3 Ways to Get the Biggest Bang for Your Trade Show Bucks

3 Ways to Get the Biggest Bang for Your Trade Show Bucks

By Ken Ciesielski


Like any marketing tactic, trade shows offer a unique opportunity to leverage your presence to accomplish many things — like gain competitive intelligence, generate media coverage or launch new products. But, at the end of the day it’s about generating solid leads that will close.

Sometimes companies think they’ve picked a tactic that works — maybe they've added a larger sign to their booth or created a special theme to help drive more leads — but don’t see the traffic volume they were expecting or generate quality leads that translate into revenue.

Sound familiar? Let’s fix that right now. Here are three key objectives for trade show success and some tactics you can use to reach them.

1 Drive more traffic

Yes, you need to stand out in order to get people to visit your booth. But how do you do it in a way that’s consistent with your brand and doesn’t come off as kitschy or just plain goofy? Obviously, overall booth design is critical — but so are the details of the in-booth experience. A lot of companies spend big on signage and video to draw attention. But, inside the booth itself the experience drops off. Why? They focused on attracting attention, not holding it.

One solution is to create a more balanced approach, perhaps using an interactive tool like a touchscreen experience. While it may not scream as loudly as flashing digital signage, it provides enough visual interest to intrigue people and get them to stop by. And unlike signage, it also provides a compelling interactive and tactile impact that deeply engages visitors and helps them connect with your brand.    

2 Spend more time with booth visitors

I’ve heard this many times: as long as we get them into the booth they’ll listen to what we have to say. But is that really the case? Are you presenting your information in a way that is captivating, clear and delivered on your prospect’s terms and not your own? Doing so helps foster lengthier conversations that are more valuable to both your prospect and your company.

How do you achieve this? Skip the linear presentation. Unlike rambling Power Points, for instance, interactive presentations allow your booth visitors to explore your content in a way that makes sense to them. This type of customized experience leads to more relevant discussions and strengthens the budding relationship between you and a potential customer.

3 Engage every visitor

Too often exhibitors make a huge effort to get folks to stop into their booth, but then can’t capture all of those leads. If the sales team is busy with other prospects, there’s no way to accommodate the overflow. Some businesses solve this by having a centrally located kiosk featuring an overview of the company. That’s a great start, but what about the other areas of your booth where visitors drift in and out without engaging with a staffer?

Here’s a fix: equip your team with iPads or tablets loaded with your interactive sales presentation. This way they can effectively engage visitors anywhere in your booth, even if the kiosk is in use. Another option: place additional, smaller kiosks throughout the booth featuring content supporting specific product lines. It’s a great way to engage visitors and allow them to learn about your products — especially if you don’t have the staff to handle a rush. Gone will be the days when someone excitedly stops by, can't immediately get information about your business, and moves onto the next booth without interacting with you at all.

Generate Greater ROI

Thinking about the total experience is the key to ensuring you’re spending every trade show dollar in the smartest way. At ViewPoint Interactive Solutions, we’re all about helping our clients have a successful — meaning fruitful — show. We spend the time upfront determining the optimal mix of tactics, and help businesses use interactive, in-booth technology to best effect. Our interactive touch experiences help our clients drive a third more traffic to their booths, and double the time they have to spend engaging with prospects. Plus, our multi-platform capability provides complete coverage ensuring our clients don’t miss opportunities to have a robust sales conversation.

As you plan your next trade show, evaluate where your dollars will work the hardest. Will that 3D video that takes your visitors on a snowboard ride through the Alps really help you sell your products? Will they remember your offerings and your brand after the show is over — or just the snowboard ride?

The secret to trade show success is to find a tactic that allows your visitors to deeply engage with your content and retain your message.

If you want to boost your trade show ROI give me a call at 781.552.3730. I’ll show you how ViewPoint can help you more deeply engage your prospects and get more out of your next show.

Ken Ciesielski

ViewPoint Interactive Solutions, National Sales Manager

A seasoned business development and marketing executive, Ken is National Sales Manager for ViewPoint. He has a strong track record of acquiring new clients and growing brands. And, a not-so-secret passion for all things hockey.