Driving trade show attendees to your exhibit is not an easy feat, as it requires understanding what appeals to your target audience and then having the vision to create such an environment. But you’ve done your due diligence and have successfully designed a one-of-a-kind, attention-grabbing custom trade show exhibit – now what?! If you want to keep your current customers in the fold while simultaneously attracting new ones, you must connect with them.
The design of your environment should not only emotionally appeal to trade show attendees’ five senses, but also prompt a conversation with them. In today’s informed world, attendees have high expectations. Simply saying hello and giving a sales pitch isn’t going to cut it. Seasoned face-to-face marketers recognize in today’s connected world, targeted attendees are seeking a personalized, authentic and real-time experience as part of their decision process. For experiential engagements, marketing professionals must carefully plan and find meaningful ways to connect with customers on the trade show floor. In this article, we share our insights and best approaches for connecting in your exhibit.
Identify Your Target Attendees
Having a successful engagement at any marketing or trade show event is a critical component on the path to turning prospects into valuable customers. Although there are various avenues to explore in order to create engagements that draw a steady flow of potential customers to your exhibit, the first step before building any engagement is to identify your ideal customer.
A major shift in the evolution of marketing has been an approach of uncovering the details of what customers and prospects need and what they are trying to accomplish. This builds trust and understanding, creating a real sense of shared mission. No matter the event, exhibitors, event sponsors and attendees go to shows with a specific purpose, objective or goal – and it’s up to you to find out what it is.
Connect to Your Targets
Customer engagement begins as a social interchange and evolves depending on the quality of the relationship and if both parties can benefit from the other. Conversations that garner success are now dependent on the power of human interactions. Therefore, it is imperative the initial interaction between a company representative and a prospect be a positive one. What better way to connect with someone than by telling them a story?
Storytelling has become a powerful tool to better understand the goals and objectives of the market you serve, creating a shared experience. In many instances, this shared experience can be a first step to ensure your brand message sticks in the forefront of an attendee’s mind. Storytelling engages visitors on an emotional level, a great tactic to harness when promoting complex or intangible ideas. However, it is important to remember the story you tell isn’t about you – it’s about your visitor.
In order to be compelling, your story has to include relevant pain points that are easily recognized by the visiting attendee. The story should show them how your brand can solve their problem. By using the storytelling approach, a company can develop empathy for the prospective customer’s needs, tailoring the story’s message to best suit the issue at hand. The more creative you can be in making those personal connections within your exhibit space, the more likely you’ll leave a positive and lasting impression of your brand with the target.
Engage to Build Relationships
Engagements can engross all of our senses simultaneously in a way scrolling through our phones or tablets can’t. The sky is the limit when it comes to engaging experiences and interactive elements. However, when it comes to the use of technology within your exhibit design, it isn’t about showing off or using the most advanced tech you can afford. Instead, the engagement should evoke responses using relevant and interesting content. In other words, it’s about providing a memorable experience that educates your visitors while also promoting your brand.
Learning through touch and manipulation of objects has been found to be valuable, as it nurtures curiosity about the physical world. Those who passively wander through your space are remembering less than those who are actively doing something while there. Engagements within a trade show exhibit design must tap into a behavior or a piece of the attendee’s psyche for the interaction to result in a meaningful connection.
Every attendees should be approached by a team member with enthusiasm. Attendees that appear bored or uninterested might be suffering from a long day on the trade show floor. If you train your staff to extend a cordial welcome as they work to determine how to best engage the attendee, a relationship is more likely to be established. And don’t forget, a simple conversation can be the first step in building loyalty for your company’s brand and products.
Regardless of the approach your company chooses to lure an audience, it is important to remember two things:
- Content comes first and must be relevant and interesting.
- Engagements are merely a first-step in developing a relationship.
To gain the most for any marketing event, it is important that your program provides a holistic approach aimed at making the ultimate connection between attendees and your brand, gaining new customers and retaining valued ones for continued success. By remembering and incorporating these approaches, you are able to plan, design, create and execute a memorable and engaging experiential brand experience.
Looking for an exhibit house? Contact us today to learn how you can increase your trade show ROI with creative and innovative engagements to elevate your exhibit design as you begin to connect and cultivate meaningful connections.