How to Create Custom Trade Show Exhibits
For businesses like yours, attending a trade show is an opportunity that you shouldn’t pass up. It’s a great chance to mingle with others in your industry, see what’s new and current in your industry and show yourself off to the world. It’s your time to let people know who you are and what you’re all about. It can also help you gain new customers and increase profits. In fact, in 2016, trade shows helped businesses bring in $12.81 billion in revenue.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. Booths, exhibits and displays often fill trade show halls to the brim. Everyone else is there with the same goal as you — to make an impression. So how do you stand out in a room full of people who are also trying to stand out?
The answer is simple. Don’t choose a stock trade show booth design that at least 50 other companies are also using. Instead, make your exhibit something unique and memorable.
The best way to do that is by creating custom trade show exhibits. While this might seem like an overwhelming and impossible task, the truth is that it’s completely manageable, whether you have years of design experience or none at all.
To help educate you on what the process of creating custom trade show exhibits looks like, we’ve broken it down into a series of five simple and easy-to-follow steps. Stick to these tips, and you’ll have stunning and one-of-a-kind custom trade show exhibits that will perfectly suit your needs.
During the planning phase of creating custom trade show exhibits, you’ll meet with your personal designer and account executive. They will give you an in-depth overview of the project and everything that will be involved, including what the process will look like at every step of the way. They’ll discuss topics such as branding, logistics and graphic design.
The design planning process will involve laying out all of your goals regarding budget, concept, function, conditions at the event itself and more. You’ll share these goals with your trade show booth designer during your meeting, who will discuss various options and possibilities with you.
At the end of the meeting, your designer will provide you with a proposed plan and a pricing estimate. From here, you can accept this proposal, tweak the plan, or discuss a different one altogether.
The development process of creating custom trade show exhibits can begin once you’ve approved all the plans and initial designs. During this stage, you’ll work closely with your account executive and our team of designers. Together, you and our team will make the final decisions on things like multimedia content, graphic design, structural components and composition.
As this phase moves forward, we work to make sure that you’re comfortable with how the project is going and informed of what the next step will be. We’ll get to work on your custom trade show booth design while you relax and watch your design take shape.
One of the most important parts of this phase is communication. We encourage you to provide any feedback on the design as it comes together, to ensure that the custom trade show exhibits are everything you dreamed they would be. If the finished design is anything less than what you had envisioned, then we haven’t done our jobs correctly. Our goal is to create the exact trade show exhibit you’ve been wanting. To that end, we want to facilitate an environment of open communication and honest feedback.
As the fabrication process moves forward, your account executive will take extra care to keep you informed every step of the way through regular email communication. We use this phase to create the design that we’ve worked with you to conceptualize. We put care and attention into the fabrication process so that we can create a durable, attractive and high-quality product for you.
Rest assured that this is no mass-production process. We understand that you have unique goals and needs that are different from everyone else’s. Because of this, we devote individual attention to each customer’s designs and projects so that you can achieve these goals through beautiful custom trade show exhibits.
We pre-calculate the date your order will ship so that you’ll have this information well in advance. Once your order ships, we will update you with the actual ship date as well.
One of the perks of working with APG as your trade show booth design company is our excellent turnaround times. And this isn’t achieved through rushing our way through the design process or skimping on the fabrication. Rather, this speed and efficiency is the result of years of knowledge and experience coming together to make a smooth and streamlined process from inception to shipping. It’s this level of experience that puts us far ahead of the competition.
Our primary goal is to see you and your custom trade show booth design become a success at your next event. We’re always pleased when customers let us be part of their journey by helping them create a unique design that’s perfect for their needs. We endeavor to labor by your side throughout the whole process, always using your goals as the primary directive.
At the end of the process, our ultimate objective is to see you enjoying success at your event, reaching new customers, getting the word out about your business and boosting your return on investment.
A Few Extra Tips
When it comes to designing your expo booth, there are no right or wrong ways to do it. It’s all about what you want and what will best show off your company and display what you have to offer the world.
However, as with any endeavor, there are a few general rules of thumb that have been known to work well. While no one is required to follow these, they help to promote a cleaner, more practical and more sophisticated looking design.
A few of these tips to keep in mind are:
Don’t Make Your Design Too Cluttered
It can be tempting to throw a little bit of anything and everything into your design. But before you know it, there’s no design left, and instead, it’s just a hodgepodge of colors and textures and words. It’s impossible for customers to make sense of your design. In most cases, adding too many colors, too much text or too much information will only overwhelm your customers, causing them to tune you out and seek out a booth with a simpler design.
Focus on What You Offer
When you’re designing a booth, it can seem like an overwhelming prospect. Where do you start? What do you focus on? If you’re asking questions like these, our advice is to stick to what you offer as a company. Focus on the value you provide and search for ways to bring this out in your design. When customers leave your booth, they should have a clear picture in their heads of who you are and what it is you’re offering. Your display should accentuate that, not hide it.
Use Appropriate Language
Choosing the right wording for your text display or multimedia presentations requires striking a delicate balance. You never want to use so much jargon that any potential customers feel confused and frustrated. It’s also important to remember that your audience is people from a similar industry as you are and will most likely already have a basic understanding of the lingo.
It’s a difficult equilibrium to find, but an important one. You don’t want to confuse your audience, but you never want to sound as though you’re condescending or talking down to them either.
Why Is It Important to Have a Great Booth?
Trade shows are an incredible opportunity, and their importance cannot be overstated. They’re great chances for exposure and self-promotion. There are hundreds of benefits to attending a trade show in any capacity.
However, some trade show ventures are more successful than others. No one would deny that. But what makes certain trade show experiences so much more fruitful and rewarding than other ones?
Surely, there are many factors involved. But one of those factors — arguably the most important factor — is the display you’re presenting.
Your trade show display is a visual representation of you, your company and everything you stand for. If your booth looks impressive and well put-together, people will get the impression that your business is impressive and well put-together as well. If your display is unique, memorable and stands out of the crowd, potential customers will also leave with the impression that your business is memorable and stands out of the crowd.
Of course, attending a trade show isn’t without its expenses. There’s the cost of buying and designing a display, the expense of renting space on the expo floor, as well as travel and accommodation costs and entry fees.
We firmly believe that these expenses are worth it. If you are a smart trade show attendee and show up with a memorable display and a go-getter attitude, you’re sure to make this money back and more. The best way to think of it is as an investment. You have to spend a few bucks up front to reap the benefits of the greater payout in the future. And in this case, the investment is well worth it.
Here are just a few of the reasons it will benefit you to attend a trade show with an impressive and thoroughly unique booth.
Generate New and Targeted Business Leads
A trade show is an ideal opportunity to drastically increase your customer base. Hundreds of individuals are going to be walking past your booth and interacting with you in a variety of capacities. They’ll listen to what you’re saying, see the messages you’re promoting and be convinced by what you have to offer.
The best part about all these new business leads is that they aren’t just anyone. They aren’t strangers off the street who just happened upon your business. They’re attending the same trade show as you. That means half your work is done for you. They’re already interested in the services or product you’re offering, they’re enthusiastic and motivated, and they’re often ready to commit to a deal right there on the spot.
In short, you’re going to be surrounded by people looking to make a deal in your industry. You’re going to be in the same room as hundreds of valuable potential leads, and you have the opportunity to make a good impression on all of them.
Of course, this works in the opposite direction too. You will have access to all of these valuable potential business leads, which means it’s crucial that you make a good impression. If you make a weak one, the consequences could be devastating. That’s why it’s so important to develop the correct strategy and to set up a unique and memorable custom display that highlights the best of what you have to offer.
Other than creating a winning booth design, here are a few tips to help you develop an action plan for your trade show experience:
- Establish Your Sales Goals Beforehand: It’s important to do this before the event so that you and your team are all on the same page and working towards the same objective. If you wait to do this until halfway through the event, you’ll feel as though you’re behind.
- Interact with Every Visitor: You never know who could become a customer. You never know who might have a connection they’d love to introduce you to. That’s why it’s important to interact with every single person who visits your exhibit. Be friendly and personable and make sure everyone feels welcome.
- Take Extensive Notes: Every time you meet someone, take note of their name and contact information. Take note of who you interact with. By doing this, you’ll have a much easier time following up with these people after the event.
Keep an Eye Out for What’s New
There’s no better opportunity than a trade show to get a feel for the new directions the industry is going, and the notions it seems to be leaving behind. It’s a great chance to discover new trends and get ideas for new growth for your own business, as well as ideas about what practices it might be time to retire.
One of the best ways to do this is to wait until a slow period. Leave your booth in the capable hands of your team and take a walk around the expo floor. Look at your competitors’ displays and notice what looks good and what looks outdated or inappropriate.
Take note of what displays everyone seems to be talking about and which booths have the most people clustered around them. Try to figure out why. What marketing strategies did they employ? Did they have any special giveaways? Was their booth spectacular? What made their booth so memorable? Ask yourself what you can learn from their exhibit.
Another good strategy is to take note of the prices and offers most companies are making. Ask yourself if yours are competitive or if they’re too generous or too stingy. By the end of this reconnaissance mission, you should have a solid grasp on the marketing strategies most companies are using.
Strengthen Your Brand
A trade show is one of the best possible places to sell your brand to the industry. By keeping your tone, style and marketing consistent, you can build a core group of people who recognize your name and know what it stands for. You can start to sell yourself to your industry as a company that is serious, reliable and here to stay.
At this point, it should go without saying that your display is one of the greatest assets you have at your disposal when it comes to promoting your brand at a trade show. Design with your logo or your brand in mind. What colors does your brand utilize? Is it a minimalist design that only uses neutral colors or does it use rich, bold colors and elegant designs? By carrying these patterns into your booth, you’re helping to solidify this in people’s minds as part of your identity.
Another pro tip to help build your brand is to always include your social media information prominently. Feature it on the booth or handouts you give out or promote it by way of multimedia content. Whatever way you choose, make sure you’re driving people to your Facebook, Twitter or YouTube so that they’ll continue to see updates and news from you long after the event has ended.
Close Sales Without Door-to-Door Solicitation
When you’re a salesperson or you’re promoting a business, you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get the word out about your product or service. You’ll don costumes, mingle with crowds, film advertisements and do anything else that has the potential to bring awareness to your brand and create positive impressions.
But we all also know what it’s like to be the customer on the other side of that equation. We understand how irritating unsolicited sales pitches can be, whether on the telephone or in person. We know how frustrating it can be to find your mailbox full of offers and promotions from companies you never asked to hear about. Wouldn’t it be great if you could close sales without annoying people in these ways?
The good news is that there is a way — trade shows. The people that attend trade shows are those that are already interested in the industry and are usually ready to make a deal on the spot. This saves you the legwork of hunting down new customers by delivering you to a potential pool of new clients who are eager to hear what you have to offer.
To make the most of this potential, here are a few best practice tips to follow:
- Make the Deal on the Spot: 81% of those attending trade shows have purchase authority, so you’ll interact with lots of potential customers. Trade shows also tend to create a buying spirit in people. Because of that, it’s best to close the deal right there. If you wait until the next day or week to call them, they may change their mind.
- Be Direct: Most potential customers you’ll interact with are already interested in your industry. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be attending a trade show about it. Be honest and upfront with your sales pitch, and don’t waste time trying to reel them in and telling them things they already know.
- Don’t Wait to Follow Up: If, for whatever reason, you aren’t able to close the deal on the spot, don’t wait. Follow up the day after or the next day. Don’t let more than a week go by without giving the customer a call, following up on the discussion and renewing your offer. Not only will this help your sales, but it also shows you’re the kind of company who cares about its customers and remembers them individually.
When it comes to sealing deals at trade shows, the best tool you can bring to the table is your display. By creating a unique exhibit that stands apart from all the rest, half the work is already done for you. The rest is easy.
Are you ready to make a spectacular impression at the next trade show you attend? If so, let APG Exhibits help. Our team of experienced professionals is ready to work alongside you and help you realize your vision by designing a custom trade show exhibit that will be unlike any other. Request a custom design today and remember to give us a call at 866-752-2192 if you have any questions.