Preparing a booth for any tradeshow involves a lot of work, but the amount of preparation needed for bigger shows, like CES, grows considerably. With endless numbers of exhibitors, experiential marketing agencies, event staff, and attendees flocking to the World Trade Center in Las Vegas, this tradeshow requires careful planning and preparation to be successful.
Whether you’re exhibiting or attending, there are a few important things to keep in mind as you and your tradeshow staff get ready for CES 2020:
Make the Most Out of Your Exhibit Booth, no Matter the Size
One of the biggest misconceptions among new exhibitors is that you must have a large booth to attract attendees or you will get lost in the shuffle. You don’t need a large display or extensive team staffing to grab attendees’ attention if you think your tradeshow marketing strategy through.
Highlighting your business offerings in a way that addresses their pain points can be enough to make them curious. Smaller booths can provide a calming atmosphere where prospective customers can take a break from the activity and engage with your team personally. Some attendees will prefer this kind of brand activation experience as opposed to the crowded, noisy booths put together by larger companies. To encourage these people to stop in and engage with you, concentrate on making your booth a comfortable, clean space that people will want to visit.
Set yourself up for success by making the booth as welcoming as possible to those walking by. Make every inch of your display stand out by incorporating lots of light and open space to help attract people. New experiential marketing innovations, like a projected 3D hologram of your logo or most popular product, can make you stand out in the sea of smaller booths.
Set up a clear pathway with entrance and exit points so people can keep flowing through your space instead of crowding it. You should set up several monitors or live display points at either end of the booth so attendees can clearly see what you’re displaying, even in a crowd. Make sure your brand name, website, and social media accounts are prominently featured on your marketing materials so potential clients can follow you and engage with your brand. Even if they are not ready to do business with you right now, they may move to the next stage of their journey after finding out more about your brand.
How to Stand Out from the Crowd
With so many exhibitors putting their best foot forward, making your booth seem unique and attention-grabbing on a budget can be a tall order. A great way to determine how you can stand out is to map out your customer’s journey.
Journey-mapping gives you an overview of the customer’s experience, from initially finding out about you to becoming a customer. It will help you identify questions that potential customers have at each stage of the journey. It will also prepare you to answer their questions through your written sales material and in person, which will help you engage them and set them on the path to becoming customers. A typical journey map includes five stages:
Discovery: During the first stage, customers discover their need for your product or service and begin to investigate possible solutions and providers. At this point, you should highlight the advantages of choosing your brand over others, which might include your customer service or price point.
Engagement: A vital stage of the process with your tradeshow staff during which customers need to be able to parse your selection and get quick answers to inquiries about price, features, and benefits. Customers at this stage who come by your booth are likely to conduct independent research, learn more about your products, and ask specific questions.
Sales: At this point, the potential customer should have a good idea of what you offer and why they should conduct business with you. They may be looking for the best deal or price. You’ll have to figure out what speaks to them if you want to convert them into a customer.
Follow up: After you make a sale, the team needs to reach out and ensure the customer is happy. If anything has gone wrong thus far in the transaction, the best way to fix it and make a better impression is by following up. While you can do this via social media or email, a personalized phone call or visit can help you stand out from other providers.
Retention: Keeping customers satisfied will help you improve your retention rates. Your tradeshow staff should be ready to assist customers at every part of their journey, but particularly those who are in the early stages of discovery, engagement, and sales. Positive interaction with your brand ambassadors can make the difference in whether a customer chooses your company or another.
Engage On and Off the Showroom Floor
While attendees might like your brand and promo modeling at the show, it’s easy for them to forget you as the day goes on. Engage in follow-up marketing to keep yourself on the potential customer’s mind. Capture as much information from attendees as possible when they come in. Try to get them to enter their info directly into a database or program via smartphone or tablet. With their contact details in your system, it will be easy to follow up via email, text, or social media.
General Tips for Surviving CES
No matter what you hope to accomplish during your trip to CES, there are a few tips that can help you make the most of your time:
Plan to wait for transportation, as the crowds will cause the demand for taxis, Ubers, and Lyfts to spike. Public transit and walking are good options if you are staying close to the convention center or along the public transport route. If you aren’t going to be within walking distance, try to request your ride at off-peak times when others are still in sessions to avoid the crowds.
To lighten your load, bring only essential items. If you’re going to be busy moving around the expo while you’re at the show, is there really a need to bring your laptop and work documents along? Chances are, you can send important emails from your phone and wait until you get back to your hotel to work on your computer. Traveling with just your wallet or purse will make it much easier to move around in the crowds. And you won’t have to worry about protecting your belongings if you put them down.
Engage with the Consumer Technology Association, the company that organizes CES, on social media to get insights about what to expect during the show. They provide tips on how to navigate the floor, last-minute scheduling changes, and more. Brands will also announce special events and giveaways for attendees, so you can get exclusives by paying attention to what’s happening there.
If you need help preparing for your trip to CES, contact Attack Marketing today. Our experiential marketing agency can help you prepare to stand out among the crowd. We can find the right tradeshow staff to act as your brand ambassadors, and we can devise a marketing strategy that’s perfect for you.