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July 19, 2016

Creating a New Booth for the Fall Conference Season? Follow These 4 Guidelines…

drill1It’s mid-July and the Fall conference season will be here before you know it. Are you ready?

One of the elements of successful exhibiting is a compelling booth. Whether you’ve got a big, solid structure or a simple pop-up, you can still deliver a message to the marketplace that gets attention. Because if you don’t, your ROI on those expensive conferences will be severely limited… not a message you want to take back to the boss! So if you’re thinking about a new booth for this Fall, consider these guidelines…

  • Remember, your booth is an advertisement. Like good advertisements, it needs to be big and bold… it needs to be eye-catching with an attention-grabbing headline. But unlike so many ads and booths in our industry… skip all of the details on the booth. It’s the job of the sales reps in the booth to share those details… it’s the job of the booth to get ‘em there in the first place.
  • The booth isn’t just an ad, it’s also a billboard. Conference attendees will be strolling by – so don’t give them a lot a read. Like a car going 60 mph past a billboard on the interstate, make sure your booth message can be understood in a few seconds. If it can, you just might convince those passers-by to stop and chat.

The purpose of a booth (especially the graphics) is to be a “visual trainwreck!” That is, when someone walking by sees it, the reaction you’re looking for is… “Whoa!” And then they literally stop to read the entire thing… and engage with you in conversation.

  • But it’s more than just visuals and headlines, it’s also about the words you use. Remember this… people don’t care about what you can do… they care about what you can do for them. Yet, most every booth you will see this fall will show the company name at the top, followed by a litany of bullet points of all the services and products being sold. STOP IT! The words on your booth should talk about the benefits of your company and services… it should talk about the kinds of problems that you solve. As people are reading your booth, they are asking themselves two questions, “What’s in it for me?” and “Why should I care?” You’ve got to answer those questions effectively. Think of it this way… people don’t buy drills at Home Depot because they need drills… they buy drills because they need holes! What are your ‘holes?’
  • Finally, consider structural items when thinking about a new booth. Using tables or workstations? Make sure they’re 42” tall and not 30” – the taller ones are much easier to work at standing up. Demoing computer software? Make sure your booth has room for a very large monitor (or two). Remember, no tables in the front of the booth creating a barrier with passers-by… push the tables to the back or the sides. Want chairs or stools to sit down? Wrong… get them all out of your booth – sitting makes you look bored and uninterested.

Exhibiting may very well be the most expensive tactic in your marketing plan this year… so take the time to do it right. And if that includes a new booth, make sure you create one that grabs peoples’ attention, showcases how you help your clients and is welcoming to visitors. After that, it’s up to those “working the booth.” Good luck!

BONUS: Interested in more tips for maximizing your exhibiting this Fall? Download our free eBook, The Exhibitor’s Workbook when you Click Here.

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