5 Steps to Creating an Effective Trade Show Environment
March 24, 2014
They’re loud; they’re crowded; they’re chaotic. And yet, despite this, trade shows open up a world of possibility and opportunity for brands to engage and interact with their target audience. The traditional trade show approach, complete with branded tchotchkes and heavy-handed attempts to grab email addresses, is out-dated. So, how can you create a more engaging, and effective trade show experience?
1. Establish Clear Goals and Objectives. What do you need to accomplish? What do you want people to see? Do you want to increase sales in a particular market? Showcase a new product? How will you get people to provide feedback on what they liked and didn’t like? The experience, no matter how eye-catching, fun, or unique, is ineffective unless it helps you achieve your brand goals.
2. Create a Holistic Experience. Boxman Studios crafts the brand experience around your goals. Once we know what you want, we figure out a way to make it happen. For instance, when people move through your trade show space, they need to do so in an organic way. This is actually an intentional design element that encourages them to complete a desired call-to-action. This CTA could be as simple as interacting with the brand’s website post-experience, or completing a task during their visit.
How people come into the space, how they interact with it, how they flow through it, what they do post-experience – this is all part of a holistic approach we take to ensuring the best experience possible. At Boxman Studios, our mantra is, “Listen and understand.” We need to discover what you want and need from your trade show and then build your experience on that foundation.
3. Don’t Get Distracted by Shiny Objects. Often, in an effort to stand out in the loud, crowded, chaotic Trade Show environment, agencies and brands come to us and say, “We were at this show and our competitor had this cool feature. How can we do that better than them?”
Yes, standing out in a trade show environment is critical. But implementing features for the sake of trying to outdo the other guys, is as good as throwing your money away. We believe in a holistic, tactical approach which may implement various features. But we never recommend doing anything just because the competition does. For example, if you’re giving away iPads, we’ll help you incorporate elements into the activation to ensure we’re still focusing on your brand’s goals.
4. Know Your Audience. Brands need to understand their demographics. In addition to, “What am I trying to accomplish?” we recommend that you ask yourself, “Who am I trying to reach?” This focus makes a big difference in what goes into the experience – whether it be colors, technology, seating areas, interactive displays, or other critical elements.
5. Find the Right Partner. Boxman Studios can help you determine which design and interactive elements will have the most impact. We offer recommendations based on your needs and our experience. What will help you achieve your goals? How can we incorporate elements so you get the most bang for your buck? How will you measure success? By asking the right questions up front, you end up with a compelling experience for your visitors.
You can stand out without straying from your brand objectives; you can create an experience that both wows the audience and aligns with your goals. The key is asking, “What do we need to accomplish?” and using your answers as the guiding force for the entire project. Every decision flows from there, and Boxman Studios is committed to helping you implement those choices and realize your vision.