Having a massive, high-tech and wildly interactive exhibitor booth at a tradeshow is easy when your business has hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and a department dedicated to making it all happen. However, if you are reading this, you probably don’t quite have the same capabilities as a small business owner when it comes to creating a booth that stands out to attendees.
Luckily, we’re here to give you some tips to help you make your limited budget go further while maximizing your time at events. We’ll go over the ideal exhibitor booth set up, in our opinion, for small businesses at tradeshows or general tabling events.
Start with a Custom Tablecloth
Do attendees feel like they are stepping out of the event and into an entirely different environment when approaching your booth? This can be a hard effect to achieve on a tight budget – though it is possible. You’ll want to start with a custom tablecloth to distinguish your table from the default tables that are provided by the venue (or that you brought with you). Without a branded tablecloth, attendees might pass up your booth due to uncertainty as to whether you are an exhibitor or just a member of the event staff.
Additionally, people tend to scan the front of the table to make a determination as to whether or not it’s worth their time to make a stop. If you don’t have a tablecloth, or it isn’t branded with your logo and a tagline, people may pass up your booth due to their coy nature or simply due to time constraints.
Surround Your Booth with a Curved Backwall
After designing an eye-catching tablecloth, you’ll want to make eventgoers feel like they are stepping into your “zone” as they approach. A curved backwall adds a ton of production value to your table by enveloping attendees and creating separation from surrounding tables that may also have backwalls. Plus, the curved frame is an engineering feat in itself and usually gets a double-take.
Another benefit of a curved backwall over straight or no backwalls is that it provides more visibility for the content printed on it. People don’t need to lean over to see the far corners of the wall. This makes the limited time people spend at your exhibitor table more productive in terms of brand exposure.
Communicate with Attendees Via an iPad Stand
Getting visitors to stop and spend time at your table is an accomplishment in itself. However, the easiest way to capitalize on an attendee at your booth is to have them opt-in to receiving communications from your company. You could certainly achieve this with a pen-and-paper signup sheet (good luck reading everyone’s handwriting!). Or, you could set up an iPad stand for attendees to digitally enter their information. This saves you the time of manual data entry if you hook up an email form to a newsletter list using a program like Mailchimp. Plus, having a stand placed to the side will improve your booth’s productivity by opening the opportunity to talk to someone else while an attendee is entering in their information. With a traditional signup sheet or an iPad placed on the table, attendees will clog up your booth and deter new traffic from approaching.
Once you have collected attendee emails, you’ll be able to send more information to eventgoers that perhaps you didn’t have time to share while at the booth. Finally, you can promote things like upcoming events or new products to a wider audience. You’ll have effectively turned each visitor into a lead or a subscriber!
Top It All Off with Smarter Swag
You should always carry marketing materials and possibly even some kind of productive takeaway for eventgoers to remember your business. However, keep in mind that everyone at the show will be offering a giveaway. And a lot of attendees usually leave with regret when they realize how much useless junk they took with them from the event.
To cut down on waste and creating demand for useless plastics, we recommend being smart about your event swag. Rather than giving away pens, keychains, plastic phone stands, stress balls, etc., think about a creative piece of swag that serves a purpose or brings attendees joy. For example, a large insurance company once gave away succulents at a Denver Earth Day Festival. It was all everyone was talking about (if you aren’t aware – people out west love succulents). More importantly, a plant is more sustainable than a piece of plastic.
Your company doesn’t necessarily have to giveaway plants, but it should think about the long-term effects of the junk it is creating for promotional purposes. If you do feel the urge to giveaway trinkets, try to find a supplier that creates them from recycled, upcycled, or compostable materials. And remember – just because something is “recyclable” doesn’t make it eco-friendly.
In summation, your business can create a memorable space with a few smart display choices. We recommend a custom tablecloth, curved backwall, and an iPad stand as a sort of “starter kit” to get you going. Finally, you’ll leave a lasting impression on attendees by giving away creative, earth-friendly swag that shows you care about the future.