5 Strategic Trade Show Changes to Win the Second Half

Event planners are not only graded on the amount of traffic they drive to their booth space and quality leads they bring home, but also how they strategically managed the budget and the design to accomplish ultimate ROI.

According to EXHIBITOR Magazine’s 2019 Economic Outlook 36% of the respondents reported their company was increasing their trade show budget for 2019. 66% of those same respondents were also confident that their 2019 program would achieve better results than 2018.

Now that it is almost half time for 2019, it is time to reflect on the first half of this year to see how you measure against your goals and budget and consider some game play changes to bring home a solid win this year for you and your company.

Here are 5 Strategic Changes you should make to your trade show program to win the year!

    Putting your best foot forward will never grow old. Now is the perfect time to reflect on your display branding and refresh your graphics for the remainder of the year. It is also a good idea to consider changing some or all your graphics show to show so that your message can be targeted to specific audiences.

    While considering refreshing your graphics, question your display makes you feel. If you have rigid sintra graphics, changing to fabric graphics can lighten up the look and feel of your display and add softness, plus it will save you lots of money on shipping and storage. Adding large dimensional letters/logos can elevate the design and depending on your brand, use the opportunity to add whimsy.

    One of the simplest changes you can make to the look and feel of your display it to add or update your lighting. If you have an older booth most likely you have older lighting, LED lights can not only add new luster to your space, but they are also much cooler and more energy efficient. Other ways to shed light on your space (pun intended) is to consider turning some of your graphic panels into light boxes. 

    Layering your space with various lighting – uplighting, downlighting, backlighting, recessed lighting, edge lighting… oh my– can not only refresh your space, but it can also add welcomed depth and dimension helping your booth stand out to passer byers.
    More and more companies are adding interactive technology to their trade show programs. Why? Technology can work with any type/size of display, plus it saves you from having to print and ship collateral materials. Technology invites people in, allows you to engage deeper with qualified prospects, and it makes lead generation and evaluating ROI so much easier. Win Win!

    I know the thought of technology can be overwhelming to some, but there are so many simple options that will have direct impact on your results it is worth considering. Apple Rock has helped many clients incorporate various technologies into their space, so let us help you come up with the perfect solution.

    Whether you have larger or smaller shows the remainder of the year there are many reasons to consider display rentals. One big reason could be geography – if your display is stored on the East Coast and the remainder of your shows are on the West Coast, or vice versa, the cost of a rental could very well be less than shipping an existing display across country.  That is why Apple Rock is one of the few display companies with a Las Vegas office and warehouse.

    Other reasons to rent could be to test a new design before buying, supplement rental components for a larger show, or scheduling conflicts with an existing display to name a few.
    Yep, you read right. We experimented ourselves this year at EXHIBITORLIVE, our industry’s largest trade show, and put some of our own words of wisdom to the test. Creating an appealing booth both structurally and graphically is only half the battle., so we strategically accessorized our space to appeal to all the senses – and it worked! We incorporated a plant wall radiating of fresh Eucalyptus and a fresh fiddle fig tree to bring a fresh feel to the space. We also played soft, uplifting spa music on our interactive touch screen while video of fresh blades of grass scrolled by, then we brought in other textures to really make the space feel inviting – fur throws on the chairs, soft white shag rug, and hand woven baskets were not only part of the décor but they were also giveaways to prospects that scheduled follow-up meetings with us.

    Attendees were drawn to our space, for reasons they may not know, and they wanted to sit down, relax and have a conversation with us. The baskets were such a nice surprise to them all, and so simple to include. So while everyone else around you is doing the predictable, you can really stand out by doing something unexpected. The best part is that is can work for any brand, in any space and at any show. 

While most people think and operate on a calendar year rotation, we have found that the best time to reflect and make change is the summer. This is the time of year most of you have more time to breathe and think thoughtfully about what did and did not work the last 5 months and make tweaks to improve your scorecard before the calendar year and budget run out. 

Strategic changes to your program don't have to overwhelm you or your budget, they can be as simple as adding ambiance to your space. Apple Rock offers a free one-hour consultation with one of our seasoned trade show pros to deep-dive into your program goals and explore how we can help you achieve them.