a controlled environment. You get lots of physical real estate to brand when displaying your trade show booths. Consider using the following to create an immersive, well branded trade show display:
- Logo tents and flag banners: Make an impact from across the exhibit hall with logo tents and feather or bow flag banners that put your business logo where it will command attention from attendees. Logo tents with four-sided branding ensure that customers approaching from any angle can spot your trade show booth, while feather flags placed in front of the tent grab the attention of busy passerby who may not yet have brand familiarity.
- Graphics: The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” holds true at trade shows. Large scale images of your products will draw attention and resonate with attendees strolling the event floor, piquing their curiosity. Invest in quality graphics that show off your products in the best light and ensure that any graphics or visuals used are unique and compelling. Go big, don’t clutter banners with too much information, and integrate a simple message or slogan.
- Custom pop up displays: Custom pop up displays enhance your branding so it can really be seen across the exhibit hall. Have your logo printed in large scale on the display or promote one of your most recognized products to draw consumer attention. This works well if you have a strong product but your brand name is less well-known. Manga publisher Viz Media has taken this approach at trade shows: The characters in their manga books are better well known than the Viz name, so Viz felt they were more likely to create a buzz.
- Display lighting: Lighting can highlight certain aspects of trade show booths, yet many people overlook this important design element as a way to emphasize branding. Integrate custom lighting to drop spotlights on products, provide ambient lighting over your seating area, and evoke a mood that fits your brand identity. A few uplights strategically placed in your booth can really make an impact on how the space looks and feels from across the room and inside the booth.
- Marketing materials: Professionally designed marketing materials give visitors something tangible to take home, help them stay in touch after the event, and allow trade show attendees to become brand promoters on your behalf. You may already have marketing materials and want to use them for your next trade show. Before you do, make sure they reflect your branding. If marketing materials have a different look and feel from trade show branding, it can confuse visitors. In a worst case scenario, they could throw away your marketing materials or confuse you with a competitor because they remember the look and feel of your trade show booth – not your marketing materials.
- Branded giveaway: A giveaway attracts visitors and entices them to trade their contact information for a chance to win a product or service. It’s always preferable to have a giveaway reflect your brand, such as one of your products or branded merchandise. If you’ve opted for a giveaway item, be it a tablet or an umbrella, it’s imperative to make it reflect your branding. You might put your logo on that umbrella or include a tablet case in your brand’s colors, for example.
- Digital branding: While you’ve put a lot of time and effort customizing the physical trade show booths with branding, don’t forget about digital branding. Many trade show visitors will be tweeting about the event, posting Snapchat or Instagram photos, or using geosocial apps to connect with other attendees. Promote your presence at the event across your social media channels, have a staff member follow the social media debate and respond to tweets and likes, and don’t forget to use trade show and brand-specific hashtags for the duration of the event.
Effective Branding at Trade Shows
Once you have your branding and promotional materials ready, pick your brightest stars to staff the event. Talented sales reps plus great branding sets the stage for your trade show to bring in sales and qualified leads. Remember, you only get one chance to make a great first impression. By coordinating branding with your reputation and product, you raise your chances of engaging trade show visitors and converting leads to happy customers.
Find how you can generate more leads and sales by visiting the Northwest Creative Imaging blog and discover how to find success at your next trade show.