I love trade shows! My job sends me packing off to different shows at least two times a month, so for me trade show exhibits are almost as much a part of me as my ever growing shoe collection.
1-First, let me just say this. I get to the trade show early for a set up, and after the event begins, most nights when the crowds leave, I am still sitting in my own little corner. I am usually sipping down the last of a beer that I have hidden in my little frig under the back alcove while reading through my e-mails. Trade show displays for me, are a home away from home. If the convention hall allows me, I even pull out a little camp cot that I bring along and snooze behind the back wall where no one can see me (most time this works, but there was this one time when I totally freaked out a security guard and he made me leave!)
2-Another thing that I love about trade show exhibits, is that it makes me think of my company as a turtle, and the exhibit is his shell. The exhibit is a huge display, covering up a living company underneath. Its like we can go out on the road, our company takes a journey, and the exhibit protects us and is our home, just like the tortoise.
3-Trade show exhibits always give you a chance to make some new contacts, no matter who they are. One time I had this table and some picnic chairs set up in the corner for my crew. A few photographers from one of the trade journals were walking around and needed a place to sit down and check their equipment. I offered them some of our space, and while we didn’t increase sales by that effort, we did make some new friends — who we see often.
4-We also notice and size up our competition by looking at what THEY have. A few times we did notice that we needed more back lighting, because that’s what our rival company had with them.
5-Schmoozing customers? Oh yea, trade show exhibits are great for that. We now have a small wine cabinet and frig with us. Some alcohol and an order book, and cha-ching!
6-Let’s face it, one of the main reason to love trade shows, is that you get that rare opportunity to be in the same room with people who actually are willing to be impressed by you. We totally engage in that ageless act of shameless self promotion. We splash our logo everywhere! Even on our new plastic roll out floor.
7-It’s all about the money, right? A few of us had the brilliant idea to set up a pop up shop inside of our exhibit. It was so cool, I don’t know why we didn’t think of it sooner. We actually sold cash and carry items, and took orders for drop shipments; we made over $20,000 in one day!
8-We like to save money for our company, so for us easy storage is a huge reason to love trade show exhibits. We chose a really nice set up that packs up nice and stores right in the back of one of our conference rooms, so we don’t even have to pay for a storage unit.
9-How do you get customers to you? Give them free stuff, doesn’t it matter what it is. Our exhibit has one entire area just for that.
10-Trade show exhibits definitely let you preview your company’s next/new line of products. This is really cool, because the eye-grabbing graphics pull potential customers over to your table — that’s we all want, right?
11-I also love the super easy set up and winding down/packing part of our exhibit. When it’s time to go home, I want to leave town. I hate spending a lot of time packing everything up.
12-My new assistant tells me that he just loves the uniformity of our exhibit; -you always know what your displays are going to be, so you don’t have to fuss with some plan-o-gram while on the road and time is in short supply. No surprises and no problems.
13-Easily adaptable, if we need it. Sometimes we do need to tweak our set up. I love the idea that we can easily add some accessories, a few more bridges or shelves, extend counter space, add some alcoves, whatever we need. I just love that we now have components of and interchangeable display.
14-We recently added some interactive computer stations, tablets, etc, which has been a real upgrade to our exhibit. Not only does this attract visitors (we added free WiFi), but it lets us spend some computer time when the crowds are thin.
15-Recently, our company added some “live activity” to our exhibit. We now have demonstrations like the old time county fairs, spinning wheels, all kinds of goofy fun. Our trade show exhibit rocks with our standees and cut outs — its just like a carnival.
I really do love trade show exhibits. They help take the labor out of work, making the job of being at a show ever so much more fun!