10 Questions to Ask Your Team Before Designing a Custom Trade Show Booth

When you make the decision to create a custom trade show booth design, there’s a lot to consider. But before you get too far in the creative process, have you brought key members of your team together to get aligned and discuss trade show booth ideas? There can be a lot of value in gathering your sales, marketing, and customer service teams (or a few representatives from each department), to get clear about the goals and purposes for your next trade show.   Here are 10 questions to get the conversation started down a productive path. 1. What is our purpose? Not all trade shows in which you exhibit are going to yield the same results. Discuss with your team why this next one is useful to your company, based on your organization’s goals, and what sort of results you’re hoping to achieve. If you have several trade shows on your radar, discuss the purpose of each one.  2.What message do we want the new booth to get across?  Next, talk about the specific audience you’re targeting at your next show. Are you wanting to push a new product or service to this group? Increase your credibility? Expand general awareness? Depending on what your goals are, your messaging can take a variety of shapes.  3. How much flexibility in design will we need over the years? If you have a big budget and can afford to have multiple exhibit booth designs you can pull from for each show, you can make each one very targeted. But if you’re working with limited resources, or simply want to be as efficient as possible, your design should have a core theme that can work for a variety of trade shows. Then, aim to create it with the flexibility of adding or removing particular messages as needed. Another technique is to have double-sided graphics. These allow you to have two messages in one exhibit booth, making your display much for flexible. 4. Will we be conducting product demonstrations? Product demos often require their own particular staging, so it’s important to know ahead of time whether your booth space will need to accommodate this at some point. If you’re unsure how to set up a booth design for product demonstrations, contact custom trade show booth manufacturers like us for helpful tips.  5. Do we need TV monitors to showcase videos? Videos can be a great way to switch up your messaging for a trade show without having to change the actual custom trade show booth...

Fire-Proof Trade Show Booth Material You Need to Have in Your Booth Design

When you’re starting to dream up your next exhibit booth design, you probably aren’t envisioning fire-proof trade show booth material. Thinking up creative graphics and interactive displays are the fun part, while finding trade show booth drapes or graphics and other materials that are fire code compliant just isn’t.  fire-proof trade show booth material However, fun or not, it’s important that you design your next exhibit booth to meet the approval of the fire marshal. If you don’t, your booth could quite literally go up in flames (rare, but it has happened), or you could be told to take it down for safety’s sake and exhibit at the show without a display. Here are some things to keep in mind about fire safety compliance at your next trade show.  Check the Lighting You may have heard that halogen lights are dangerous, but did you know that some trade show venues actually don’t allow certain types of halogen bulbs at all (since they’ve been known to explode)? Make sure you verify what forms of lighting are allowed at your particular venue, and to be on the safe side, avoid using halogen lights altogether if possible.  When it comes to lighting, remember that how it’s wired matters too. In fact, McCormick Place in Chicago was engulfed in flames in 1967 before a trade show due to many factors, including poor electrical wiring and other fireproofing inadequacies. To protect yourself, your booth, and your venue, your electrical installations must comply with the Uniform Building Code and the National Electric Code, and your electrical equipment needs to be approved by the Underwriter Laboratories (UL).  Positioning Matters Electrical equipment and lighting are not all you need to think about in an exhibit booth. In your exhibit booth design, make sure to designate space for storing items you will actually need to have with you on the show floor. Your swag, handbags, snacks, etc. should be stored in safe places in your exhibit, away from any potential hazards.Furthermore, consider whether your exhibit is two-story. If you build an enclosed, double-deck exhibit, you will likely need to install a full sprinkler system, approved smoke detectors and/or ensure fire extinguishers are nearby. All of these precautions will help protect you and other attendees, and the venue building, in the event that something catches fire.  Review All Fire Regulations If you have any further questions about how to fire-proof trade show booth material, take a look at the standards from the National Fire Protection Association. You can also...

Trade Show Marketing is the Missing Piece to Your Rebranding Strategy

Trade shows are an often untapped resource that can help you decide how to rebrand a company, and then launch the rebrand when it’s time. Here are seven reasons that rebranding is a part of trade show success strategies. Rebranding Strategy 1. Get in Front of Your Audience and Get Immediate Feedback. So you’re thinking of switching markets and going upstream to target SMBs when you only previously targeted only small businesses. Before you fully make the change, do some research. Go to a trade show with an audience full of individuals from this market, and ask booth visitors for direct feedback. Collect their insights into your product, and into your role in their market. This is often eye-opening, and either can help you stay in your current lane or provide renewed excitement about switching markets. 2. Introduce Your New Design Materials. Rebranding a business can be a lot of fun because you get to essentially reinvent your company. It’s like hitting the refresh button! Once your rebrand is nearly complete, you’ll overhaul your logo, tagline, sales brochures, trade show booth design, and event materials. This means your next trade show, will be the perfect opportunity to unveil the new design work and get instant feedback about how it’s received. 3. Grow Contacts and Leads. As with any trade show, gathering new contacts and leads is a primary motivation for exhibiting. But if you’re branching out into a new industry or market, access to these individuals is actually crucial to your early success and momentum. By including trade shows in your rebranding strategy, you’ll end up with a natural springboard for gathering contacts and leads that you’ll need to nurture. 4. Get Traffic to Your Site. If you’ve recently gone through a rebrand, your website should be updated to reflect new messaging and brand standards. In order to educate current customers, and future prospects about the direction your company is heading, it’s beneficial to get them to visit your site early in the sales process. 5. Make Connections with Key Players in Your Industry. Not only can changing your products/services or retargeting your personas in a rebrand cause you to make design and messaging changes, but it also requires that you consider your relationships. Just as you did with your initial brand and mission, you’ll now need to identify, form, and grow key relationships with influential people in your new industry. Trade shows are a prime place to meet and make connections with an array of possible vendors, partners,...

Get Your Business’s Key Differentiator Across By Designing Effective Trade Show Booths

If there’s one thing that can make or break your trade show strategy, it’s alignment. If you’re in alignment, your booth design, physical collateral, and digital presence all communicate the same value propositions and consistent branding. What’s more, your salespeople reflect the same brand value. But if you’re out of alignment, things can go south quickly. In order for your salespeople to speak the same language, and for all of the pieces and parts of your trade show booth to reinforce a strong company message, start by focusing on your booth display. The most effective trade show booths often keep their trade show strategy simple – and you can too. Here are some trade show booth design tips and trade show tips for exhibitors, to help you elevate your approach and achieve alignment. 1. Use Clear and Direct Messaging in Your Headlines. There’s a time and a place to be fluffy and clever in your messaging, but your trade show display isn’t it. Use your display to quickly explain what your business is, and then point out what makes you special. This is what will get high quality leads to give you a second look, and ideally their time. 2. Utilize Bullets to Quickly Convey Information. If you want to keep things concise but have several important points you must hit, try bulleting or numbering them. When you use formatting like this, it makes it easier for passers-by to skim your sign and get the gist of your information. Most people won’t read a whole paragraph, but they will glance at the items on a bulleted list. And if done well, this should be enough to convince them to stop by and talk to your team. 3. Use Images That Don’t Need Text-Based Context. You already have a good amount of copy on your signs, don’t add more by choosing images that require captions to make sense. Instead, select eye-catching pictures that can help explain your business, with or without the accompanying text.  It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and when it comes to trade shows, it’s much more powerful to let the images do the talking. 4. Go with a Large Font That’s Easy to Read from a Distance. A trade show is no time to play it small. Use the maximum size font that will comfortably fit your text within your display, whenever possible, because people will be reading your signage from far away. It’s okay to go big and go bold....

Trade Show Terminology to Know Before You Show

When you’re first dipping your toes in the world of trade show marketing, it might seem like the show coordinators, vendors, and other parties involved, are speaking a completely different language. And in a way they are since trade show terminology includes its own phrases, acronyms, and nuances, all similar to event planning terminology. Trade Show Terminology To help you navigate trade show terminology, here are 10 of the most common words and phrases you might hear, so you can speak the same language and succeed in your role as a trade show exhibitor. Types of Booth Space When you’re planning out trade show booth ideas, it’s important to figure out where your display will go and what the surrounding area looks like. Here are three terms that succinctly tell you a lot about your exhibit space: End cap: You’ll have aisles on three sides of your space.In-line display: Your area will face one or two aisles in a line. Island exhibit: As it sounds, this type of space is surrounded on all four sides by aisles. Aesthetics Terms Whether you hire someone to handle the design of your booth or keep it in-house, you still should know what each display piece is called. This ensures that you and any of your vendors or contractors are using the same language to talk about the same parts. Backlighting: This one is pretty straightforward, and it means you have lighting that comes from the back of the display which can create a really standout effect on your graphics. Banner stand: This is typically made from vinyl or fabric, and is a free-standing display.Header: This refers to the sign or image at the top of an exhibit. Exhibitor Information There are usually a lot of details and paperwork that come your way when you’re preparing to exhibit at a show, and it can get confusing to sort out the important parts from the extraneous parts. Here are two terms worth paying attention to: Service kit: This is often called an Exhibitor Kit, and it’s basically an overview of all the information you will need leading up to the show. Show services: While it varies from show to show, the “show services” company you’re directed to will typically help you order your flooring and furniture for your booth, and anything else you might need to complement the display you’re bringing. Logistical Terms If you’ve ever seen an empty trade show hall before the booths are set up, it can be incredible to watch...

Location, Location, Location: How to Make Smarter Choices About Your Trade Show Booth Location

Location is everything. And while you can still make do at your next trade show if your location isn’t ideal, a solid trade show booth location can make a world of difference in the quality, and number, of leads that come your way. Here are some trade show booth best practices that will help you figure out which area of the exhibit hall is optimal for you as well as what to look for and avoid when making that all-important location selection. Trade Show Booth Location General Location Selection Tips Here’s a little known fun fact: Most people turn to their right when walking into a store, and the same is true for trade shows. If you can select a booth location that will be directly to the right upon entrance to the exhibit hall, you’ve picked a good spot. Next, think about where people congregate, which is typically in the center of the floor. So try drawing a triangle on the floor and then looking for a spot somewhere in the middle of it. Also, find out where the food and drink service will be offered. It’s always a good idea to be proximal to these popular areas, as they’re guaranteed to get a lot of foot traffic. Remember to consider the size of the space you need. A good rule of thumb is to have one booth staffer for every 50 square feet of space, so make sure you’re getting ample dimensions that you can properly staff and design. Too big or too small can weaken the impact of an otherwise well-designed booth. Choose Trade Show Booth Locations With: High-traffic areas; but try to be a bit removed so you’re not totally lost in the thick of things. Space that meets your budget, staffing, and booth design needs. Consider your ideal audience, and which other exhibitors’ booth they may be attracted to. Being near the traffic route of another company or two that are sure to draw in your ideal customer can help you get more visitors too. Avoid: Being near your competitors’ booths. Dead-end or small, crowded aisles. Being next to booths that usually have big, loud or attention-getting displays or machinery.   Even if you don’t get the booth location of your dreams, the best booth ideas for trade show excellence can still shine when executed well. So make sure your design and display are top-notch, no matter your location; and always plan ahead and be thoughtful when selecting the booth site you want. It...