The majority of trade shows most small businesses participate in are held in auditoriums, convocation centers, or exhibition halls. But the occasional show will be outside. Are you prepared to take your trade show booth into the great outdoors? Here are a few helpful tips for preparation.
Put a lid on it – no matter what the forecast says, plan to keep your booth covered. Rain, sun, a fine mist or fog will all put undo stress on you and those working your booth. If you’re prepared for every eventuality, there can be no curve balls. Rather than being restrictive, a covered booth grants you the opportunity to do some marketing you wouldn’t have indoors. Make the investment in a tent with your company colors, logo, and other identifying graphics that will make use of the space over your head. Complementary banners planted next to the booth will add a little pop that will draw eyes otherwise fixed on the darkening skies, the beautiful landscape, or your competitors.
In a good stiff breeze, all those beautiful brochures and hand-outs will be sailing into the next county. That doesn’t mean you forego the paper route, but perhaps you have laminated copies handy as displays and reserve the actual paper brochures for placing directly into the hands of someone in your booth. It will actually cut down on waste as you’re able to make sure the brochures are getting directly into the hands of seriously interested customers.
Getting to and from the event affords an opportunity for advertising. If you’re going to be traveling to lots of trade shows, indoors or out, the vehicle you use to get there is a solid piece of marketing material. Magnetic signage with your business information is a very low-cost method, while vehicle wraps, though eye-catching, can be a fantastic and yet costly approach. Or you could go the really low-cost route and use glass paint like a newly-wed! Whatever you choose, don’t neglect your mode of transportation as a “vehicle” for marketing.
Giveaways can become throwaways faster than you’d imagine. In an outdoor setting, your booth has the opportunity to cater to your potential customers in a unique way that won’t involve the gifts getting tossed into the garbage in a few seconds. On a warm summer day, water bottles with your company info on the labels are welcome. Nothing smells better on a cool fall day than some warm apple cider served in paper cups with your logo. Design your outdoor giveaways with the weather and time of year in mind. This will take some serious pre-planning, but can be very effective if done well.
Don’t shy away from an outdoor event. Plan well ahead for every contingency and make your booth the one to remember.