There are different stages in the process of brand recognition for a company. The first is simply awareness; consumers need to know that you exist. They certainly won’t be buying your services if they don’t realize you’re out there.
From that point, of course, there is the process of getting consumers to buy your product and then to get them to stick with you for repeat business. But that all hinges on that initial contact, and on their knowing who you are and what you do.
That’s where events are important. Whether it’s a trade show, a community event, or even just a tent on the sidewalk in front of your store, these activities have some type of audience–perhaps a broad audience, or perhaps a group that’s tailored to your market–that gets their initial contact with you through a display that you’ve set up.
Your display is critical in these situations. You can’t draw people in without presenting the right kind of image of your business, so you need to design your display carefully.
Be Visible From A Distance
Any event worth attending will have a lot of other vendors present. You may be set up anywhere from a large assembly room in a hotel to a blocked-off city street. Wherever you are, it will be big, loud, and busy, and you have to be able to catch people’s eyes from far away.
That’s where custom tents make all the difference. They are the first thing people will see about you, and if they bear your name, logo, and colors, your brand will be visible in the crowd.
Ordinary retailers carry a wide variety of affordable pop-up tents, and many vendors will be content with those. But from 50 yards away, they disappear in a sea of similar structures. In addition, they don’t convey a professional image. They tell customers that the company is a fly-by-night outfit.
You can also consider add-ons like flags or other high-visibility elements, but the center of it all is the tent. A well-designed one is part of an optimized strategy for drawing in customers.
Provide A Full Picture…
You don’t want customers wandering up to you and not getting the full scope of what your business offers. If you do web design and have a looping slideshow of your work, that will draw customers who need that service. But if you also do online retailing, you need to highlight that as well. Not only will you lose the customers who only want that service, you’ll also fail to catch the people who want both. They’ll go instead to someone who demonstrates their full range of offerings.
To the greatest extent possible, give people the full range of your products and services. If you can place the items on the table or around your booth, do so. If you handle large goods, get photos. Use video testimonials from satisfied customers, or show clips of product footage from the manufacturer. Put everything on the table–literally.
…But Leave Them Wanting More
In certain businesses, it can be best to display things in a teaser strategy. If you sell medical instruments, it’s great to have some popular items with you and ready to sell. But people at trade shows often have full schedules and full hands, and they won’t buy as much as they might need.
In those situations, your booth should steer them toward your permanent location. When they arrive with enough time and money to do some real shopping, they’ll buy more. In our medical instrument example, they might buy some forceps and bandage shears at a booth, but if you get them to your store, they may want to upgrade some stethoscopes, get new thermometers, and so on. In other words, they may buy a lot more.
Trade shows are an amazing opportunity for you, but your trade show results are only as good as your trade show plans. You need to let people know you’ll be there, then let them know you are there, and then show them why you’re there. If you can roll all of that together, you’ll capitalize on your time in the tent.