Crowd Funding and your Exhibition Displays
We talk a lot here about the various benefits of hosting exhibition displays. As one of the longest-lasting forms of direct advertisement, they’re great for a variety of purposes from promoting new products to recruiting new team members.
Well, it’s time to talk about the latest goal you can set for your exhibition displays: crowdfunding. Your trade show displays can now be easily used as a direct investment-building resource, if you’ve got a product you want to develop and you’re looking to do it cheaply.
What is Crowdfunding?
Simply put, Crowdfunding means funding a new product or project through numerous small donations, either from friends or strangers, rather than trying to secure large-scale funding through major investors. The idea, which had been implemented successfully on a small scale in multiple Internet ventures, was officially recognized and made legal in America back in April, and now everyone is scrambling to get onboard.
Crowdfunding projects are generally done through a dedicated website that acts as a host, with Kickstarter and IndieGoGo as the two most popular at the moment. The inventor – that’s you – posts up marketing materials hoping to inspire everyday people to donate money. These donations are usually anywhere from $5 to $10,000, with you giving out tiered gifts as incentives much like an old PBS fundraiser.
You have to set a specific dollar amount and a date by which you have to raise it, which lets investors see quickly where you’re at and how likely they are to get a return on their money.
Crowdfunding and Your Exhibition Displays
So, what does this have to do with your exhibition displays? Quite a lot, in fact. Even though crowdfunded projects are generally hosted online, the face-to-face atmosphere of trade show displays makes them a perfect place to promote your crowdfunded projects.
This isn’t idle speculation either. One point brought up in a fairly lengthy roundtable discussion on crowdfunded projects was that:
When she would advertise being at a convention in her updates, there were much larger spikes in her funding on those convention days than what she got when her project was also featured in the Top 3 [on Kickstarter’s front page].
Since crowdfunding is all about convincing individuals to fund your project, your exhibition displays can be turned into an outreach tool to promote your upcoming ideas.
Promoting Your Crowdfunded Project AT Your Exhitibion Displays
At this time, it’s probably a bit risky to try to use an exhibition show appearance solely to fund your Kickstarter, but there’s no reason it can’t be part of your exhibition displays. Here are a few ideas:
Include promotional brochures and, especially, video materials on the crowd funding venture ready to give out to anyone who’s interested.
Brief your staff on the new project and have them mention it to anyone who takes an interest.
Carve out one corner of your exhibition displays to dedicate to future projects and talk about your crowdfunding efforts.
Include comments on your project’s status, especially if you get a spike in donations, in your mid-trade show social media updates.
Encourage people who are excited by the idea to spread word themselves.
Crowdfunding: One More Tool In Your Trade Show Displays’ Toolbox
Crowdfunded projects aren’t for everyone and every new idea, but it’s just one more way that your exhibition displays can be turned into a profitable venture for you. If you have a bold new idea and you just need a little capital to make it a reality, mixing crowdfunding and exhibition displays may be just the thing.