Going to a trade show can either be a fun and rewarding experience, or it can be a total disaster. What makes the event is the booth and how you attract visitors. If you’re new to this, or your last show didn’t exactly go as planned, here are a few tips to increase foot traffic.

Have Something To Say

Most brands today don’t do this. They talk a lot about their products, their services, their company culture, their charitable donations – but they don’t ever really say anything. At least, they don’t say anything valuable to the customer.

Customers don’t care about your brand. They don’t. They care about what you can do for them. But, they don’t want to be pitched a product or service.

Sounds confusing, right?

It’s not. What you have to do is focus on your unique value proposition and what you have to offer visitors. Your value proposition is that thing that sets you apart from everyone else. It’s why people do business with you and not the hundreds or thousands of other businesses out there selling something similar.

A lot of businesses skip this part and dive right into a flashy booth design. Big mistake. Huge. Without something to say, you’re all flash and no substance. People care more about substance than they do flash.

Have a Professionally-Designed Booth

Now, just because content (having something to say) is superior to design (how you say it), it doesn’t mean it’s unimportant. People like design too. They’re inspired by design. That’s what brings them in. Once they’re “in,” you better have something interesting to say.

A professionally-designed booth helps you attract or “wow” your visitors.

All other things being equal, the more money you can spend on the booth, the better your chances are at attracting people.

Some things to include in the booth design:

● Who you are.

● What you do.

● How you can help them.

Obviously your brand name should stand out and be obvious. Next comes the “what you do” aspect of your booth. This should also be relatively easy. What do you do? Most businesses use their tagline or logo.

Now, how can you help them? If you’ve done a good job fleshing out your value proposition, this will be easy.

For example, let’s say you’re a company that makes buggy whips. You make the best buggy whips in the world. Your brand is “ABC Buggy Whips.” So, your booth says, “ABC Buggy Whips: We Make the Best Whips in the World.”

Bring Product Experts, Not Just Salesmen

A lot of companies flood their booths with salespeople. And, that’s fine. You need to have them there at the show. But, you should consider bringing more than just salespeople. Product designers and engineers should take center stage, really.

Visitors might not be in “buying mode.” They’re wandering around, looking at displays. They want to see who’s here and what they’re selling.

They want information that they can research later. That’s the reality of it. People aren’t limited to trade shows as a sole source of information anymore. So, your job isn’t necessarily to sell but to engage and educate people about your product or service.

Use Kiosks, Screens, and Support Devices

Large products can often sit on the floor and be their own display of sorts. But, you should also consider putting them next to kiosks so that visitors can read about the product features on their own.

Likewise, smaller products need to be amplified. You could have a small display and then augment it with a large screen, showing an “exploded view” of the product. These types of screens are available from special screen distributors – visit NomadicDisplay.com for more information about selection, types, and sizing.

Keep Things Simple and Interesting

People will not be bored at a trade show. You have to understand that, today, people’s attentions aren’t divided between just you and other vendors. You’re also competing with a world wide web of information. Yes, if people get too bored with the event, and with your booth, they can and will start doing things like surfing the net, checking Facebook, tweeting about how boring the event is, and so on.

So, keep things simple and engaging.

You can do this by having visually stunning displays that explain one or two key aspects of your product or service. Let visitors approach your staff for more information. Ideally, your message should be boiled down to a single headline or catch phrase.

If your product or service is really complex, you have a tough job. You need to highlight the main benefit of your company and your product or service.

This is where companies fall down. They get wrapped up in their own corporate image, the features of the product, and being clever.

For example: “We have the best service” is not a benefit statement. It’s a feature statement, at best. But, it’s not even a particularly great feature statement because everyone says they have the best service.

Stand out, be different, and think of something that’s an actual differentiator. If you’re not good with this, study what makes a good headline or catchphrase good.