Trade Show Marketing Trends for 2021-2022
Trade show marketing is unlike any other type of marketing campaign. Trade show displays combine every aspect of your brand to showcase who you are, in person, while you are (literally) sandwiched between your competitors. Small businesses and huge corporations find an exhibit company that helps capitalize on trade show booth marketing trends for 2021 and 2022. Whether you have a new line of products, need one more touchpoint with customers, or are looking for leads, an industry trade show works wonders!
However, after the cancellations in 2020 and early 2021, trends have shifted for venues and consumers. The world of trade shows has changed significantly recently, so it is critical every exhibiting company keeps up on these new trends. Markets change over time. Trade show booth technology has changed, too. For the 2021 to 2022 season, there are many more shifts than usual. Here are just 3 current trade show displays marketing trends you need to know to succeed in the 2021 -2022 trade show season.
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The whole point of a trade show booth is to attract attendees’ attention. But the competition is fierce on the trade show floor and off. Consumers expect more interactivity to drive engagement. Exhibit companies now create more interactive booths with hands-on demos and touch displays to draw in potential customers. Combining inbound marketing plans with trade show exhibit designs makes attendees more like to cross the threshold and have a memorable brand experience. To make an impression, hands-on works.
The latest tech makes customized projections affordable enough to have become more popular in current trade show exhibits. Customized projections range from projection mapping and data displays to interactive billboards and immersive videos or demos. Creative trade show booth designers infuse brand elements to develop custom projections. Plus, these customized, well-branded projections are reusable until you change some aspect of your campaign. Unlike conventional displays, they never wear out, and they fit in a small case, eliminating transport and storage costs. And many organizations find these customized projections are valuable for other venues, like sales presentations, in-house meetings, and investor relations.
Trade Show Gamification
Exhibitors now build Trade Show Games to build brand awareness. Gamification is used widely in other forms of marketing, but it is specialized in trade show marketing. Most organizations gamify apps, websites, or other software. At these trade shows, there is no captive audience. However, there is a large one. People are there, ready to discover more. Your exhibit company helps you create memorable prizes, rewards, leaderboards, and custom challenges for the attendees. And gamification isn’t always high-tech. It’s more important it fits with your brand than it is the latest and greatest fad. Prize wheels, mini-golf, or plinko with prizes and digital leaderboards can create a face-to-face interaction and follow-up from a digital app.
Afterward, you’ll have gathered the email addresses, phone numbers, and other contact information you need to be able to follow up. If you and your exhibit company can make your booth stand out from the rest, those follow-ups transform into leads, sales, and new partnerships.
Trade Show Booth Staff Etiquette and Training
You spent hours working out the perfect trade show booth display with a professional specializing in exhibition booth design. Your exhibit aligns perfectly with your current branding and marketing campaign. The colors match. The venue is booked. Transport and set-up are all organized. You even have the disassembly crew on standby. But the research says that attendees will weigh their interaction with your staff over everything else at your booth. It is critical you have well-trained staff representing you at your booth!
The industry rule of thumb is 50 sq ft for each staff member in the booth. So, if you have a 20 X 20 booth (400 sq ft), that is a maximum of 8 staff to have enough space for attendees. For a smaller 10 X 10 booth (100 sq ft), you only need 2 (or maybe 3) staff at a time. Having the right number of staff at a booth is one of the first items that should be on your checklist. Over or understaffing can torpedo your marketing efforts right from the start. With too many staff, it appears like a competition to attendees, and you may end up with staff standing around talking to each other. Being understaffed leaves staff members exhausted, and attendees don’t get the time they deserve to discover your offerings.
Here is a checklist to ensure you have trained your staff so they are ready for your next trade show.
Trade Show Staff Training Checklist
- Wear your name badge high on your body, like on your chest or right shoulder. This eliminates the need for anyone to search for your name.
- Introduce yourself and approach attendees warmly. Welcome and greet each visitor individually with a smile.
- Have several ice-breaker introductions ready so you can comfortably strike up a conversation.
- Make sure you are well-groomed, well-rested, and following the company dress code.
- Watch your body language, especially during slow times.
- Learn about the company’s products and services, the target audience, and details of any show giveaways or promotions.
- Know what time the venue opens and closes and when each staff member works at the trade show booth.
- Familiarize each staff member with the exhibition booth design.
- Offer to demonstrate each element of the trade show booth to each visitor.
- Be aware of the length of time you spend with each visitor.
- Step away from the booth if you eat, check your phone, or are on a break.
- Project professionalism proudly representing the company, never bad-mouthing competitors.
- Understand your role, learn the sales script, and how to capture leads.
Spend some time before the trade show with your staff to be certain they understand their role. A training session can be in-person or virtual. Just make sure there is a question period in the end. Has the training been kicked off by a representative from upper management to reinforce the importance of the subject matter? Then, the session(s) can be conducted by the person(s) most familiar with the trade show display and marketing.
By spending some time discussing the importance of behavior and etiquette at the trade show, your staff will more likely support your company’s goals. Increased engagement and excitement surrounding the vent will make this event worth the time and energy (and money)!