Success Strategies for Small Exhibits

Photo: © Depositphotos.com/3dconceptsman

It’s a challenge I hear from exhibitors all the time: How can we possibly stand out with only a 10-by-10-foot booth in a sea of (much larger) exhibits?

And while that scenario may feel impossible to overcome, it really isn’t. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how big or small your company is, how well known you are, or how much money you’ve spent to be there. Sometimes the ‘little guys’ can actually draw a bigger audience than a household name. (I know because I’ve been that ‘little guy’!) What really matters is the strategy you use before and during the show that sets you up for success.

It doesn't matter how big or small your co. is, how well known U are, or how much U spent to exhibit. What really matters is the strategy used before & during a trade show that sets U up for success. Click To Tweet

There are so many ways to make the most of a small space. Here are a few keys to small-booth success (most of which apply to a booth of any size):

  • Tell a story and create an environment – Stories and emotional connections sell far better than statistics and data. That’s why creating a theme is so helpful for making your exhibit more relatable and memorable. (Here are some posts featuring creative theme ideas.)
  • Make it inviting and comfortable – No matter the size of your booth, does it make people want to spend time there and learn more about what you have to offer?
  • Focus on interaction and personal attention – Create a multisensory experience and use interactive elements such as hands-on demos or various types of technology to get attendees engaged. (Be sure to check out our podcast interview about How Five Print Guys Took Over a Trade Show.)
  • Design with your audience in mind – Use marketing messages and themes that will draw them in and make them feel like you’re reading their mind. (Here are a couple of posts that will help you understand your audience better.)
  • Ramp up the pre-show promotions – Don’t just hope attendees will find you on the show floor … create a sense of excitement and anticipation for your exhibit. (Here’s a post with promotions mistakes to avoid.)
  • Take advantage of sponsor opportunities – Most shows offer a variety of options and price points for sponsorship. If you don’t find something on the list that suits you, ask them if you can create a custom sponsor package. (For more tips on maximizing sponsorships, check out this post.)
  • Make booth staff training a priority – Be sure they know how to maximize every conversation, from the moment of engagement through qualifying and overcoming objections. (Read more about the importance of educating your booth staff, and download your own free copy of the Exhibitor Education Manifesto.)

So don’t let a small booth space limit your potential to produce big results at your next show. Take time to implement even a few of these strategies and you might be amazed at how exponential your success can be!

© 2018 Marlys K. Arnold  (from the March 2018 TradeShowTips Online. To receive tips like this in your inbox every month, please take a moment to fill out this request.)

(Portions excerpted from chapter 3, “Small but Mighty” in Exhibit Design That Works © 2017 by Marlys K. Arnold)

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Exhibit Design That WorksStop wasting money on displays that aren’t effective!

Inside this guide, you’ll discover how to avoid the most common – and not always obvious – mistakes in exhibit design. Create a multisensory experience that exceeds expectations and connects with attendees.

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