Trade show attendees are bombarded with hundreds of display booths, intrusive marketing messages and loud stimuli. The difficulty for any exhibitor comes from finding balance between conveying your true brand identity while standing out from the crowd. Creating a memorable experience is key. Exposure, leads and sales will follow.
How do you get heard when everyone is shouting?
How do you theme an exhibit and make it remarkable without being cliché or corny?
According to Exhibitor Magazine, “branding is a key element of any theme you choose, so don’t just pick a theme and run with it. Consider ways to integrate your key messages, product and company names or benefit statement directly into the theme.”
This is one of those creative projects that makes being a marketer fun. Use that pent-up creativity and let the ideas flow. Sometimes seemingly small aspects of a booth theme can end up being the talk of the trade show floor.
Here are a few creative theme ideas for inspiration:
- Photo Booth: an artfully conceived photo opportunity not only provides the opportunity for viral social media shares but can add a genuine sense of fun to your booth. Plus, it gives you a legitimate reason to bring someone into our space
- Fairy Tales/Book Characters: is your company in the business of bringing people’s dreams to life? Timeless or popular characters can create an irresistible
- Museum or Art Gallery: you can display your products like they are million-year-old fossils, behind stations or in glass, or you can have framed pictures of the products. Offer ‘tours’ and serve treats that you find in these places
- Outdoors: artfully placed plants and accessories coupled with the right graphics and staff uniforms can create a striking visual space, especially when you are exhibiting among sterile and traditional exhibits booths
- Sports: these options are limitless. Just make sure you pick one sport and stick with that theme. Again, keep in mind that your goal is to be noticed
- Destinations/Cities: these types of themes are simple and quick to pull together. Think famous cities or attractions like the Statute of Liberty, New Orleans or any other major attraction that fits your brand or tied in to the location of the trade show
Simple Theme Rules For Display Booths
- Integrate your chosen theme throughout your entire trade show program. This means exhibit design, graphics, social media, staff clothing and promo items
- A theme should extend, accentuate and foster your brand and the products and services you offer. Avoid the radical disconnect
- Plan interesting activities that tie in with your theme and message
- Utilize costumes or outfits that foster your theme
- If feasible, serve food or beverages that enhance your theme
- Don’t pick a theme that cheapens your brand or company or makes you look silly
It’s important to not over do your themed exhibit, distracting attendees from the real reason you are at the trade show. Although it may be fun, your company is there to accomplish a goal. There is a fine balance to maintain when using themes but a well-executed “show within a show” can kick up your ROI and leave a lasting impression among those intrepid trade show veterans who see hundreds of booths in their journey.