Trade Show Booths #2: Building a Booth That Will Turn Browsers into Buyers
Booths at exhibit halls do a lot of things for your company. The first is that they are a point of presence. Think of them as a “proof of life” display. You want to have something that shows your company’s name, your company’s logo, and gives a reason for someone to stop.
Now, getting someone to stop at the booth is the culmination of several factors. The first is your display. Think of the display as the headline for the news story of your company’s products. It should have large lettering, suitable for reading at at least 20 feet of distance – in general, this requires lettering 8 inches tall, and every doubling of distance requires doubling the size of the type.
Once a consumer at your booth, you need to get them to stop. Make sure your booth is draped attractively. Bare tables look ugly, even with product and brochures on them. Make sure your displays don’t make a “fortress of solitude” – give clear sightlines to the people working in the booth, and for them to observe traffic patterns. If you have extra chairs, set them down opposite the table from a sales rep or demo representative. Particularly as trade shows go on, attendees appreciate the simple pleasure of sitting down and not having their feet hurt. Likewise, if you do give away, consider bottled water, or something immediately useful at the convention.
Make your booth displays inviting. – have literature to hand out prominently displayed, but leave “white space” so the booth doesn’t look cluttered. Have booth helpers (we call them Booth Monkeys) who can keep up a line of patter. Useful lines to get someone to stop are “You look like you need more to carry. Here, have a flyer.” Don’t ask them if they want a flyer – they’ll always say ‘no’, figuring it’s a sales pitch. Give them a flyer and a reason to smile.
If you have a product that can be demonstrated, make sure that the demo can be completely run in 5 to 10 minutes. When structuring a product demo, be sure to give your customers a chance to say “I’m not interested” at key points – if they aren’t interested, the rest of the demo won’t sell them. In the mean time, the demo should end with them knowing enough about the product to want to write a purchase order on the spot.