We all know that first impressions impact future expectations good, bad or indifferent. We gauge one another all of the time, based on appearance. Often, we do not consciously realize it. You can expect the same at your next tradeshow or expo event. The time and effort that you spend preparing for the expo will imply the quantity of time and quality of effort that you would apply toward the treatment of your clientele.

At Simple Joy Designs, I aim to help you take your business to the next level. Participating in the regional expo provides an excellent way to remind your neighbors that you are still in business and look forward to assisting them. Now, let’s get them to your table. Shall we?

Through the years, Simple Joy Designs has found that the following four strategies raise the amount of recognition and connection to your brand.

DOOR PRIZE Who doesn’t love to win a prize? Whether you give smaller items or discounts and coupons throughout the event or you have a large door prize to give at the end of the event, make it represent your business. Simple Joy Designs will assist in selecting just the right container to collect entries into your drawing. I design the entry slips enabling you to collect potential customer’s information and help build your email marketing list. If drawing multiple times during the event we can post when those drawings will be, even texting winners to come back to the booth to claim their prize. If most traffic for the event is local you may choose to announce your winner on social media, even including a Facebook live of the winner receiving their prize. Be sure the prize connects your business, the community and the winner. For example, you might give the winner an immediate, free product or a service from your business within a given time frame. I can design a gift basket with those products and discounts. Gift cards are great prizes too but make sure it will relate to business or perhaps you partner with another local business and you can help them out as well.

SWAG Everyone loves FREE stuff. Providing swag gifts can help you achieve lasting recognition in the homes and minds of all your visitors. I suggest two levels. Level one, consists of a small carry away that might include some miniature chocolates or piece of candy, a promotional pen or sticky-notes packet and a business card that lists your most popular products and services on the back with as much branding as possible. These level one swag items should be placed near your door prize container to encourage visitors to enter for the drawing. The level two swag should stay behind the booth with you. These items can be given as a token of appreciation when someone signs up or prepays or schedules with you. The level two swag might include a mini notebook or and a company themed calendar.

TABLE DISPLAY I highly suggest the use of a branded and eye-catching table skirt to attract interested parties. These are available both on the internet and locally. Use company colors and logo. If it’s not in the budget to have a printed table cover find a solid cloth in your company color and add accessories to help with branding. Add height to give more interest to the space. Move the tables with information to the back and sides of the space to encourage engagement. Use props that relate to your business. If the event has a theme, look for ways to incorporate that into your design.

SIGNAGE  Don’t forget signage. Not only does this identify your business but helps with name recognition in the future. This can be anything from a large banner to smaller tabletop signs. But it isn’t just for the company name. Use signs for information, everything from services provided to special sales events or an expo special offer. Never use handwritten signage. With a computer and a printer you can create labels for products, information and even pricing. Inexpensive acrylic frames and colored cardstock give you the ability to have a professional look on a small budget. Include your company’s values, photos of employees at work on a joint project, your company participating in a local charitable event and pictures of your product or service in action.

I hope this will help you present better at your next trade show or expo. You might also think about attending some other expo beforehand. Use that opportunity to sense what your potential customers might feel from the other side of the table. Contact Simple Joy Designs today for a consultation about how to up your game for your next event. And if you have the opportunity to stop by the Women’s Lifestyle Expo on September 7th, 10am – 4pm at the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center you can see how Simple Joy Designs presents at an event. Hope to see you there.