It’s easy to understand why many businesses don’t include trade show booths in their marketing plans; it can cost an arm and a leg. Sometimes just the registration fees can blow your budget, let alone designing and constructing a professional-looking trade show booth. But there’s good news: with just a little planning ahead, it’s easy to participate in a trade show on a shoestring budget. Here are a few tips to make your next trade show cost-effective and productive.
Choose carefully: in this first step of planning, you’ll only look at taking your trade show booth to a specific kind of trade show. Limit your choice of events to those which are nearby, for starters. Travel and shipping can hamstring you from the get-go if you’re not prepared, so for your first few shows, stick close to home. Determine a radius in which you want to stay. Or at least target shows that target audiences in your area. Secondly, is the trade show you’re considering a well-known and historically well-attended event? If it’s not, even though it’s in your target area, it might be wiser to consider attending one with a little more prestige attached to it. Conserve your precious resources by attending only those shows that have good reputations for networking and sales.
Advance marketing. Think the Big Boys show up to an exhibition without pre-selling their presence? With easy and affordable access to social media, there’s no reason not to invest in a little pre-event marketing. Let your customer base know you’ll be there, and offer them an incentive to come to your booth. Those few minutes and dollars of advance marketing will ensure a steady flow of traffic to your booth, which looks great to folks who might not have otherwise considered stopping. Take advantage of social media options, and be prepared for a big showing!
Elegant simplicity. We’re not quoting Coco Chanel, we’re talking about your booth. But some of her philosophies could easily apply to trade show booths. The understated, product-focused trade show booth is going to attract the kind of customer you want for the long-run. Your booth design should be simple and clear, from the bottom up. Your product or service should be the focus of attention, not flashy lights, cheap giveaways, or clowns scaring the bejeezus out of kids (hey, you have to have a little fun, right?!). Attractive, portable, and lightweight trade show booth flooring can be just the eye-catcher your booth needs to stand out from the crowd in a good way.
The cost of a quality trade show booth design, including flooring, shouldn’t prevent you from attending the exhibition of your choice. With that careful targeting and advance marketing, your booth will stand out in the concrete jungle of the exhibition hall.