B2B Marketing Blog

Written by The Mezzanine Group
on March 22, 2011

There are never enough good tips on how to maximize the ROI of your tradeshow investment.  Here are some of our favorites. 

Breaking through the Clutter
When exhibiting at any tradeshow, you are competing for attendees’ attention. Depending on the show, exhibits can range from high-production value that includes attention-grabbing effects such as lighting, projected signs, specialized large-scale displays and more. As an attendee, it can be difficult to navigate through which puts the onus on the exhibitor to ensure their booth is both attention-grabbing and provides clarity. Clarity in terms of who the company is and what they have to offer. Don’t make attendees guess it will either attract the wrong audience to your booth or cause them to ignore you altogether.

How do you break through the clutter?

  • Create a strong booth presence that demonstrates your value.
    o Ensure that attendees can understand what you do several feet away from your booth. This can be achieved through strong imagery and high-level messaging that is supported by a professionally developed booth display.
  • Arrange your booth in an attendee-friendly way.
    o Despite clear messaging and imagery that can be read from a distance, many attendees may want more information. To help them, ensure your booth is approachable and has additional information to further support your high-level messaging that can be seen from a distance. This will help attendees ‘self-qualify’ if your offering is something they want to learn more about. For example, if you have a large booth such as a 20’ x 20’ or 20’ x 40’, allowing some room for an attendee to walk into your booth to learn more can minimize the impact on booth staff. If booth staff members see that an attendee is taking some time to read through materials, look at images or displays, then they can take the time to approach them and engage them in conversation.
  • Manage exhibitor materials.
    o At every show, an exhibitor list/description/visual guide is typically made available to attendees. Each show offers different exhibitor list tools – understand which tools are being made available by each show and use them to your advantage. These tools are key resources for attendees in planning out which exhibitors they want to visit. For example, some larger shows have virtual tours whereby companies can upload a logo, company description, any key offers (i.e. speaker presentation, seminars, discounts for purchases/agreements made at the show, etc.)
  • Note key learnings.
    o Every tradeshow is different; therefore, it’s important to take notes on key learnings. These could include: booth location, additional information to develop for attendees, etc. Also take time to walk the show floor – this can be valuable in terms of identifying best practices by other companies, reviewing other locations that may better serve you for future shows, and more.

As tradeshows decrease in spend, it is even more critical for companies to ensure they are maximizing their presence at shows they are still choosing to invest in. Take time to understand the resources that you have available to you as an exhibitor and always debrief with booth staff following a show to identify key learnings and action items for next year.

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