Whether it’s your first tradeshow or you’re one-hundred and first, there’s simply no arguing the need to show up prepared and ready to dazzle all onlookers. And by prepared, we’re really talking about a two-tiered approach here. First, it’s vital to make sure that everything you bring to the floor has the potential to brand your business. This means logos, company colors, slogans, mascots, advertising icons… the works.
Next, and of equal importance, you’ll want to have a creative arsenal of everything needed to draw their attention, close a sale, collect prospecting data, or wow a potential new client. Here are eight convention must-haves for every new or thriving marketeer.
The Essential Tools for Trade Show Branding
If you’re in an industry that demands a respectable trade-show presence, vinyl banners will inevitably serve as one of your fundamental visuals. They can be designed in a wide spectrum of colors and dimensions, and you’ll have no problem finding just as many banner stands to display them in a professional manner. Use bright colors, bold lettering and keep your design simple; these are visual tools, attention getters… there’s no need to tell your entire story.
Companies who manufacture, distribute or sell products, will certainly want to have plenty of catalogs on hand at tradeshows. Sales are closed every day on the convention floor, and having a current seasonal catalog complete with up-to-date pricing can help encourage impulse orders. They’re also wonderful takeaways for prospects and customers who are in a hurry or interested in learning more about your inventory and/or pricing.
You would think this would be a given, but you would be amazed at the number of startups who, in a fit of haste, sign up for tradeshows before they have their business cards in hand. For reasons that are too obvious to expand on, we’ll just leave you with a reminder to always bring more than you anticipate giving away. For more clever tips on places and ways to distribute your card, be sure to reference our article on business card distribution.
Unless you’re displaying exceptionally large product samples, prospects passing by your booth may have a difficult time seeing small items at table level or through crowds. This alone makes table tents a wise investment. They can be positioned adjacent to featured or showcased products, as a backdrop or separator when displaying numerous lines, or even as part of your company’s branding campaign. Try to incorporate
Some services can be summed up in a sentence or two. Most cannot. Service brochures, such as tri-folds and booklets, are perfect for larger shows where vendors are trying to cover a large piece of proverbial real estate. Keep your content limited to the specific services you’re trying to promote, and be sure to use consistency with regard to color schemes, images and tone.
Whether they’re being used to take orders, take down customer contact information, or given away to visitors of your booth, logo-branded notepads are a smart thing to have on the table. They are perfect for the prospect who just got the urge to write something down, and can increase brand recognition even when doing nothing more than waiting to be used. When designing custom notepads, don’t make the mistake of not including some piece of contact information.
It’s remarkable how many convention guests forget to pick up their free tote upon entry. This can work to your advantage, provided that you came to the show with an ample supply of customized tote bags. Choose one that incorporates your logo, your company’s brightest colors, as well as your booth number to ensure that you’re maximizing this highly-effective, cost-efficient form of trade-show marketing.
Who doesn’t love walking into a huge convention center full of freebies and trinkets? Don’t underestimate their potential, however. Tradeshow promotional items, done strategically, can play a surprising role in determining whether you end up with a new customer, or lost in a sea of predictable gimmicks. Put some real thought into your tradeshow giveaways, and look for ways to appeal to the market while offering something they will actually want to use.
Tradeshows don’t need to be nearly as stressful as some exhibitors make them. With a little strategic thinking and a comprehensive set of sales and branding tools, you’ll be in an excellent position to attract, engage and impress scores of new prospects.
What’s in your tradeshow marketing kit? Feel like sharing some professional advice with those just starting out? Be sure to leave your comments below and let us know what’s working for you!