Seeing Exhibition Displays Through Your Visitors’ Eyes

If you’re responsible for planning and running your business’s exhibition displays, it can be incredibly easy to get tunnel vision. An effective trade show booth takes, at the minimum, a month or two to create; first you need to formulate and finalize the complete booth design ideas. Then you will need to have your actual trade show design ideas transformed into hardware that is manufactured and delivered.20x20 island double deck trade show truss display

In addition to the exhibition displays themselves, you need a strategic plan, miscellaneous trade show supplies (carpet, counters, monitor stands, etc), a trained staff, promotional goodies, and more.

Is it any wonder that plenty of exhibition show managers end up forgetting to think about things from the perspective of their customers?

While this tunnel vision is understandable, it must be avoided. The number one priority of your exhibition displays is to attract visitors’ interest. If you aren’t appealing to your visitors and meeting their needs, your trade show booth won’t be worth the investment.

So, let’s take a step back and think about what a trade show looks like to regular convention-goers, as well as what that might tell us about good strategies for your exhibition displays.

Seeing Your Trade Show Booths Through Your Visitors’ Eyes

Let’s start at the beginning. Whenever you first wander into a trade show, what are some of the first things that are going to hit you?2 sided ipad kiosk mod-1334a

  • Large crowds of people to elbow through.
  • Rows and rows of exhibition displays full of flashing lights and bright colors.
  • A cacophonous din that makes it hard to hear anyone more than a few feet away.
  • Probably some level of heat/stuffiness unless it’s in a great convention center.

We’ve all been there, so think back. How did you decide where to go first in the midst of the chaos? You probably already had a list of several specific exhibition displays to visit. If you didn’t have a plan ready (shame on you), you probably picked a row and started cruising the aisles.

Putting your exhibition displays on the end of a row near the door or near the refreshment area or bar, especially if you have room for a larger “end cap” booth, will draw in far more visitors just because of the location (“location, location, location”).

Bringing in the Burnout

So, then, your average convention-goer is likely to just start working their way through the aisles, like at a grocery store. (Especially if they have a goodie bag and are on a mission for swag.) In my experience, both working exhibition displays as well as attending many shows to walk the floors, your visitors will start getting tired relatively quickly. It’s easy to get excited and interested in one of the first booths you visit. After a dozen, they all start to blur.

Your focus here, then, shouldn’t solely be on catching peoples’ eyes. Yes, you need to catch their eyes first, or they won’t visit. But when they visit, you need to be memorable. You might try:

  • Being funny. Very few things imprint themselves on a person’s mind like humor. If it at all fits with your corporate image, making your visitors laugh will help them remember you.
    cell phone charging station for trade shows

    charging station for trade shows

  • Food or drink. I’m not a huge fan of branded food items at convention displays, because they’re disposable. None the less, especially if your exposition has poor air circulation, being the guys supplying cold beverages can get you some love.
  • Useful freebies. Any free promotional item you give out should be something a convention goer with a bag full of prizes will still remember and use after the show. More expensive goodies are better than pens which will go entirely forgotten.
  • A quiet room. If there’s space, cordon off part of your booth to make a small room for showing films or slideshows. Create a space for people to rest and take a breather from the convention chaos. Maybe add a charging station for trade shows or small work area.

We could continue this exercise for awhile, but you get the idea. If you meet your visitors’ needs directly, they’ll remember you. Don’t let your focus on the details of running your exhibition displays make you forget the most important people in this equation: your visitors.

For more, learn to be a good brand ambassador or how to make your displays more professional.

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