Tips for Successful Trade Show Execution & Branding

Posted Friday, August 15, 2014

The trade show season is approaching for many of our customers within the retail industry. Trade shows prove to be excellent venues for companies to promote their products, build brand awareness, and ultimately gain leads. In this article, we share some tips to consider when planning, designing and executing a successful exhibit.

Design Your Exhibit with Your Target Audience in Mind

What message do you want attendees to get in the first three seconds while visiting your booth? And, what do you want them to remember about your company when the show is over? Do you want them to remember your new products, competitive advantage, or your company's brand image? Keep it simple and remember to make your display more like a billboard and less like a bulletin board with tons of information. It's better to go for impact.

Exhibitor Central lists some great questions to ask as you evaluate the design of your booth:

  • Is your organization name professionally presented and located at the highest possible point in your exhibit?
  • Are your graphics easily read from 10-20 feet away?
  • Is the exhibit theme easily read and presented with memorability in mind?
  • Is the key point in your graphics prominently positioned?
  • Are your tables the right height for the planned activities? Adequate space for lead-generating activities?
  • Are the video screens/monitors large enough and at the right height for easy viewing?
  • Is the demonstration area large enough for planned activities?
  • Is the lighting adequate for easy viewing of the exhibit?
  • Is there adequate storage space to eliminate a cluttered exhibit?
  • Are the photographs and backlit transparencies easily read from 10-20 feet away?
  • Do the graphics and colors attract the eye? Are they pleasing to the senses? Are they memorable?

Booth Space and Branding Considerations

First of all, trade show exhibits are not all created equal. They can range in size and scope from tabletops to massive islands, all requiring different design approaches to maximize their impact on the target audience. Creating a brand infused environment is essential to a successful exhibit space. Here are some considerations as to what elements to include for a 10ft back wall exhibit, which account for more than half of all trade show exhibits. 

You will want to take full advantage of your limited space by covering the back wall with attention-getting graphics. Curved wall pop-up displays work well for these spaces, because they face the attendee and can even block out some of the sound from your neighbors. Ease of set up and tear down are important considerations when choosing these. Back walls are typically packaged in carrying cases, providing an easy way to transport them.

Avoid placing a large table in front of your back wall display. It creates a barrier between you and your prospects and makes the space less inviting. A smaller table placed close to the aisle covered with a branded table throw is a good idea for displaying your product samples, literature, and more. You can also stash your cases and other clutter under the table and out of sight.

Incorporating a demo area is important if you are introducing a new product or illustrating a competitive advantage.  Items like retractable banner stands or stanchion poster frames with branded messaging and graphics can be used to identify these areas.

Other branded items to consider in your space are chairs, floor mats and apparel for the sales and marketing team. 

Incorporating light & sound by utilizing video screens and backlit signage and graphics can increase foot traffic into your space. LED light boxes are eye-catching and can be used to further incorporate the brand messaging. These frames come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are easy to transport and simply plug into an electrical outlet.Videos and touch screen displays can be used to educate and entertain visitors. They can even act as an additional salesperson manning the booth while others are busy with prospects.

Give Away Something Unique

People love promotional product giveaways- who doesn’t like freebies? Many show attendees will choose to visit a booth solely based on what they are giving away. Give them something unique. The goal is to make it impressionable and extend your brand’s reach beyond the show.

Consumables, like candy bars and bottled waters with branded labels, are very effective. They make you valuable not only because of your product, but because of what you can immediately offer them.

Non-consumable products can be given away as a means to create multiple brand impressions over time. According to KDM Branding expert, Gaines Gromek, tote bags can be extremely effective for gaining impressions at trade shows, as many attendees seek these out so they have something to carry all of their freebies and literature in. Additionally, the tote is then seen throughout the entire trade show while all the other brand’s promotional products are being stuffed inside it.

According to a recent Ad Specialty Institute (ASI) study, a branded bag will receive 5,983 more impressions in the U.S. than any other promotional product. These are also kept an average of nearly seven months before being tossed. The bottom line is that promotional products can create a long lasting impression.

See our infographic titled The Proven Power of Promotional Products for other top items that extend reach and create a lasting impression.


KDM trade show solutionsKDM P.O.P. Solutions Group is well equipped to assist clients with all aspects of their trade show needs. Our Branding Solutions division can provide pop-up displays, banner and poster frames, LED frames, branded table throws, and thousands of promotional products and branded apparel to fit any theme or budget. Check out our dedicated online product catalog accessible 24/7: www.KDMbranding.com

KDM’s POP Print Solutions provide custom graphics, merchandising displays and marketing collateral utilizing 30 printing presses covering six print methods. Additionally, our KDM Retail and Creative Design Services teams can design, fabricate and execute those massive island trade show spaces too!
Contact us today to learn more!

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Tags: event marketing , KDM Branding Solutions , trade show

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