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Trade Shows / 01.30.20 / By Chase Howells

Don’t Be Afraid to Change It Up

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Routine becomes a detriment when it prohibits advancement. “This is what we’ve always done” is a phrase I have heard from my clients over and over throughout the years. I completely understand this! Our plates are so full these days that sometimes sticking to the status quo, as long as the results being produced are in line with goals, makes it hard to consider a change. Yet, the risk of changing it up though can be very rewarding.

In my role I work with a number of clients. Some will do the same thing over and over for years, and some will make a point to do something different every time they exhibit. This latter strategy without question takes a lot more time, effort and creativity. Obviously, each new design/approach they try isn’t always a homerun. So, why would that be worth the risk?

Knowledge is Power

You’re always learning. Each different scenario gives additional insight into what effectively achieves your goals. Let’s say leads are your goal, you start to gain clear analytics show after show for what is generating leads. For instance, you have a 20×20, you try adding a touch interactive and add 25% more leads, or you add a lounge area and increase leads 15%, or you do two 10×20 shows instead of one 20×20 and lose 10% total leads. After evaluation, you can come back with an interactive 20×20 including a lounge area to determine if you can compound the increase. If you kept it all the same you never lose the 10%, but you never see the large gain either. Nor do you have the data to see what can be driving additional leads.

Simple Modifications

Change does not have to be doing something completely different (though I have seen high risk, high reward payoffs), you can start with tweaks like mentioned above. Exhibitors like to experiment with new technologies and fortunately, attendees generally do as well. If you don’t want to jump straight into high cost tech like augmented reality then displaying simple, looped videos can help a lot, especially in smaller booth spaces. Design tweaks like an added or new hanging sign, stylish flooring or designated meeting areas can change the feel.

Also, consider that over time your attendees will start to recognize that you’re changing. They might not prioritize stopping at a booth they feel they’ve already seen. They will prioritize a company that is giving them a new and exciting experience every show though.

The trade show industry has become accommodating to frequent change by offering rental exhibits and technology. This makes the one off approach more affordable, especially when using reconfigurable systems like Aluvision and Medallion.

Go for it!

For any change, just be sure to maintain clearly defined goals and track the results. Don’t be afraid of something not working, just use that information to hone-in the next approach. Just like any other area of the marketing portfolio and for all of the same reasons, trade shows have to be refreshed with relative frequency. A great next step is just having a chat with us to see what realistic changes could be made in your booth space, so feel free to contact us!