Before creating a new trade show booth design – whether you are working with an experienced exhibit developer or doing your own concept work with booth design software – first answer the following three questions. Taking this time will help ensure the effectiveness of your exhibit design, which is integral to the success of your overall tradeshow marketing strategy.
Who exactly are you targeting?
While you may think you already know your target audience, it's always beneficial to revisit this before you develop your booth display ideas and exhibit design. Here's why... If you try to appeal to everyone, then you risk appealing to no one.
If your potential buyers come from a wide range of industries or regions - or don't fit into a well-defined demographic group, then consider the common traits, purchasing patterns, and motivators of your "ideal customers."
This will help ensure your trade show booth design and message make an impact on prospects with the highest potential to buy. Take time to research and understand your ideal customers' needs and wants. Determine how your product or service can help them be more successful and make their jobs easier.
Then, craft a message that powerfully, yet concisely, communicates the unique advantages you provide, as you speak specifically to this ideal-customer base. If the way you communicate to your ideal customers makes an impact, your message will more than likely resonate with other target audiences, as well.
What problem does your product or service solve?
Prospective customers really don’t care about your product features; they just want to know about the benefits. In other words, how is your product going to help them.
For example, the candy bar company Nestle recently changed its long-time slogan for its Kit Kat chocolate bar from "Have a break, have a Kit Kat" to "Make the most of your break." The new slogan promotes the benefits of enjoying a Kit Kat bar and enabled the company to be more competitive through its promotional efforts.
People are much more likely to buy a product when they can see how it is going to positively affect them. Features do not drive interest; benefits are what attracts buyers.
What are your goals and budget?
Now you know who and what you want to say. The third key element in preparing for your trade show booth design, is defining your specific goals.
Quantify what you want to achieve from your exhibiting activities. Is your goal to drive sales leads? Do you want to increase awareness of a new product? Do you want to reach a targeted group of buyers you couldn't otherwise contact? Whatever your goals, they must be considered as you develop your trade show booth design.
For instance, will your exhibit need to have an upscale, intimate feel to appeal to a few elite customers - or have a number of counters and literature racks to address a high volume of booth visitors. Will you require an area in your booth for product demonstrations? Or, do you need to accommodate audio visual presentations?
Of course, how much you spend on your exhibit design is another key consideration. Your budget will not only impact the size of your display, but also the booth materials, configuration, type and amount of graphics, lighting, flooring, and accessories.
What you can spend for your exhibit requires a thoughtful balance between available resources and what you need to accomplish. Consider your trade show investment, as you would with any other marketing strategy.
Forecast sales relative to your expenditures to determine a return on investment for trade show participation. Then, identify ways to keep your expenses in line without sacrificing your brand image or message that will be portrayed in the design of your exhibit.
Moving forward with your design
With all this information in hand, you can now move on to developing your booth design. Decide whether you want to partner with an exhibit design firm or create the look and feel of your booth space yourself by using exhibit design software. For an article that features tips on selecting a trade show booth design company, click here.
If you want a hand in creating your own design, you're not alone. An increasing number of exhibitors are opting to design their own displays by using user-friendly software that is available online. Exhibit design programs enable users to easily develop and visualize booth display ideas. They enable users to preview their display designs from different angles and see what booth visitors will see from their perspectives.
Software program visuals from your completed exhibits serves as excellent pre-show marketing tools. By including your booth design and layout on your company website, social media and in promotional e-mails sent to prospects and current customers, you can help drive awareness and incremental booth traffic during the show.
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