There isn’t a more appropriate use of the phrase “go big or go home” than on the trade show floor! The trade show floor is the most cluttered marketing environment that a company will find themselves in, and cutting through that clutter to capture the attention of that target audience is critical. Now, I am not advocating using your marketing budget in a wild and reckless fashion or bankrupting your company to get the largest exhibit space in the hall. What I am saying is… regardless of your booth size and budget, do everything in your power to put your best foot forward.
Trade shows are one of the best opportunities for companies to create perception and awareness. One exhibitor who was a relatively young start-up in their industry decided to use the “go BIG or go home approach” when debuting at their industry’s largest show of the year. This exhibitor secured a 20′x20′ island booth space (which was actually larger than their corporate headquarters at the time) and worked with their exhibit house to design a visually stunning exhibit that rivaled that of their much larger and well-established competition. They rented the exhibit hardware so that they had more resources available to help cover the extra cost of the large booth space and eye-catching graphics. By taking this approach, they positioned themselves on equal ground with their top competitors and within the year, they had become one of the top four players in their industry!
On the other hand, I’m sure like me, you have been on the show floor and seen companies exhibiting that would have served themselves better by just not coming at all. The graphics on their exhibit were dented and damaged, important pieces of their exhibit seemed to be missing, one of the lights didn’t work, and they apparently forgot to order carpet. This lack of attention to how you look tells your target audience that you just don’t care…which in the mind of your target audience could translate to, “maybe you don’t really care about your customers.”
Effective exhibitors go big or go home. On the trade show floor, you create the perception that will indefinitely stick with your brand, whether it is good or bad. If you are going to spend the money necessary to exhibit at trade shows, make sure you allocate the budget needed to really do it correctly.
By: Philip Foust –