From brochures and business cards, to graphics and back drops, all the bells and whistles of designing an eye-catching booth for Expo can be time consuming and stressful. How are you able to catch the potential customers’ eye? How do you market a whole company? What’s the most important factor to display for the passers-by? It may seem to be a lot to handle, since you only have about four to five seconds to draw a customer to your booth, but sticking to the basics will help you wrestle the way you will market your company with your standard 10 x 10-foot display, and booth, in total.
Be sure that your booth covers the overall market areas of your company. Whatever aspects the company may have to offer all need to be displayed, somehow, at these booths. There is a market for every person out there, and whether it involves online marketing or your normal sales, these customers want to know all that is available to them.
Everyone’s a Customer
Everyone who enters the door of the Expo is a potential customer. Every single person who approaches the booth has the potential to be a customer. Be sure to explain the product to them. Do not discard people based off of any profile they may not fit. Be polite. Even if that particular person is not interested, you may leave a good informative impression on them; thus, they may send future customers your way.
Always offer give takeaways. There will be many other merchants offering their product at the Expo. Giving the potential customer something to walk away with makes your product have more permanence in their mind. Yes, thoroughly explaining your product and showing that your very knowledgeable in the product helps them to trust you. But sometimes the little extra things they can take home may help them remember your name better. One of the easiest ways of remembering who came to your booth is to have a business card giveaway. Have people place their business cards or contact information in a bowl at your booth. This way, you retain all the information for people who seemed interested in your product, and they’ll be happy to have a chance to win a prize.
If your company offers a brochure, flyer or another form of assembled hand out, be sure that they are assembled correctly. It may seem a bit redundant to check these before they are given to customers, but it will sting less than if you realize later you handed a potential customer a brochure with the inside stapled upside down. This may not seem like a large mistake to you, but the customer may find it irresponsible, or shows lack of attention to detail, thus turning their attention to another company. Keep a to-do list handy. The littlest things are the easiest to forget, but may be the first things that people notice.
Mingle, but not too much
Don’t just sit at your booth, waiting on people to come to you. Most of your sales will be driven by how well you put yourself out there, to let people know who you are, what you’re selling and why they should come visit your booth. It needs to be on the merchants’ minds at all times that they’re not the only company there, as well as not the only company in their particular branch of business. Being sociable will draw people back to your booth. Many people do not want to be the person who makes the first step. We are known for our hospitality. Show some! On the other hand, do not spend all of your time searching out people to bring back to your booth. Leaving your booth unattended will turn people away. The last thing they will want to do is approach an empty booth. Leave yourself open to answer questions to anyone, and always available to supply information.
People are your best marketing solution
During the Expo, one of the best ways to get the word of your company around is to use the people you employ to let the customers know. An idea that follows along with the “giveaways” idea is to have one of your booth’s personnel walk around and talk to individuals about your product. Have the personnel give these individuals tickets, buttons, vouchers of some sort, so that when they bring them back to your booth, they receive a gift of some sort. The people working your booth are your most important asset. They will, most likely, be the first thing that brings customers to your booth, as well as the most efficient way of providing information to these customers as soon as they are at the booth.
Planning for Marketing
Be sure to plan how you will market certain aspects of your company. Using items, activities, interactive media to display to customers different points that your company brings to the table, offers people more diverse ways to experience who, exactly, your company is, in a more pleasant manner. Most people enjoy a more interactive, diverse environment to learn information over just blocks of text on brochures. That is not to say that brochures are not a route to take, just that they should not be the only route pursued.
Lastly, do not cloud your booth with so much advertising and bells and whistles that customers feel bombarded. Push your table to the back wall leaving a large area for them to explore, and let your bold, simple advertising schemes lure them to the product, instead of throwing every possible amount of information at them at the same time. They need time to digest and investigate the product they are interested in.
Contact MBJ staff writer Leslie Galloway at leslie.galloway @ msbusiness.com .