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Screen Time: How to Design Trade Show Displays with Monitors

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We spend our days working in front of screens. We spend our evenings relaxing in front of screens. We even carry them around in our pockets. You’d think that a glowing monitor would have lost its ability to draw an audience at trade shows, but that’s just not the case! People are always drawn to screens. But how can you use them effectively?

 

First, consider the size of your space and the flow of traffic within your booth. You don’t want people to pile up — or worse, skip your booth because there’s a crowd gathered around a touchscreen. If you want a large screen as a focal point, make sure people can still access your booth staff and your marketing materials.

 

Second, ask yourself what kind of video or experience will do the best job of engaging your audience and conveying your product’s value. A recorded product demonstration? A live feed showing a machine running in your manufacturing plant? A live Q&A via Skype with a category expert? An interactive game? For one of our clients, the healthcare tech company Creo, we built a frame around a monitor to make it look like a giant iPhone. On that monitor, Creo demonstrated its mobile app for health screenings and risk reports.

 

Third, think about how multiple screens may interact — or compete — in your space. If you have a salesperson doing a live demo, for example, a recorded video on a large screen may distract people. One of our clients placed two freestanding workstations in the corners of their booth. On the front of each workstation was a larger monitor running product demos; on the back were smaller, 23” touchscreens from which people could enter a sweepstakes by printing faux “boarding passes.” The result: a fun an engaging experience that drew people in and effectively touted the product.

 

FrontLine Exhibits specializes in creating trade show displays with monitors and other technology elements, such as lead retrieval systems and interactive video walls. Contact us today!

Your Guide to Trade Show Budgeting in 2018

tradeshowtoolsTrying to figure out your trade show budget for 2018 is like trying to rebalance your investment portfolio. There are so many variables, how can you possibly know how much money to set aside for trade show displays, shipping and marketing?

You may not have a crystal ball, but you do have us — your FrontLine Exhibits team. We do more than execute effective trade show booth strategies; we also help our clients develop accurate budgets and game plans, so you can march confidently into 2018.

“Our goal is to help people and make the whole trade show side of their marketing easier for them,” says Chase Howells, FrontLine Exhibits’ Senior Account Manager. At the end of the year, bring us your list of trade shows for 2018, and we can help …

 

Estimate trade show labor costs.

 

As we’ve mentioned, the location of a trade show has a significant effect on trade show labor costs. If your biggest show is in Boston or New York City this year, expect higher hourly rates for union installers, electricians etc. The showrunners don’t make it easy to figure this out — often, they won’t release the exhibitor manual with all the details until a month or two before the show. Fortunately, we keep our own records for various venues. “Because we’re in Vegas every week, we have an idea of what the rates are going to be,” Chase says.

 

Calculate trade show display shipping costs.

 

Location and timing can dramatically affect the price of shipping your trade show display. You always want to plan for advance warehouse shipping, instead of settling for show-site shipping. The difference is major: You can save 20 to 30 percent if your display is created and shipped by the show’s advance deadline.

 

Weigh the costs of enlarging your trade show presence. 

 

When you have a quiet moment at the end of the year, sit down and analyze the results from your 2017 trade shows. Were they all equally successful, or did a few feel like a waste of time? At your biggest show, did you feel like your booth was overshadowed by your competitors’? Maybe it would make sense to cut one or two shows and put that money toward expanding your presence at the flagship show. We can help you figure out how to budget for a 20- by 30-foot exhibit instead of a 10 by 20;  factoring in not only the trade show booth cost, but also the increased shipping, installation and booth space.

 

Nudge you on trade show deadlines.

 

Waiting until the last minute to plan, design and execute your trade show booth can cost you thousands. With a two-week lead time, the best we can do is a basic exhibit. Give us a month or more, and our in-house designer can work with you on a custom-made display that really reflects your brand. We know busy marketers have a lot on their minds, so if you share your trade show schedule at the beginning of the year, we’ll send you reminders throughout 2018. “That’s ideal for everybody,” Chase says.

Easy Ways to Buy Time with Attendees

Trade show attendees are faced with dozens, sometimes even hundreds of booths to potentially visit over a short window of time. A lot of our posts over the years have touched on ways exhibitors can break through the clutter. Once the attendee is there though, how can you get them stay long enough to hear you out. Here are some of the simple ways to get the attendees to stay in your space for more than just a hello.

 

Interactive Displays

There are some incredible interactive displays out there, with engaging programming and visuals. But even just transferring information that normally would come in a brochure or flyer to a screen with images and animation can capture the attention of an attendee better than their hard copy counterpart. Consider using touchscreens, iPads and/or e-literature in your booth.

 

Cushy Flooring

You know from standing in the booth all day how uncomfortable it becomes. Attendees are also spending a lot of time on their feet, so offer some relief with a cushioned floor for your space. Whether that’s splurging on the most padding available for carpet or using a foam floor with additional padding, your attendees will want to stand in your space just to get a reprieve from the concrete and hard floors all around. Utilize that time to build relationships.

 

Seating

Creating comfy spaces for clients and prospects to meet with exhibitors is becoming increasingly popular. For the same reasons as above, attendees are looking for a break. Think of the advantage you have with a prospect if they’re seated on your sofa versus standing and talking to your competitor. You will get more of their time naturally.

 

Charging Stations

If an attendee is at a trade show then they aren’t in their office. Work doesn’t stop because the show is going on, so they’re going to be glued to the phone making calls and checking emails. Grab some of their time by offering them a battery boost from your charging station. Keeping them from having to exit the show hall to charge a dying battery will be much appreciated, and you can chat with them while they wait.

 

Food/Drinks

Know your audience for this, but I know certain exhibitors that have success offering alcohol and/or snacks to attendees. Have them enjoy it in your space and take the opportunity to talk with them while they do.

 

You’re probably seeing the theme of comfort and hospitality. Trade shows are draining for attendees too. Acknowledging their discomfort on the floor can show them that you’re putting them first as a customer as well. Use a combination of the above to generate a desirable experience for your attendees. If you don’t want every passerby to indulge, create a VIP lounge with seating, charging stations and drinks for the key guests. Whether for the few or for the many, make the sales staff part of a relaxing experience as opposed to pushy and attacking. For both the exhibitor and the attendee, every second on the show floor counts, use these ideas to make the most of the time for all involved.