You’ve seen the standard approach: a company buys the biggest booth it can afford, gets its logo printed on some trinket and sets up dinner with a key client at a local steak house. Sure, the strategy may pick up a few clients and provide minimal growth, but because everyone’s doing the same vanilla things, your ceiling is pretty low.

If you want to stand out among all the big spenders, you need to invest in a different hunting plan. True success comes from breaking the mold.

Here are 5 ways you can be sure to stand out…

1. Start long before you get there
Leading up to the event, survey your customers or conference attendees on their favorite promotional products to receive at tradeshows and conferences. Use the event’s hashtag to incorporate in all of your print collateral and pre-scheduled social media posts, and make sure your team has branded apparel to professionally represent your company.
Also, do your research. Check out the “big dogs” and learn from what they’re bringing to the trade show — not just staff-wise but visually. Do they have a collection box to gain customers? Contests? Candy? These are some of the things you can look at so you can make sure you’re prepared.

2. Distance yourself from the booth
In most cases, a booth is used as a crutch. You sit there waiting for your dream clients to walk by and (hopefully) stop and talk. However, staying in “hope mode” is neither a strong recipe for success nor a strategy. You can put your booth money to much better use.

3. Be Different
What will everyone else likely be doing? How can we do something totally different?

Most of the booths are pre-fabricated, we know that. But what about adding your own personal touch, like painting your backdrop on your own, or using different lighting fixtures that create a more fresh look than the typical LED lights everyone else will have? Offer games and incentives…fun is attractive and in a sea of standard booth after standard booth, people will appreciate having a place to “play”!

4. Invest in a great display.
I’ve seen even some of the big companies bring some really sad-looking tables to a trade show.
If you want to look bigger and more invested (and more investable!) then consider this part of your marketing budget for the year. If you have something printed that looks really great, you can also save it for future shows.

5. Use design to your advantage.

We’re all attracted to great design, whether we know it or not. At trade shows and conventions, it’s easy to have everything blend together visually. Make sure you have a booth that stands apart from the competition — using design as a differentiator. Hire a group whose work you love and doesn’t specialize in exhibit design to get the best results.

To ensure you’re gaining maximum ROI from your time and money spent on booth space and making an appearance, it’s best to think strategically about how you’re going ensure your business is the one being talked about and remembered!

Author Davant

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