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Be Unforgettable - Ten Steps to Trade Show Success

As life begins to return to- dare we say it- the “new normal” and events start to become a reality once more, it’s essential to differentiate yourself from everyone else.

After almost two years of online interactions, meetings, webinars and an overload of screentime, it is finally time to get back out there to in person events. It has been a long awaited journey and something which we at ZOMA are absolutely ecstatic about! The fatigue from Google Meets is real, it served us well we can’t deny that but we’re ready to get back out and meet our clients and showcase what we do best. Aside from making sure that we keep on top of changing restrictions, adhere to rigorous safety rules and make sure that anyone we interact with feels completely safe and comfortable with the new peak levels of socialisation, we have a priority- to stand out from the crowd.

Our first in-person exhibition was on the 9th March at Biz Connect by SFA Ireland in the Aviva Stadium. The atmosphere was electric, the discussions were insightful and there was an infectious enthusiasm among all participants and visitors to be back to physical interactions. With an increasing number of marketing events on the horizon and the ZOMA calendar filling up fast, we wanted to come back with a bang and it’s safe to say that our stand certainly made an impression.

As we look ahead to our upcoming events for 2022, here are our top tips for getting noticed:

1. Be Unmissable

Using design as a differentiator and throwing in a visual asset are among the recommendations for standing out from the competition. At ZOMA we like to be different. From our casual attire to our active approach to marketing, we are a team that doesn’t fit the stereotypical mould. In a sea of exhibitions, being unique has never been so important. We know that we can provide professional and creative services to customers and we’re well able to talk but amongst multiple other stands, it is essential that people are drawn to come and chat. At the end of the day, a trade show exhibit is simply another tool for helping a company tell its brand story and that’s what we did!

Make sure you have a booth that stands apart from the competition - using design as a differentiator.

2. Interact with Everyone

No doubt you have been planning for weeks or months, working extra hours to make sure every little detail is right and up at the crack of dawn to travel to the event or get set up, but the hard work has only just begun. Once the exhibition starts, that is when you truly need to be switched on. Interact with every single person you meet as if they are the most important person you will engage with that day. You never know who could be a new lead, who might spread the word about your product or service offering or who might just need some advice or a friendly face. You represent your business and its values. As much as we love a stand out display, at the end of the day, how you interact with others is what you’ll be remembered for.

3. Be Open to New Ideas

In the world of marketing, adapting to the rapid rates of change is something we are well used to. We constantly need to be ready to react to new trends and adopt new technologies or techniques. The same applies to events. What worked at one event won’t necessarily be effective in another. Being open to new ideas is imperative. Keep a close eye on what others are doing, be open to any suggestions that come your way and engage your entire team in planning for the exhibition, you never know what insight you can gain.

4. Know Your Audience

Firstly, consider what type of people want what you have and what you can offer them that makes you different from everyone else. Consider your audience or audiences carefully. What’s your key message or messages and how do you communicate this clearly? Promote your presence at every opportunity, whether it's grabbing a coffee or taking a quick break, use every chance to network and direct people to your stand.

5. Stay True to your Business Values and be Transparent

As much as we recommend scoping out the competition and getting inspiration from neighbouring stands, transparency is key and you need to stay true to the essence of your business, not the exhibitor’s next store. We are a dynamic and vibrant brand agency and that is what we want to showcase to anyone passing by. Creativity and ambition are at the heart of our team so you will find us passionately promoting our brand at a stand that you cannot miss. Whatever presence you choose, make sure it reflects your brand and everything you stand for.

6. Seek Sustainability Wherever Possible

An estimated 100 billion business cards get produced annually and within one week of receiving a business card, almost 90% of them are thrown away! For us a recent addition to our pockets are our new V1CE contactless business cards. Not only are they more convenient, they massively reduce the waste of having hundreds of paper business cards and allow you to transfer your information directly to someone’s phone where they will be much more likely to find it when they go searching. Another win for the environment (and your bank account), unlike paper cards, the V1CE cards can be easily updated in real-time and allows you to share far more than just your contact information, meaning you can update the information you share depending on the event or the type of customer you want to meet. Oh and another thing- you can custom design your card- another way to stand out from the crowd!

7. Demonstrate your Success from all Angles

Use every opportunity to demonstrate how your business works and what you can do for a potential customer. In addition to verbally selling your product or service, show the proof of what you have achieved through previous customer successes and statistics. This could be in many forms including leaflets, annual reports, customer testimonials or graphics. Data has shown that 65% of sales will come from existing customers so use those testimonials or impressive statistics at every opportunity to boost your brand credibility!

8. Provide Snacks (or a freebie people want)

You as an exhibitor need sustenance to keep the adrenaline pumping and visitors to your stand may need a boost to keep engaged. Providing a little incentive to visit your stand can encourage people to come say hi and can even be a conversation starter. Our office is always supplied with protein snacks and we want to share the love. You might have an alternative freebie you can offer but either way they can increase awareness of your brand and may lead to people spreading awareness of your presence. Let's face it everyone loves a freebie!

9. Seize the Opportunity for Content

Not everyone will be lucky enough to have a talented videographer on their team, but hiring one for the day is an optimum way to capture some worthwhile content. With research by Hubspot showing that more than 50% of customers want to see video content from brands, a trade show is the ideal opportunity to get creating. If that’s not within your reach, make sure to record some clips or take some pictures yourself throughout the day. The people behind the brand are vitally important and customers or potential leads will love to see how you interact with others and how you impressed at the exhibition.

10. Debrief with your Team

There is always room for improvement! Regardless of how successful you think your trade show experience was, analyse how everything went, sales leads and social media engagement to help enhance your performance at the next event. Most importantly, follow up with anyone who has given you their contact information. Be determined without being aggressive and reach out to potential new leads.

So have a stellar stand, chat to absolutely everyone you meet, constantly adapt, do your research, be transparent and provide relevant freebies, is that all we hear you ask?

Yes we know it’s a lot but you can’t stand out without hard graft. Trust us, if you put in the work and planning that debriefing will run all the more smoothly!

Keep an eye on our page for our upcoming Trade shows!


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