There are many important moments that surround your trade show experience, moments that lead to relationships which lead to sales which lead to long-term customers.   Manufacturing those moments is essential, however they don’t happen by accident.  It starts with understanding how to capture visitors’ attention.   How do you get noticed?  How do you get them to STOP?   Once they stop, do you know what to do with them?  You need the right atmosphere in which to conduct business .

Too many exhibitors dive immediately into the fun, exciting task of designing a company trade show exhibit that looks cool… without ever defining the overall objective of the event.   Specifically, are you there to make SALES?  Are you trying to generate QUALIFIED LEADS?  Are you looking to make NEW CONTACTS?   Is your mission to INTRODUCE NEW PRODUCTS?     Define your show goals first…so you can design your booth environment better.

What is your brand identity? Who is your customer?

The look and feel of your booth will be influenced by the audience you’re trying to attract.  If your brand is conservative and focused on financial services, your exhibit may have a very different look than a start-up mobile apps gaming company. Letting your exhibit designer understand who you are and what your company mission is will help ensure that your image will be represented properly during the trade show.

What is the message you want to send?

In the very first moments a prospect scans your booth space, the trade show attendee should be able to immediately know: who you are, what you do, and what your company is offering.  Not all brands have reached the level of a swooshreplacing words – so it’s important to put ego aside.   Remember…there may be people that have never heard of your company, and that’s likely why you are at a trade show in the first place.

Why are you exhibiting at this show?

If you have a new product launching and want to start generating buzz about it, your exhibit may require a large demonstration area to showcase your new products —with bold graphics helping to arrest the attention of passers-by.  If your primary objective is to extend relationships with existing customers, your booth may need to have multiple meeting areas, and a more relaxed environment for conversations.  Learning or teaching via presentations will likely mean you need a small stage, or a formal presentation area.  And if you are looking to generate lots of qualified leads at the show, you’ll require multiple education stations so that staffers can interact and capture vital sales information.

What is your budget for the exhibit design?

Setting a reasonable budget is necessary to make sure you can do what you want to accomplish during your exhibit rendezvous. If you are unable to afford the 12 flat screens you have in your mind, an experienced designer will be able to help find a solution that fits within your budget. If you are unsure of what your budget should look like, use these Trade Show Budgeting Tips.

Answering theses five main questions, and utilizing our exclusive Exhibit Design Planning Worksheet – before consulting with an exhibit house or a designer – will help make your exhibit planning process clear with fewer revisions needed.