So you’re headed to a trade show, eh?
Got the pre-show jitters? Does the pressure to stand out and present your business in the best possible light feel overwhelming? Well, you came to the right place. In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about trade show marketing. From the essentials you can’t forget to tips on making your booth the star of the show, we’ll help you navigate the chaos and come out on top.
Trade show marketing the Outmark way
So how can you reduce the stress of preparing for a trade show? Let’s discuss what you get when working with Outmark®. What’s included in our process, from planning to the big day?
Before the trade show
Buckle up, it’s time to kick things into gear with a plan. Outmark will ensure a seamless and successful exhibition experience by handling all aspects of event management, including:
- Researching top-notch shows
- Determining the ideal booth size, and securing the booth space
- Developing a show-stopping booth that stands out in the crowd
- Organizing team events during the trade show
We’ll help you with pre-show publicity, posting to social media, sending emails, and helping you build your hotlist of people you want to meet. But we won’t stop there. We’ll also plan for contingencies, so you’re ready for anything.
- What are the pre-show promotional opportunities?
- How about signage?
- What if you can’t talk with everyone?
- What if your booth is overcrowded or (gasp!) nobody is stopping by?
Don’t worry. We’ve got lots of ideas to help you stand out and make connections.
During the trade show
We’ll give you ideas to get people to come to your booth, like:
- Branded illustrations
- QR codes with landing pages
- Raffles or contest ideas to increase engagement
- Explainer videos on short loops to capture interest
- Customized swag items for attendees
But to go beyond the basics, we’ll also help you do something that will really get people’s attention. How about fresh popcorn, warm cookies, or even a mannequin with no pants? (We actually did that once.) Whatever it takes to get people talking, we’re here for it.
After the trade show
Outmark is here to help you capture leads and make sure everyone gets a follow-up. But we aren’t talking about basic follow-ups. We understand the importance of cultivating those leads into quality connections. So we’ll help you segment your audiences, build suites of communications that provide value, and create engagement over time.
Our team goes the extra mile with helpful information to enhance your follow-up approaches. From insightful and useful content to industry-specific knowledge, we equip your sales team with the tools to engage and convert leads. That’s trade show business, baby!
A little less talk, a little more trade show magic by yours truly
Rockland Manufacturing is a leading provider of construction attachments and allied equipment. With over 40 patents and more than 250 products in their inventory, they offer a wide range of items for equipment dealers and their customers in the good ol’ U.S. of A. Their commitment to innovation and quality has made them a trusted name in the industry for over 70 years.
Coming out of COVID-19, Rockland was ready to showcase its construction attachments at ConExpo 2023. As the largest construction show in America, ConExpo attracts over 139,000 attendees, 6 out of 7 being key decision-makers in the construction and earthmoving industries.
The cozy 30’x30′ booth strategically presented Rockland’s positioning front and center — while displaying twelve products in a simple yet inviting manner. Attendees could walk 360 degrees around each attachment, with simplified posters providing context on usage and application. Not only did QR codes on the posters and accompanying takeaway cards allow visitors to view a full gallery of the attachments “in the wild,” but they also helped measure traffic and follow up with prospects.
The top-level booth, designed and manufactured by the Rockland team, features an open-air meeting space with seating and coffee, creating an intimate yet personable area for conversations with customers.
Beneath the meeting space, a large backdrop walled off the area, directing traffic and positioning the sales team accordingly.
To add a touch of celebrity and brand awareness, influencer and motocross athlete Jarryd McNeil stopped by for a meet and greet with fans, creating conversation and driving traffic to the booth. Overall, ConExpo 2023 was a homerun for Rockland as they showed off new branding, met IRL with customers, and educated visitors on products.
Aquafinity is a leading master distributor and service center that provides comprehensive aquatic products and services to clients across North America, the Pacific Rim, and the Caribbean. They’re not just another app, product supplier, or your average pool service provider. Aquafinity has extensive experience in providing complete aquatic operations for commercial, competitive, and institutional facilities.
Aquafinity companies are frequent participants in national shows, and they required a design that could cater to their diverse requirements, whether it was a technical exhibition or a resort-focused show. Since Aquafinity is comprised of multiple aquatic businesses, our modern design needed to unite each company attending the show, fostering a cohesive and impactful presence. By seamlessly uniting all operating companies under one dynamic brand, Aquafinity can leave a lasting impression on future event attendees.
Initially, the Aquafinity team wanted six double-sided banners because they’re easy to set up and break down, but together we came up with a more refined approach. We advocated a “less is more” strategy to integrate content across a variety of locations, simplifying and reducing the total content on each banner. This new banner system still includes pop-up banners that are easy to transport, but they now have more mediums to convey their message effectively, including tablets, tv screens, and QR codes with designated landing pages. Dive into their trade show materials below to see for yourself.
Vivid Co. provides expert project management, organizational change management, and quality assurance guidance to Washington State government agencies. Their wealth of experience and deep understanding of the state’s complex and ever-changing landscape has made them an invaluable partner for their clients for over two decades.
Vivid Co. came to us with a challenge. They wanted a modest but mighty, eye-catching, and effective booth that’d be easy to transport, set up, and store after the event. With their new name and brand just launched, they wanted to stand out at the International Project Management Association (IPMA) event. Having attended this event before its rebranding, Vivid Co. stressed the importance of staying true to its core values while sharing its new look.
So, we went for three tried and trusty pop-up banners, each boldly branded and designed to grab attendees’ attention. We added a custom tablecloth proudly bearing their new logo to complete the look. With this setup, Vivid Co. was able to stand out from its competitors and clearly communicate its unique approach.
SWK Technologies is a technology company offering services for accounting and business management, financial reporting, business intelligence, job costing systems, and warehouse management. Services include ERP and EDI software sales and support, IT-managed services, and software development.
Are you ready for major tech transformation? Well, SWK Technologies was, and Outmark was ready to bring the eye-catching booth to prove it. SWK worked with us to create a new logo, branding, and messaging that differentiated them from other IT peeps.
SWK’s booth display and signage were designed to capture attention and attract potential clients. It was like an oasis in a desert of dull, unimaginative booths. The message was simple, effective, and engaging, leaving visitors wanting more.
NGS is the #1 Commercial Window Film Company in the U.S. Their comprehensive film and graphics installation services are backed by the highest levels of insurance and bonding, ensuring that their clients have peace of mind when they choose NGS.
Oh boy, we can’t wait to tell you about the time we worked with NGS to create their trade show attraction. The glass surrounding the custom room was opaque, but for just a flash, it then cleared. What did you see? A pantless mannequin wearing only a t-shirt saying, “Cover your glass.”It was an instant and memorable hit.
Beyond the mannequin, we also designed a killer booth display and signage with a simple yet effective message that engaged and set them apart.
The show must go on…
At Outmark, we’re passionate about making your next trade show one for the books. We know planning a trade show can be daunting, but we’re here to help you every step of the way. Whether you need help with booth design, signage, or promotional materials, our team has your back.