If you are feeling rusty, ignored or shame because, nothing much has happened with your brand's desire to build awareness, you are not the only one...
Exhibitors tell us in survey after survey that building awareness is their #1 or #2 trade show marketing goal.
Want to build your brand at trade shows? Your company has company.
REMEMBER BUILDING AWARENESS IS A QUALITATIVE GOAL, NOT A QUANTITATIVE ONE. Building awareness comes in several different levels, various shades and exotic favors, depending on how well known a company already is.
Exhibitors want to build awareness:
For their company
For their brand
For their division
In a (new) industry
In a (new) geography
For a (new) product
For their re-brand, after a merger or re-positioning
Are You Building A Leadership Brand?
Companies that are concerned about their brand usually don’t want to be known as second-best. They want to be known as the leader in their industry. However, leadership comes in different flavors, depending on the industry they are in.
Exhibitors often tell us they want their brand to:
Be seen as the Leader of the Industry
Touting as the leader in data syndication for car dealers, Dominion designed a booth with technology, spanning from LED graphics, showing of GPS capabilities and complete with on-demand demonstration.
Be seen as high-end AND HIGH TOUCH
Huckabee stands out as an architectural and engineering firm that builds their brand with light. Using a completely backlit exhibit display graphic, that calls attention to their promises of exemplary service and collaboration, visionary leadership, and proven results. The booth’s clean lines and integrated presentation technology reinforce their innovative brand. NOTICE: The integration of the floor graphic as well.
Be seen as high-quality manufacturer
In age age of robotic revolution and 3D printing, we at Skyline exhibited our prowess by immersing in production of detailed sophistication.
Be seen as an innovator
In 2012, Sandvik was named #58 on Forbes’ “The World’s Most Innovative Companies” list. Really, what does innovation mean — if not an introduction of a new method, idea of device. (Keep that in mind before asking your exhibit designer to render your brand as an innovative brand. Be specific about your innovation.)
Be seen as high-tech SUSTAINABILITY LEADER
Nothing can be more impactful when you highlight technology to create planetary sustainability. Metsä Group immersed themselves in raising awareness of circular economy. With partners, small and middle-sized enterprises, the circular economy has taken to a new level and that is what is highlighted in this exhibit design. Forest industry is based on circulations, and new technologies have been taken into use when applicable.
Sound like your company?
Let’s see how to build your leadership position through your exhibit and exhibit marketing.
How to Build Awareness at a Trade Show
Once you know what your goals are for building awareness at your upcoming trade shows, how do you do it?
Here are 11 ways to help build your brand into an industry powerhouse:
Get a bigger exhibit
There’s a reason everyone wants to see the Grand Canyon: it’s really big! Similarly, one of the key factors in which exhibits attendees remember most is booth size. So get a bigger booth space, and then fill it with a bigger, taller exhibit that demands attention and fills their senses.
A caveat: if the key audiences you want to meet can’t be found at one single show, you may do better to go with smaller booths at various regional or vertical market industry shows. See below:
Create INTELLIGENT graphic CALL TO ACTION
Ensure attendees don’t ignore your exhibit by using bright, bold colors, big images such as photos and illustrations, and easy to read messages. The fewer elements you put on your exhibit, the larger you can make them, and the more impact they will create. Large, taller exhibits can have branding at 2 to 3 heights for as visitors approach from far away, just down the aisle, and in the booth.
Evergreen Packaging: If the face of the model was not looking down on the products, it was would have been indeed, very difficult to draw attention to it — that is perceptive design working for you!
Design for 3 dimensions AND SCALE
Create impact and messaging for all public-facing sides of your booth, especially for island exhibits that can be viewed from 4 sides. Consider making your biggest brand impact on the exhibit side that faces the aisle that will get the most traffic. Some of the most memorable exhibits use shape that conveys the brand personality, and the company logo in 3 dimensions.
Availon: To help put an exclamation point on their new name and rebrand, Availon revealed their new identity with an exhibit shaped like their new logo, which evokes the shape of a wind turbine. The swirling open architecture and light graphics infer the clean energy of wind power. The statement on the reception desk: “Same Service. New name,” which tells what part of their old brand Availon wanted to keep.
Build a hierarchy of messages
Your exhibit usually works best when you have a hierarchy of messages, starting highest with who you are, then what you do, and finally what you can do for people.
For larger companies, your exhibit may have sub-levels of messaging for multiple divisions or products within a single booth. Be sure the overall brand is understood as primary and that the sub-brands balance each other out. Another pitfall to avoid is confusion between your company and product names.
Veolia Environmental Services: This exhibit builds their brand with bright red brand colors, big photos that show their employees at work providing services, and their brand name at three height levels for attendees from different distances from their booth. As this was also for a Canadian show, their company name is in both English and French.
Be consistent with your other marketing
Your trade show exhibit and your trade show promotions should reinforce the look and messages you share via your website, brochures, and advertisements. Otherwise, if you contradict your existing brand, you will cause confusion, which weakens your brand, rather than build it.
Remember that your brand is more than a logo — DO NOT FALL IN THE 'APPLE' Trap
Your brand is not just a unique graphic shape and a PMS color. Your brand is defined by the position you’ve taken in the marketplace, the promise of value you give to customers, and the personality your company displays in it's interactions with the world. Keep that in mind when you design your exhibit, and even the overall trade show experience you give visitors.
Which leads to …
Create a brand experience:
Trade shows are an immersive environment that takes place over several days. Take advantage of that by creating an experience that activates your brand in the minds of your booth visitors, so they understand and remember your brand at a deeper level. So if you want a high-tech brand, give them a high-tech experience. If you want to be known for service, then be the best host you can be when they visit your booth.
Exhibit at more shows:
If you can afford it, expand your show schedule to reach more key audiences, especially if you are building your brand in a new vertical market for your company, or have introduced a new product that could help a whole new group of buyers than you traditionally serve.
Healthland: This exhibitor understands that a brand position is just as important for what it isn’t. Their tagline is “bringing EMR to rural hospitals” and they also include the statement, “we’re not for everyone.”
Design your exhibit to be modular. This effortlessly helps you exhibit at linear and island booth configuration — national, local and hyper local. This design also gives you the leverage to exhibit at multiple shows at the same time, without the added cost of extra exhibiting materials.
Bring your brand ambassadors:
Bring to the show your employees who best exemplify your brand. Have them staff your exhibit – and more. Ask them to schmooze at networking events. Have them attend educational sessions and ask the speaker questions. Better yet, offer them up as speakers at your conferences – and not just your CEO, but subject matter experts who can teach how-to sessions.
Bauder: It takes great discipline to reduce your brand elements to so few elements as this exhibit. There is one predominant color, orange. The message – flat roofs, green roofs – is simple and repeated for viewing from different sides. With so little to say, the message is said large and clearly. However, NOTICE, the built in advice center. Think about creating a dedicated space for your subject matter experts.
Do more promotions:
When you want more people to know you, pre-show and at-show promotions can give you that lift. Consider sponsorship, ads in the show book or show daily, and other ways to reach the attendees going to the show. You can offer giveaways that will attract more people to your booth, and that will remind attendees about your brand after the show is over. Better giveaways even reinforce your brand message.
DO NOT FORGET TO Meet the press –
"PEOPLE HAVE NOW BECOME YOUR PRESS"
Use the trade show as a forum to meet face-to-face with the key influencers who will share your brand message long after the show is over. These include your industry press, bloggers, highly connected social media people, and analysts.
The reason for building your brand is so that you are remembered – and preferred.
So when you are at a trade show, do these things so that attendees will walk away knowing exactly who you are, what they can get from you, and that you are their best choice.
CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE MADE IT TO THE END.
For you, we have designed this visual book as an aid to your exhibit design. You will not be disappointed. This is our guarantee!
(This article has added layers of flavor to the original article that was first published in www.skyline.com. )