With so many products vying for attention, it is vital to stand out at a trade show. See how your exhibition stand could make the difference.
Life at a trade show really is a rollercoaster
Attending a trade show is just like visiting a theme park. They might seem like completely separate activities, but they both involve similar skills – especially when it comes to planning out how to make the most of your day.
When you arrive at a theme park, your first act is often to consult the map. And, on this, you draw an imaginary line that takes you through the attractions – giving you a clear idea of which rides you want to go on. Others become a ‘maybe’; somewhere you will head if you have the time (because you never have the time to do everything).
Of course, this plan flies straight out the window as soon as you wander past an attraction you just hadn’t accounted for (but have to check out). Now, you have to make even more choices. It sounds just like the average day for a delegate at a trade show – and here is why.
Avoid blending into the crowd of exhibitors
When it comes to exploring trade shows, attendees have a wide range of stands, talks and breakout sessions to choose rom. They simply cannot see everything on offer – and (just like at a theme park) it is more likely for their day to fall behind schedule, rather than leaping ahead of it.
This means that exhibitors have to do everything they can to stand out from the crowd. Even if you started the day towards the top of an attendee’s list of stands to visit, you could easily find your company slipping down to ‘maybe’ status. And that is just for people who have planned to visit you…
In our experience at Interclean Amsterdam, roughly half of attendees either make a purchase, invite a tender or come away planning to make a purchase. It means there are plenty of opportunities to engage with new prospects. You simply have to entice them to visit you – and that is where your exhibition stand can do some heavy lifting for you.
Why an innovative stand is the key to success
Your stand design has an impact on the success of your lead-generation activities at an exhibition. You should consider three reasons when thinking about your stand in attracting new prospects:
- It grabs attendees’ attention
An eye-catching stand is easily the most effective way to attract visitors. Approximately half of exhibitors rank it as a tactic, compared to 34% who cite giveaways or 31% who use social media .
This makes total sense. With so many exhibitors on display, attendees walking the halls are far more likely to be drawn to a stand that looks different and more interesting than the others. And it vastly increases the chances of your prospects heading your way.
- It gives a positive first impression of your brand
Do you know why trade show attendees head for the most interesting-looking stand they can see? Sure, there is an element of curiosity to it, but the overriding thought will be ‘with a stand like that, I bet their products are pretty innovative as well’.
Our experience shows that 78% of trade show visitors are there to see new products being featured , and what will they think of your company and its products if your team stands next to an uninspiring stand? An innovative stand is the first step towards convincing prospects you have everything they need – and, when three-quarters of attendees are decision makers, you should be looking to make a good impression.
- It makes lead generation easier and more successful
In our previous article, my colleague Marjolijn looked at how to staff your stand – and why exhibition training is vital. Once you have put together your expert sales team, the next step is to make it as easy as possible for them to win over trade show visitors, and bring in those leads.
Take a stand for trade show success
Exhibiting at a trade show is a great experience for your business and your team – not to mention a lot of fun, too. That means you want to make the most of your time there, and putting together a really well-designed stand that draws in visitors will help you do just that.
With an innovative stand that sells your company, your products and your vision, you can make sure that your team are in for a thrill ride of an event – and that they’ll find it easier to attract prospects and generate new leads.
 20 Trade Show Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind!
 Facts & figures ISSA/INTERCLEAN Amsterdam 2016