The Audio Podcast of this post is available here (1:38).
All over the country, companies exhibit at trade shows and other events with hopes of coming face-to-face with their ideal buyers and the gatekeepers to the most lucrative channels. The reality of it is, you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with your competition and everybody ends up shouting their value to anyone who will listen. The problem is, if you do what everybody else is doing, you're lost in the noise of the show.
The Big Idea for a successful event showing is all about standing out by thinking creatively rather than just increasing your event budget so you can shout a little louder. Consider the following:
Almost no one can resist the random, the novel, or the just plain weird at an exhibition. After all, a majority of the attendees are expecting more than just information; they are expecting "info-tainment." Promote your booth at the show by offering registrants a free photo opportunity with a monkey. The headline could read: "Get the monkey off your back with company X." It almost writes itself. Pass out T-shirts that say, "I got my picture taken with a monkey at booth 1308" and watch viral marketing at its best.
Perhaps the logistics of this example are out of whack, but water down your creativity when it comes to promoting and driving traffic to your booth, and you’re watering down your return on investment. The key is to not to just think big, that is, increase your event budget, the key is to think of something novel, unexpected, or just too weird to ignore.
There's no need to have the biggest booth, or the best position, if you have the best promotion. Just remember "no one can resist a monkey" and your creativity, rather than your budget, will win you business at the show.
Justin Downey Marketing has a comprehensive service offering including event promotion. For more information visit our Marketing Services page at: www.justindowneymarketing.com/marketing_services.html.