To create a trade show exhibit that sells, focus on solving these three basic problems:
Problem 1: How do you get the attention of your highest potential buyers?
Answer: Use a concise headline in the most easily seen part of the exhibit - put it up high, make it big, light it up. Repeat the headline elsewhere in the exhibit. Use the company name nearby.
Focus the headline on a specific product, or service and make a strong benefit promise. For example, Uni-tek's headline is "Broken Taps Removed Fast" in large, flood-lit lettering. Sharp focus like this attracts people who want what you have to offer.
You have five seconds to attract the attention of potential buyers and less than five minutes to develop interest.
Problem 2: How do you develop detailed product interest?
Photo: A 30" diameter model of the Millennium ball drops slowly a few times a day in synch with a video countdown at this 50' trade show booth for Philips light bulbs, drawing attention to the key product benefits on the billboards.
Answer: Highlight the product. Use a sales message with the most important features and benefits. Show your product or service in action. Invite the potential client to participate in a product demonstration.
Remember the product is the star. Consider a cutaway of your product to highlight how it works. Make a small product larger with a realistic larger-scale model as the center of attention in the booth, like the 5' high spark plug Bosch used. For a large product like a locomotive, aircraft, or mining truck, feature a smaller-scale model that fits in the trade show booth. Consider adding mechanical movement or chase lights to show the sequence of how the product works.
The sales message should be simple and dramatic. A video or exhibit backwall with a few pictures and copy can tell your story quickly and effectively. Help the booth staff tell the product story with a few key visual aids that highlight the product's most important features and benefits.
Problem 3: How do you follow up with the potential buyer?
Photo: Business card drop box (slot) in a 2X scale prop model of a new medical device.
Answer: Often several potential buyers show up at a trade show exhibit at the same time. A business card drop box offers a quick way to get a potential buyer's business card even when exhibit staff is busy with someone else. Provide blank name/address cards, too, and pens to make it easy to fill them out. Consider adding a question or two on the blank card to help qualify the prospect as a potential buyer.
If the objective is to make an appointment with the potential buyer for a followup call, include a graphic that invites the visitor to sign up for a product demonstration. Include a large appointment book to make it easy.
Another option is to integrate a private area or separate office into the exhibit area as a place to close a sale, show more detailed product options, etc.
One technique to close sales is use of show specials: offer a lower price for orders at the show only, making the invitation highly visible.
To wrap up the planning process, ask yourself:
- Did we pinpoint the product and sales message in the headline?
- Did we dramatize the product for immediate impact?
- Is the exhibit uncluttered and geared to a single objective?
If yes, then you are on your way to having an effective exhibit. If you have any questions or would like to discuss exhibit design, a cutaway of your product, a product model, or a larger or smaller than life model contact us at Model Builders, Inc. 773-586-6500 or firstname.lastname@example.org .