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You Dress for Success; Shouldn't your Exhibit do the Same? Trade Show Success Strategies
We've all heard the saying "dress for the job you want, not the job you have," right? Even in this day of commonly seeing a much more relaxed dress code, a first impression is a first impression. The same applies for your trade show exhibit. You dress for success for a better chance at a promotion so it makes sense that your booth should dress the part for a better chance at gaining attention, brand awareness and more leads. Exhibiting at a trade show or event is the chance to make a great first impression, or not. If you've ever attended or exhibited at a trade show, you quickly realize how busy and chaotic that environment can be. Everyone exhibiting is fighting to get noticed. Does your booth dress the part and get the attendees attention?

The good news is that there are endless possibilities when it comes to trade show booth design and these trade show success strategies will have your booth dressed for success. From graphics to lighting to staffing your booth, there is a lot to plan and prepare for to have a successful trade show or event. Using a trade show checklist is very helpful for planning purposes.

Booth Design
The first step to a great booth exhibit is your booth design. If you really want to make an impact, it's a great idea to work with a company that specializes in designing and building custom exhibits that are tailored to your needs, budget and timeline. Inline, Perimeter, Peninsula, Island -- which configuration and style is right for you? The answer depends on your exhibit space, trade show goals and budget. Reach out to a solutions expert to guide and assist you. By doing so, your vision will become a reality and it is the first step in setting yourself apart from the competition.

Code 3 partnered with Nimlok® to design this stylish booth with curved fabric accents, colorful graphics and display kiosks that distinguished this exhibit from competitors.

Need help finding a qualified expert to assist you? Nimlok's expertise is second to none! Find a dealer now.

Stunning graphics are a staple item in impressive exhibits. Brand imaging and company messages must be portrayed with the appeal and power necessary to gain the attention of trade show attendees. Whether it's a banner stand, back wall or hanging structure, there are some guidelines that you should follow. Working with your exhibit designer will ease the process of knowing what graphics, colors and sizes are best suited for your displays. From pantone colors to fonts to file types and more, it's a crucial element that can't be overlooked. Here is a handy guide for everything you need to know about trade show graphics.

Fun colors and playful backlit graphics made this 10' x 30' inline exhibit for Glico USA a hit on the trade show floor.

Flooring is an often overlooked component of trade show planning. This attention to detail will give your booth a coordinated and more cohesive appearance that better represents your brand personality and style. More often than not, the trade show floor is awkward and does not match your booth space. It is important to take in account the type of flooring you will use (carpet, foam padded, vinyl, etc.) and to make sure that the floor you choose enhances your booth and doesn't detract from it. Relying on the generic show flooring is a big mistake. Keep in mind, a lot of people will be walking on your booth floor so take into account the durability of the flooring type as well as comfort -- after all your staff will be spending a lot of time there and their feet will thank you.

Trade show lighting shouldn't be relied on as a means to light up your booth. Being creative with lighting can really help you accentuate main demonstration or focus areas of your booth.

Backlighting is simply illuminating a material or image from behind or within. This is an important trade show technique to help attract attention. By incorporating backlighting, your signage or display is more visible from longer distances -- helping to attract the attendees' eyes to your booth.

LED lighting seems to be everywhere today and that is no different on the trade show floor. Traditional incandescent lights often tend to give off a yellow hue, which can alter details. LEDs, on the other hand, offer greater flexibility to select tones that match the mood you are trying to create. Not only do LEDs offer more lighting options, they also allow you to be more 'green.'

Illuminating any interactive elements or display cases is another way to draw the attendees' attention to your booth. Make sure the lighting you choose reflects your company's brand image and draws focus to where it should be.

Now comes the fun part of dressing for success: accessories! We all know accessories take your 'dress for success' notion to the next level. The same goes for your trade show booth display. The accessories can make or break the booth. From stands to holders to interactive areas, make sure you spend some time thinking about how to truly make your booth unique and memorable. You've got a great looking booth that attracted visitors, now keep them there!

One of the best and most engaging ways to accessorize your space is with the use of an interactive trade show display. Whether it's a game, scavenger hunt, photo booth or raffle, having some type of interactivity will encourage attendees to visit your booth and captivate the crowd to stick around to learn a little more about you. Anything that's fun and breaks up the monotony of walking the show floor will be a welcome distraction.

Besides interactive activities, other accessories could include stands and holders, counters or kiosks. Kiosks are great for a TV or iPad display that could encourage passersby to stop and take a look by showcasing product highlights, browsing a product catalog or playing a video. Counters and stands offer a nice area for informal conversation between your booth staff and attendees. They also can be turned into charging stations where attendees can stop for a quick charge. Holders are a great option for literature such as brochures, catalogs, etc.

Alight worked with Nimlok® to create a full-sensory experience with this exhibit design. Brightly colored candy dispensers made the perfect giveaway and doubled as a poll.

Booth Staffing
One more item worth mentioning is booth staffing. In addition to a great booth and all the bells and whistles to attract trade show attendees, your booth staff will determine the ultimate experience the attendees get. You can have the greatest booth design that attracts every show attendee, however, all of the hard work and effort will go to waste if your staff isn't prepared.

You've seen or at least heard of the HGTV show Flip or Flop, right? The question is, do you want your booth staff to flip or flop? It's imperative that the booth staff have clear objectives and expectations that are communicated to them well in advance of the trade show. Review goals with the staff -- both overall goals for the trade show as well as individual goals. Make sure they know how to track these. Communicate the 'key message' for the trade show -- is there a new product you are highlighting or is there a demonstration they should be providing, etc. Prepare an 'elevator speech' and share it with your booth staff to keep messaging concise. Review the rules and expectations of the booth such as food, drink, phone policy, how and where to stand. Most importantly remind them to smile. Smiling is an entryway for conversation and will help attendees feel welcome into your booth space. Miscellaneous details such as show hours, how and where to register and pick up badges are all things that will put your staff at east if they know this in advance. Make it a point to communicate expected uniform/dress attire. For additional tips on booth staff preparation, click here.

By keeping the above in mind when preparing for a trade show, you can rest assured you'll be dressed for success.

If you're new to trade show exhibiting, or looking to update your current design, check out Nimlok's e-book: Get the Booth You Want For The Budget You Have.

Eva Weiss, Marketing Supervisor, Nimlok®


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