Trade Show = Business Through Engagement

Trade Show = Business Through Engagement

If you build it they will come.... But will they give you their business? Will you be remembered amongst your competition, from just across the aisle on the trade show floor?

The success of your trade show marketing program relies on much more than simply having a "booth" at your industry's annual conference or the many trade shows held across the country each year. Your success heavily relies on the "engagement" you create between your brand and the prospects who visit you on show day!

In this article, we'll tackle the difference between having a booth at the trade show, exhibiting in the same space versus creating a "brand theater" for your company. As you'll see, creating an experience around your brand can make or break your trade show program's success....

Booth vs. Exhibit vs. Brand Theater

Let's start by playing a little game, a bit of word association if you will. Get comfortable on the couch for a moment.

First, what are the images that come to mind when you think of the word "booth"?
You're probably picturing a telephone booth, a ticket booth, the seating at your local diner, or a place at a fair or swap market to buy things?

Next, picture the images you conjure when you here the word "exhibit".
Most likely, you're having visions of an art exhibit, a museum display or possibly even an item in a case of law (your Honor, we present exhibit "z")...

And finally, what do you associate with the word "theater"?
Probably something a little more fantastical... Maybe a stage, an environment, actors, a Broadway Show, a performance - or even an immersive experience!

Hopefully by this point you see where we're going with this. When you consider your next trade show, at what level of participation and positioning would you like your company to be at? How would you like to retain and/or capture clients with your competition only a few feet away, who are quite eager and hungry to steal your opportunity? And add to this dynamic, that there is most likely little difference in your products than your competitor, especially in features/benefits comparison.

How will you differentiate? How will you connect? How will you win?

Think of the Words "Booth", "Exhibit", "Theater"!

When considering your trade show program, keep these three words in mind and also that humans buy "experiences" - humans by "brands". And they place their money on positive experiences and while abstaining from the negative. It's human nature, it's what we do.

Think about it, you know you shouldn't have that extra cookie for desert - but you do it because it feels good (at least for a little while). The same with the purchase of a car....we don't just buy transportation, we purchase comfort and stature and pleasure and.... Yes, we do it because it feels good, we revel in the positive experience those things bring us. Just about every material thing we want, desire and succumb to, is linked to the way the "idea" of possessing the item makes us feel. We all want good experiences, great experiences and we want lots of them!

So Again, Let's Think of the Words "Booth", "Exhibit" and "Theater"!

Which approach would you think be best to communicate the essence that is your "brand"? And which of those words best describes the type of relationship you'd like to create between your company and its clients and prospects? We're putting our money on creating a "Brand Theater" through your trade show program. Create an experience that your attendees won't and can't forget. Make it positive and stop just having a "booth" at the annual trade show. Differentiate yourself and your brand!

At the end of the day, what would make you feel good having for your company? A booth which is transactional? An exhibit which is partially engaging? Or an experiential environment, which is immersive and interactive?

An environment which is immersive is not about the size of the exhibit or cost of the program. It's about an approach that best portrays your company and fits with the marketing medium called Trade Shows!

At Designshop we go beyond the usual to help you win. We help you connect and make relationships in competitive environments.

DesignShop...we're YOUR Team

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"Words fail to express the success of our exhibit at WEEC.  I can’t thank you enough for all of your recommendations and guidance. "

Linda M. Harper, Sr. Event & Meeting PartnerDuke Energy

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