Trade Show Presentations: Get noticed, be remembered
There’s an old adage in marketing that you don’t get noticed by hiding in a crowd. My Father-in-Law constantly tells everyone in our family not to “hide your light under a bushel basket,” a charming upper Midwest restatement of the Parable of the sower and amalgam of Luke and Matthew but the sentiment is dead on. Entrepreneur just headlined their site with a feature titled, “How to Get Noticed in Today’s Crowded Business Environment,” that suggests companies are “so focused on selling their products and services that they have not taken the time to tell prospective customers about what they are doing.” How to get noticed in today’s crowded business environment
So what about live marketing opportunities? Trade shows, B2B, and B2C events are packed wall to wall with exhibitors, broadcast messages, dazzle dazzle, and freebies tempting and competing for time and foot traffic. You need to make some serious noise to win your share. But making the right or wrong kind of noise can make the difference between long-term success and short-term disaster.
Budget, credibility, corporate culture, show culture, and message strength should all weigh into your decisions on how best to get noticed. And you have plenty of good outward-focus options to choose from.
The most traditional and proven long-term trade show strategy is a professional corporate spokesperson delivering information in your booth theater. It’s a comparatively affordable line item and allows for exceptional appeal, flexibility, brand delivery, and customer outreach. Like all vendor partnerships, engaging the best possible speaker to represent you and your offering to the marketplace is key; hire the wrong guy and it’s worse than a waste of money – it could potentially undermine your brand’s perception with clients and analysts and have lasting negative impact on your market position. I’ve written several blogs on this important decision which you can read here:
Other options for making a loud, aggressive impact on the trade show floor include magicians, perceptionists, jugglers, comedians, musicians, infotainers, performance artists, painters, caricaturists, circus acts, social media influencers, and a whole host of talented, energetic ways to attract attendees to your booth. Determine what speaks for your brand and what best represents your corporate culture. If you want to focus on new product or solutions then a magic act may not be the best way to tell your story, or to keep the focus where it belongs. If you want to drive numbers and scans regardless of qualification or are more about the company name than new technology, the louder the better.
In a recent piece for allbusiness.com, Brian Patterson writes, “Make a Scene. In live performances, it’s all about spectacle. That simple fact is what made P.T. Barnum so effective. He knew that you needed to do the unexpected to elicit the delight of attendees. At a trade show, it’s all about getting noticed. So, do what you need to do to get noticed. Maybe do a quick performance on the trade show floor. Get someone in a funny costume to run around the venue. Be loud. Embrace the theatrical. This strategy does involve some risk, but as any seasoned businessperson knows, risk is required to achieve an award. While you have to be careful not to be obnoxious or offend any guests, you still have to make a calculated decision on how to be unexpected during the event.” (read more at https://www.allbusiness.com/5-ways-stand-trade-show-105273-1.html)
Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd. Don’t skimp on customer-facing communication opportunities in favor of boring demos or brochures that typically wind up in the dustbin. Don’t worry you’re too small or too limited or too entrenched. Embrace the chance to stand out from the crowd, to get noticed, to be remembered. It’s good business.
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