Don’t just show up – stand out. Follow these strategic pointers to make a lasting impression.

With big tradeshows on the horizon for a few of our clients, we’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it takes to maximize the impact of the tradeshow investment. Walking the floor, you’ll find booth after booth of products and people ready to tell you that they’re the “leader” in their industry.

So how do you differentiate yourself amongst all the competition trying to do the same?

It’s not enough to just show up with new products and boxes of brochures. You’ve got to be strategic in your approach to a tradeshow, instead of simply crossing tactics off a list. And what better place to start than developing a compelling story to show visitors how your company provides value like no other.

Mosaica Trade Show

What can your company do to prepare to stand out on the trade show floor? Here are 5 ways to be strategic and get more from your trade show experience:

  • Be proactive. Without research and preshow promotion, purchasing a spot on the tradeshow floor is a lot like buying a lottery ticket. Yeah, there’s a chance you might get lucky. However, identifying your audiences, developing your message and executing a traffic-driving campaign beforehand can ensure that you get the right people to your booth and show them you have the right stuff.
  • Avoid common stereotypes. Every company is going to have a passion for being the low cost leader in their industry. Ditch the buzzwords and generalities and take the time to figure out what truly sets your company apart.
  • Highlight core strengths. Go deeper than product features. Do you offer a great team of subject matter experts? Custom engineering support? Groundbreaking innovation? Stake strong claims, and back them up.
  • Engage your visitors. Consumers at a trade show are like kids in a toy store; they want to touch things. Let them. During this year’s WEFTEC conference, for example, Centrisys will have tablets with interactive programs highlighting the components of their machinery, giving visitors an interactive experience when they step into their booth.
  • Go above and beyond. Doing the bare minimum will get you just that. Seek out additional opportunities to let your voice be heard. Participate in thought-provoking discussions, presentations or forums. Take Frigel, for example, who shares their expertise often through these events.

It’s important to showcase what your company can do for potential customers, from exceptional products to sales to service and everything in between. In a later blog, we’ll take a look at how you can stand out when you don’t have the latest product to promote. In the meantime, feel free to share how you make your company stand out on the tradeshow floor.

Image: The Mosaica Group stood out by inviting visitors to relax and recharge at a lounge-style booth that highlighted the company’s focus on making things easier for its printing industry customers.