Small Booth? Here's How You Can Still Win Big at Your Next Trade Show

March 20, 2018

Emily Lyons

A steadfast believer in the power of superior service at every touchpoint, Emily Lyons is the founder and CEO of Femme Fatale Media Groupa Toronto-based agency known for its energetic, high-caliber event staff and its imagination-wielding, results-driven experiential marketing team.

Trade show professionals know that bigger booths tend to grab the most attention from attendees. A bigger booth means that massive creative displays can be set up, so visitors can’t help but gawk at the exhibit. Understandably, then, event marketers working with a smaller budget – and therefore a smaller booth – may sometimes feel a little disheartened, anxious that their humble little booth won’t reap a competitive return on investment (ROI).

But the fact is that bigger isn’t always better.

A giant highway billboard, for example, can bleed an advertising department of its budget – while a well-targeted, but smaller, digital ad campaign can be particularly profitable.

Likewise, in the sphere of trade show marketing, a smaller booth can deliver a very satisfactory ROI – exhibitors simply need to know how to make use of a smaller booth’s tactical advantages.

So if you’ll have a smaller booth at your next trade show, how can you still win big? Here are a few ideas.

Increase booth staff density. Booth staff density is the number of staff deployed in relation to the booth’s area. It’s easier, and less costly, to increase the booth staff density if your booth is small – and greater staff density often means a larger ROI. Why is this the case?

For starters, people who do visit your booth won’t have to wait in line for your staff to guide them through product and service information, such as benefits and key features. Instead, there will be ample staff to connect with and fully engage all booth visitors. The result? More leads and stronger connections forged at your booth compared to a bigger booth with a lower staff density.

Prioritize booth staff training. Your booth may be small but superbly-trained staff can more than make up for it (especially when you increase staff density, as noted in the point above). The team staffing your exhibit should have comprehensive training on all relevant facets of your company – including your products or services. They should be able to clearly explain the unique value your company provides and they should be excellent sales personnel – experts at warming leads up and collecting contact information for post-show follow up.

Ramp up pre-show promotional efforts. Pre-show promotional efforts include a mix of marketing activities designed to heighten awareness before your exhibit even makes an appearance at the trade show. These pre-show promotional approaches can include email marketing to your list of subscribers, direct mail, online ads and more.

If skillfully done and well-executed, pre-show promotional actions can dramatically boost the number of attendees who visit your booth, regardless of the size of your exhibit.

All in all, a smaller booth can perform very well for you at a trade show – it cuts down costs and by leveraging its strengths, you can gain a lucrative ROI.

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