Nowhere else than in the trade show industry does the expression “you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression” ring more true. Companies that go to trade shows and spend very little effort in ensuring their brand is well defined and represented are making it harder to get the financial results their looking for. Nevertheless, convincing management or ownership to spend those extra dollars in effective branding on show floor can feel like uphill battle.
Here are 3 key reasons why you can’t afford to skip on effective branding:
- Time is scarce. Visitors take 3-5 seconds to decide whether or not to enter your booth and majority of them have pre-planned 75% of their agenda with pre-selected booths they want to see. Therefore, your branding and messaging need to speak volumes while still remaining uncluttered, clear and to the point. Otherwise you’ll be just another grain in the sand that will go unnoticed.
- Perceived value. Branding isn’t just about a look and feel. It’s a positioning tactic that embodies everything your company represents and is trying to communicate to your audience i.e. how you do business and what prospects can expect from you. Sloppy presentation on show floor will translate as sloppy business. Therefore, branding is a concept that requires careful consideration, planning and investment.
- Not all about the booth. Yes, spending a little more on making a first impression, a positive one, will firstly attract the eye of the visitor and ultimately indicate that your brand has value. But, don’t neglect the staffers who are working hard to build relationships with key prospects. They set the tone and expectations. Their appearance, materials, and giveaways should all be considered part of the brand if you want to have the best chances of closing the leads afterwards.
I think 40%-50% of clients we meet say that branding is their number one objective on show floor. So if that’s you, keep in mind if you under-represent the brand (which many exhibitors do), you might be leaving a lot of money on the table. Investing in one’s brand often pays dividends in the ROO (Return of Objectives) and the ROI (Return on Investment).