Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘Trade Show Marketing’

Modern Trade Show Booth Design & COVID Safety

July 8th, 2022 COMMENTS
Island Exhibit Designed for COVID-19 Safety Protocols

Perhaps no industry has been impacted by COVID more than trade shows and events. Restaurants switched to carry out and deliveries. Hotels and airlines still operated but with fewer customers. Trade shows and events came to a complete halt. This disruption impacted every segment of the trade show/event industry and the sales and marketing plans of tens of thousands of companies that attend or participate in face-to-face marketing.

The return of trade shows and exhibitions has meant new safety and health guidelines, not only for show organizers and convention centers but also for exhibitors.  At Classic Exhibits, our 3D exhibit designers have created trade show booth designs that address those safety concerns by implementing greater physical distance, traffic flow patterns, plex barriers, and easy-to-clean surfaces.

6 Modern Trade Show Booth Design Tips for Safety

No one knows precisely what to expect about trade show design guidelines, such as whether show organizers and convention halls will have specific requirements for exhibitors or if standard North American Regulations will be revised. But you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Here are some commonsense suggestions.

1. Hand Sanitizer: Let’s start with the easy one. Yes, there will be hand sanitizer solutions both in the exhibit hall and in booths. Regardless of the booth size. However, you still have choices other than sticking an off-the-shelf stand in your booth. Consider how it can be integrated into the overall exhibit flow and graphics. While it needs to be there (and conveniently located), it doesn’t need to be a visual focus.

Tip: Consider jazzing up your sanitizers with custom colors, vinyl graphics, and counter-mounted dispensers.

2. Social Distancing: This topic is complicated. For your exhibit designer, it will affect every decision in your booth. How does the designer position meeting rooms, presentation areas, and demonstration spaces to be both effective and safe? Will the exhibit have seating? If so, how far apart do you need to place the furniture? Some areas may require dividers, such as acrylic partitions. Some exhibitors may decide on a larger space to ensure social distancing. Others may elect to remove items like counters, workstations, and storage.

Tip: Schedule demos and presentations by appointment only. You’ll be able to manage the flow and create a buzz before the show even opens.

Island Exhibit Designed for COVID-19 Safety Protocols

3. Traffic Flow: Even before COVID-19, exhibit designers obsessed about traffic flow and the efficient use of space. Layer on safety and it’s gotten more complicated. Post-COVID exhibit designs may require more area segmentation allowing booth staff to meet with attendees away from other attendees. Think multiple workstations or counters with similar/duplicate information and functionality.

Tip: Consider a designated entrance and exit to your inline and island booth with one-way traffic flow.

4. Storage: We love to touch surfaces, fabric, and screens. That’s not about to change. And for many exhibitors the ability for customers to touch products or navigate through self-guided presentations is critical. However, those items will need to be sanitized throughout the show. Convenient storage of disinfectant sprays and wipes will make that easier and minimize visual clutter in the booth.

Tip: Just as important as cleaning supplies are waste baskets. Discuss with your designer how to integrate them into the look of your booth.

Island Exhibit Designed for COVID-19 Safety Protocols

5. Technology: Expect QR codes, scanners, augmented reality, motion sensors, and LED screens to be more common in trade show booths. These technologies limit or eliminate touching a surface and many, like QR codes, allow attendees to use their own devices to gather information. How about printed media such as brochures, product sheets, and catalogs? Those will be exclusively digital, and the smarter exhibitors will have solutions to present and send that information in real-time.

Tip: Most lead retrieval systems are designed to do much more than just capture an attendee’s basic information. You probably already knew that… but may not have tapped into those capabilities in the past.

6. Hybrid Design Solutions: For the first time, exhibitors and designers will need to consider both a physical and a virtual booth. Should they be identical? Not necessarily. It’s much more important that there’s a clear marketing plan that addresses your goals. For most exhibitors, the virtual and physical goals will be the same so the branding, media, presentations, etc. will be identical. However, other exhibitors may decide to present a different message or experience for their virtual attendee vs. physical one.

Tip: Want to save time and money? Treat your Exhibit Designer like a member of your team. The more information they have, the greater the likelihood they’ll hit the mark designing your virtual and physical booths.

Virtual Island Exhibits

Trade Show Booth Design: COVID-19 Preparedness & Safety Plan

Most large convention centers are now GBAC STAR Accredited. The GBAC STAR Accreditation Program is performance-based and designed to help facilities establish a comprehensive program for healthy spaces. This includes strategies for infection prevention and cleaning for health that promotes wellness for building occupants, visitors, staff, and their community.

The GBAC STAR Accreditation program relies on a 20-element quality management program, which encourages a system based on science. Supporting the use of proper protocols, correct disinfection techniques, and cleaning for health best practices.

An accredited facility has committed to having:

  • Established and sustained a cleaning program to enhance occupant health.
  • The proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques, and work practices to nurture occupant health and meet any biosafety challenges.
  • Knowledgeable cleaning professionals who are trained to uphold the highest standards of cleaning and building maintenance.

These facilities often mandate those same protocols for vendors, exhibitors, and attendees. Exhibitors would be wise to consider the GBAC protocols when designing their booth, working with vendors like show labor, and training their staff for the show. 

6 Safety-Conscious Booth Display Ideas & Examples

1. Rental Option A. Corporate events or meetings typically don’t have the same space limitations as trade show exhibits. Rental Option A is segmented into three functional spaces:  stage/presentation, demos using monitors, and self-service genius bars with iPad tablets. 

trade show booth design

2. Rental Option B. Option B balances seating, demos, branding, and workstations while using the space efficiently. The graphics are large without being intrusive and allow for movement and privacy. 

booth display ideas

3. Rental Option C. For many companies, private meeting space is essential. Option C includes two large meeting rooms, along with a comfortable central waiting area. There are also (4) double-sided workstations for individual presentations. 

Modern Trade Show Booth

4. MOD-1377 | Sanitizer / iPad Stand. Unlike the previous corporate meeting spaces, trade show exhibitors must maximize their booth. The MOD-1377 combines a hand sanitizer with an iPad stand and literature holders. This 3-in-1 approach makes it ideal for both inlines and islands. 

trade show booth design for safety

5. MOD-9002 Hand Sanitizer Stand w/ Graphic. A hand sanitizer without branding is like pie with ice cream. It’s OK but it’s so much better with both. The MOD-9002 has a small footprint and switching graphics couldn’t be easier.  

booth display ideas hand sanitizer

6. MOD-8036 | Flat Safety Dividers. Frankly, most safety dividers are ugly and fragile. Not the MOD-8036. The silver anodized frame along with etching and/or vinyl graphics elevates a simple divider into a tasteful barrier.

safety dividers modern trade show booth design

Buy or Rent a Modern Trade Show Booth with Classic Exhibits

Classic Exhibits has been designing and building trade show solutions since 1993. We’ve worked hard to win many design awards and love to challenge our team with new and innovative designs. We take great pride in keeping our team, customers, and community safe and look forward to helping you design a modern trade show booth that not only prioritizes safety but helps you exceed your trade show goals.

Explore Over 160 Exhibit Designs from Under $3000 to Under $75,000

November 30th, 2021 COMMENTS

With over 1500 designs, Exhibit Design Search can be intimidating for many exhibitors when searching for a new display. So we’ve created a convenient first step with our Under Sheets. These sheets feature 168 trade show exhibit designs from Under $3000 to Under $75,000.

Under Sheets — $3K, $5K, $9K, $15K, $25K, $45K, and $75K

Arranged in 14 pages, the Under Sheets are a good starting point for counters, portables, lightboxes, and island exhibits. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, the next step is exploring Exhibit Design Search based on your research to fully reveal the design possibilities available. Need assistance? Give us a call or send us an email whether you need a pre-configured design or something customized to fit your specific trade show marketing needs.

Trade Show Exhibit Designs Under $9000
Click to Download ALL 14 Pages
Trade Show Exhibit Designs Under $15,000
Exhibit Solutions Under $15,000
Trade Show Exhibit Designs Under $25,000
Exhibit Solutions Under $25,000
Trade Show Exhibit Designs Under $45,000
Exhibit Solutions Under $45,000

For Classic Distributors, the Under Sheets are unbranded which makes them perfect for email or social media campaigns. Simply add your logo and contact information.

Trade Shows…. Don’t Bother!

May 10th, 2021 6 COMMENTS
custom Exhibit

Trade Shows are Back!

Trade shows are back, and exhibitors are talking about new graphics, giveaways, and Las Vegas. I love the renewed excitement for trade shows… and to some extent, loath it. I get to hear exhibitors grumble about the cost of a display, poor leads, drayage, and their ROI. And, no matter how much we coach them, there’s always a few marketing managers who just don’t get it. They buy cheap, basic displays, don’t do any pre-show marketing, bring the wrong staff, and then take a cavalier approach to show leads. Their results suck, and they wonder why.

It’s not an age thing. Baby boomers are no better than Millennials, Gen X’ers or Gen Y’ers. So, let’s draw a comparison to other advertising. Would most marketers make these advertising choices?

blogheaderMarketing2

Magazine Ad:

1. So… the black and white ad is cheaper? Yes, I realize this is a glossy color publication, but B&W ads are  “artistic,” and I can run two for the price of one.
2. Thanks for the publication’s circulation numbers and demographics. No need to explain. I’ll review it later in my “reading” room.
3. My unemployed second cousin is designing the ad with a pirated copy of Illustrator. I’m paying him in pizza and PBR.
4. The sales team doesn’t need to see the ad. It’s their job to sell whatever we tell them to sell.
5. That B&W ad didn’t work. I’m not going to advertise there again. Stupid magazine!

Television Commercial:

Pasted image at 2016_01_12 01_40 PM

1. “Video Production for Commercials” [Google Search]. That first one looks just fine.
2. Concept storyboard? Nah! Creativity should be spontaneous!
3. Those 2-4 am slots are cheap. I can run the spots 6 times an hour.
4. Neilsen ratings? That’s for amateurs who don’t trust their “gut.”
5. That television commercial didn’t work. I’m not advertising with them again. Stupid TV station.

Online Banner Ads and PPC:

1. My admin assistant manages our banner ads and PPC. Ruthie — Don’t you handle that?
2. Of course, we have a Google Analytics account. I have the password around here somewhere.
3. $2.50 a click? No brainer. Here’s my credit card. How much could that possibly cost?
4. You saw my banner ad on what site? For what? Oh that’s bad. That’s really bad.
5. That online advertising and PPC didn’t work. I’ve canceled my accounts. Stupid Internet.

Social Media:

1. Blogging? Love it. I’ll post every day for the next year! Starting tomorrow.
2. Who doesn’t love cats and kittens? Let me share.
3. Aren’t LinkedIn and Facebook basically the same? I post the same stuff on both.
4. 75 Tweets today. Where did the day go?
5. That social media didn’t work. What a colossal waste of time. Stupid Social Media.

You get my point. Trade show marketing should be treated with the same intensity, analysis, and professionalism as every other form of marketing. For many companies, it can represent up to 40% of their annual marketing budget; yet, they often see it as a distraction, not an opportunity. If you don’t have time to become an expert, hire an expert. There are many trade show consultants who have devoted their careers to ensure their clients succeed at face-to-face marketing.

Stupid? Not if trade show marketing is done right.

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite

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Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or www.classicexhibits.com.

Recent “Sharpen Your Skills” Webinar Recordings

April 27th, 2020 COMMENTS

You Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Hand Sanitizer

Cindi Cody of Xzibits, Inc. and Leanne Roberts of Wanderlust Marketing take us on a fun and informative tour of new promotional products. They share advice on what’s available and what’s appropriate for the COVID environment. It’s not just hand sanitizer and masks. There are a lot more options.

For more information, contact Cindi at https://xzibits.com/ and Leanne at http://www.wanderlustmktg.com/.

Display Supply and Lighting | Design Time

In this interactive webinar, Rob Cohen discusses the newest products from DS&L and how they are being used by clients. You’ll discover how lighting can impact designs ranging from trade shows to TV studios and from corporate environments to architectural projects.

See the WOW that can help your customers stand out from the crowd and achieve their goals. For more information, see https://www.dslgroup.com/.

CORT | Top Event Design Trends in a New World

Kevin Dana, Executive Director of Merchandising and Product Development at CORT Events, reviews the top trends in event design for 2020 and how they will be influenced by the new realities of the trade shows, meetings, and events world in a post-COVID environment.

He discusses how design trends can be applied to promote a sense of well-being and help reduce anxiety when people begin to meet again.

See http://www.cortevents.com for more information.

Ask Emilie Barta | Practical, No Nonsense Advice about Virtual Events

Do you have questions about virtual and hybrid events? Of course you do! In this informal Q&A, virtual event expert, Emilie Barta, answers your questions with practical, no-nonsense advice on the pros and cons of virtual events. Just because your in-person event was cancelled, doesn’t mean you should replicate it online.

See http://www.emiliebarta.com for more information.

Don’t Get Tripped Up! | Trade Show and Event Flooring Trends from Brumark

Are you thinking outside the box when it comes to flooring solutions? There are so many customizable flooring solutions that it’s never been easier to make your space a creative destination for attendees. In this video, Brumark shows you how to use multiple stock products or printable materials to create unique, lightweight designs in a wide variety of colors.

Presented by Stephanie Cochran, Alec Pierson, and Blaize Wheaton. For more information about Brumark, see http://www.brumark.com.

The Three Biggest Secrets to Communicating with Marketing

In this recorded webinar, Lisa Apolinski from 3 Dog Write discusses “The Three Biggest Secrets to Communicating with Marketing (Even with Economic Uncertainty).” With the current economic crisis, effective communication with marketing is more important than ever.

This communication can either be as a strategic partner to discuss how to proceed with upcoming or rescheduled shows, or an informational communication letting you know what has been decided.

Get Help w/ Your Trade Show Marketing. Trust Me, You Need It!

December 9th, 2019 COMMENTS

topbanner

Do You Have a Plan? Probably Not.

Most trade show exhibitors don’t have a plan when it comes to exhibition marketing. They purchase a display, which they think is THE PLAN. Trust me. You need help! 

If you are reading this, you are probably a sales/marketing professional with a history of accomplishments. You got there by being persistent, creative, and organized. You rely on Act-On, Marketo, or HubSpot for automation. You use CRM software like SalesForce or Infusionsoft. You have a comprehensive email campaign strategy and track it with Constant Contact, Yesware, or MailChimp.

When you have challenging problems, you tap into consultants for lead generation, sales training, social media, and SEO. And, when it comes to advertising, you have a team dedicated to maximizing your spend and metrics. In this hyper-competitive marketplace, you need every advantage that money, strategy, and discipline can bring.

And Then You Wing It!

Do You Believe in Trade Shows? That’s not meant to be a loaded question. You either do or you don’t. There’s no middle ground because exhibitors who “waffle” when it comes to trade show marketing are mostly wasting their money.

That’s not to say that trade shows are the same as trade shows pre-Internet. They’re not. Trade shows are much more efficient than they used to be because most attendees no longer “walk” the floor. They “research” and “shop” the floor just like they would an online purchase. They’ve already decided which companies they’ll visit days, even weeks before their feet hit the aisle carpet. Getting them to your booth pre-show is more important now than luring them into your booth at the show.

stk313213rknDo You Believe in Metrics and ROI? Of course you do. Imagine conducted a sales/marketing meeting or presentation without metrics. You love numbers. You love studying and reciting them to others like parables from the Bible. You get visibly excited using a spreadsheet to compare the Toledo to the Albuquerque office.

But, when it comes to your trade show marketing, you are like a four-year old with blocks, relying on the # of leads to judge success. Sadly, you pat yourself on the back if the leads are electronic and not a roll of paper cascading off the counter. For most exhibitors, anything beyond that falls into quantitative voodoo. There’s no measuring costs per show, return on sales, or contribution margin per client.

Are You a Good Judge of People? You should be. It’s kinda required for anyone in sales and marketing. At every trade show, you are doing two things:  meeting with customers and suppliers and evaluating your trade show staff. Far too often, we are spectacular at the first and abysmal at the second. We view trade show staffing along the same lines as a wedding invitation — the more the merrier and we pray no one gets so drunk they puke in public. When we do hold staffers accountable, it’s condensed into a pre-show rally which includes 10 minute booth training. It’s a joke.

Are You an Expert in 3D Marketing? I won’t bother to feed your ego on this one. You aren’t an expert. Not even close. You may be an expert at banner ads or print advertising or closing techniques, but you probably don’t know squat about exhibit design and trade show marketing. How do I know? Experience working with exhibitors and walking shows. Now, don’t misunderstand me. You know marketing and you know sales, but you decided at some point to believe that trade show marketing is more of the same. It is and it isn’t, and you’ll blow a ton of money until you know what works and what doesn’t.

Take Some Advice from a Trade Show Professional

VK-5088aaI mean this literally. Take some advice from a trade show professional.

1. Work with your Exhibit House. Exhibit Houses and Distributors do much more than design and build exhibits. They work with exhibitors on strategy, show services, ROI tracking, booth training, etc. They see the painful mistakes that their clients make that cost them money and prevent them from succeeding at trade shows. Believe me . . . they want your trade show marketing to be wildly successful. That way you’ll add more shows to your schedule, you’ll purchase new exhibits, and you’ll tap into their services.

2. Work with Independent Consultants. Like any industry, the trade show industry has seasoned independent consultants who want to share their advice for a fee. Some are generalists. Others specialize in booth staff training or ROI measuring or social media marketing or lead generation or overall trade show marketing. They know their stuff. They are paid to know their stuff. Don’t know who they are? Ask your exhibit house or use this niffy tool called Google. That said . . . always get references and do your homework.

3. Become an Expert. You can either continue to whine or you can take classes at EXHIBITORLIVE. There are hundreds of classes each year on every imaginable topic related to trade shows and trade show marketing. The classes are a great place to meet industry professionals and share your successes and failures with colleagues. For such a big industry, it’s actually a very small community.

No one can know everything. And what’s true for marketing automation software or social media advertising is also true for trade shows. Know what you don’t know and for everything else, seek help.

Cheers!

–Mel White
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
mel@classicexhibits.com

**********************************************

Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or www.classicexhibits.com.