How to participate profitably in a trade
The function of the exhibit is
"Spread the Word"
You must constantly bear in mind the real
function of your exhibit at a trade show and weigh each
idea to see how it contributes to reaching your goal. Look
at the function of your exhibit. What is it trying to do?
What are you trying to achieve through its use? It makes a
difference in your design thinking whether you wish to
demonstrate a machine in operation to the widest possible
audience, or if you expect to limit attendance in your
booth to a very few important customers. Will you be doing
a hard sell to anybody who stops
Collect the facts
It is a waste of time to go ahead with a design,
never mind construction, of an exhibit whose purpose is
to obtain new dealers to be faced with a comment by
senior management that what is really needed is to
identify a newly acquired product or service. The Sales
Manager should realise right from the beginning what the
exhibit is being planned to do.
The Exhibit and the Show
Ideally, the design should attract every
individual whom the exhibitor considers a prospect. The
question can be stated as simply as this: "How do you
design a trade show booth so you get the best results at
various trade shows?" And here results mean telling your
product story to more of the people who count in closing
Here are ten rules for designing a
1.It's a trade show ... so show them:
A show is exactly that......a show. It
is not an advertisement - it should be your product
in action! The visitor becomes immediately involved with
your product because he or she can see it, touch it, handle
it. The exhibitor has a great opportunity to act on all five
senses of the visitor. Don't throw this opportunity
Don't expect the visitor to show himself, you show
Build your exhibit around your product:
Some exhibitors are more interested in
building pretentious displays than in showing the products
that they house. Do not look upon a show as an architectural
competition. This is always a mistake.
Keep your focus on your products, that's where the
visitor's interest is.
3. Make your
exhibit easy to
Show visitors want facts about your products and, they want
them quickly and in convenient form. Visitors are enthusiastic
about booths, which display products in orderly, logical
Products should be clearly identified detailing their
characteristics, specifications and
Don't take your product for granted. Remember, the
visitor may be seeing it for the first
4. Don't confuse
the visitor:The exhibitor whom uses unusual
sound effects razzle-dazzle displays or costumes often
creates the impression that he is trying to conceal his
Good lighting, decoration, booth dress is always relevant
to the product.
5. Show a maximum
Show a maximum number of products: Don't
just show a limited number of sizes or models. Visitors like to
see the complete line. Show actual products - not just
photographs of them.
You can't show too many
Visitors find static display boring.
They like dynamic displays they like to see the product in
action. Concentrate on one or two product features. A good
demonstration is simply tangible proof of the claims you
make for the product.
A good demonstration convinces the visitor that your
product is all you claim it to
7. Show product
applications:The visitor will ask the fundamental
question: "What will your product do for
Show him what it has
done, is doing, for others.
participation:It's great to be able to prove your
product's superiority to your visitor. It's even
better when you can get him to prove it to himself. Don't
hesitate to let your visitor participate in your demonstration.
If it's impractical, at least let him handle your product.
The visitor has five senses. Get as many of them involved
in your product s possible.
9. Give him or her
visitors like samples. Some visitors like souvenirs. Give
them samples, if possible. Souvenirs don't do any harm, but
they usually don't do any good. Admittedly, not all products
are subject to samples, but a great many are. The difference
between samples and souvenirs is that the souvenir is
generally not relevant to the product. Let your visitor
take your product back to the office in the form of
10. Give the
visitor good technical
information:This subject is big enough for a
booklet of its own. It's still a matter of opinion as to
whether literature should be distributed at the show or
sent, after the show, to the visitor's office.
Sometimes it's impossible to stock a sufficient supply of
literature for a multi product exhibit. But it's always
have samples of available literature on hand. At least you can
show the visitor what he is going to get. He wants factual
literature, not advertising blurbs. Visitors want complete
specifications: dimensions, materials, finishes, speeds.
One-short show flyers end up in the waste paper basket.
Distribute literature with solid, factual, technical
information - or - don't give out any literature at
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How to participate profitably in a Trade