Do you often look at competitor booths with envy and wonder why yours looks so bland? While they may have a larger budget, small businesses can still have a decent-looking booth. Here are some tips on how to improve your next conference stall.
The early planners tend to have more success. Draw some layouts on paper to scale. Most booth displays are 3×3 or 3x2m. Preparing early gives your booth the best chance of success. This includes furniture, demo items, promotional items, shipping and installation. Realising that you don’t have the right items a few days before the conference adds enormous pressure and stress. Last minute bookings increase your costs unnecessarily.
2. Get a Good Spot
Book as early as possible. You will be much more likely to get your first preference spot, because after the platinum sponsors are placed, it is usually first in, first-served. Choose the stalls close to the entrance, near the food and coffee stands or in front of bar tables and chairs.
A prominent spot helps get general traffic to your booth, rather than being stuck up the back where almost no one goes.
However, if you are late to get your application in, you can sometimes negotiate a lower price, as the organiser is then desperate to fill spots. You will probably not get a great spot though, unless you are replacing someone who has dropped out.
3. Invest in High-Quality, Reusable Items
If you can spend a little extra to buy good quality, reusable items, they will be worth it in the long run. Custom booths will help you stand out.
Banners are an easy way to get your message across to potential customers. These can be purchased at a reasonable price from places like Officeworks and Vistaprint. Make them reusable by not including short-term prices or dates in the design.
Also, make your sign up forms look clean, easy to fill out and professional; potential customers will be writing on them.
4. Make Your Booth Interactive
Make sure you can demonstrate your product and let the audience use it themselves. Interaction makes a booth more interesting and gives the audience a better idea of your product and what it does. Touch screens can be useful here so bring your iPad!
While iPads are good for short-range visitors, you should also have something that draws people from the other side of the room, that sit high up in your space.
5. Use Limited Space Wisely
The booth needs to look clean and tidy, so don’t take too many products.
Nice lighting makes a huge difference and doesn’t take up much room. Don’t just use the provided lighting, have lights inside the display cabinets and highlight your products. Coloured lighting can be effective for attracting people to your stall.
Using a digital display can really attract people to your stand. It can just be an iPad on a stand. It saves space as it can show multiple images on slideshows or videos. Videos can also attract visitors with sound.
A single, large image on your booth design has much more impact that multiple images. Similarly, don’t use too many bright colours or it will make the space seem small and cluttered. In fact, 40% of your booth display space should be blank in order to not overwhelm visitors.
Store away anything unnecessary out of sight. If it is visible it looks messy and unprofessional. Many display cabinets have a storage area at the bottom.
6. Make Your Message Clear
Make sure your message is clear. Passers-by won’t spend long reading your text, so first and foremost, make sure they can instantly see what you’re selling. They won’t stop if they aren’t sure. Make sure it is in a prominent place and highly legible.
Hint: If people know what you’re selling, you are more likely to attract customers who are actually interested in your product.
Use the back wall to display your main message. Focus on only one message, as you don’t want to overcomplicate the booth. Minimal is generally better. Good quality panels with graphics are very effective when done well.
7. Stand Out from the Rest
First impressions matter. Make sure your branding is obvious so people associate the booth with your brand. Have your company logo in large font in prominent areas.
Try and have at least one unique element to your stand such as using natural textures like wood. Make your representatives approachable. Wear fun t-shirts with your branding or even dress up. People will notice you walking around and will seek out your booth.
Similarly, if you have a giveaway, you may want to consider something wearable, like a satchel or hat. Other people will see the item and want one too. Make sure people sign up to get the free giveaway, or your money spent on promotional material may be wasted.
Try to provide giveaways of reasonable quality. For instance, if you have chocolates at your stand, have a well-known brand rather than cheap, no-name chocolates.
8. Engage with Visitors
Engage with passers-by. Make them feel welcome, smile, make eye contact and say hello (but don’t be pushy). Don’t be on your phone or chatting to your colleague. You’ll lose leads that way. Wear nametags to make you and your staff more personable.
Have materials that are designed to teach, as potential customers are more likely to buy if they have learned something from you.
Another idea is to put a bar table and stools in front of your booth. This will encourage people who linger here to see your stall. There will be many people walking around looking for seating and a place to eat who will appreciate the setup.
9. Hire an Event Planner
Of course, if you would rather leave all the work to a professional event planner, you don’t have to worry about all of this. Contact Saber Events for an obligation-free quote.