If you’ve made the clever decision to exhibit in one of our wedding shows, congratulations! You’re one step closer to connecting with engaged Twin Cities couples ready to book your business. The next step is deciding how you want to brand yourself at the event. Below, we tell you how to design an exhibit booth to convert leads into clients. Whether you’ve chosen a 10 X 10, 10 X 20, or 20 X 20 these tips will help you stand out!
Before diving into the planning process, it’s good to take some time to reflect on what you already have. Do you have branded signage and promotional materials? If so, how many? Do you need to order more? Do you need to have items designed and printed? Is there anyone you should contact to check on materials you may have access to? Make a list of what items you have and what items you need! In terms of signage, here’s what we consider necessities and add-ons to get you started.
– Main Sign
– Additional Branded Materials
– Table + Tablecloth
– Displays showing your products
– Business Cards
– Printed Materials (Basics + Promotional)
– A way to collect lead information
– The right people working your booth
– Electricity (if required)
– 10 X 10 Photo Banner
– Two 10 X 10 Photo Banners
– Custom Tablecloth
– Pop-Up Banner
– Ways to display printed materials
2. Review – Marketing Yourself
Let’s go over some of the details regarding these must-have items in your booth. More specifically, what should be included in your printed and promotional materials.
Large Print & Signage
Think of your booth as a billboard. When passing by, couples should be able to see who you are and what you do in a matter of seconds. As this may sound like an obvious statement, it’s often overlooked and an easy mistake to make. When it comes to signage, adding a tagline (or slogan) after your brand name is critical. This line should say exactly what you do. Start with what vendor category your business is and add what makes you stand out from others in the same industry. For example, “We are a boutique-sized venue for weddings of up to 100 people”.
Use the provided worksheets to test your booth branding.
Printed & Promotional Material
After the show, it’s common for couples to sit down and review what information they walked away from the show. When they empty the bag they walked in with and all the business cards, brochures, invites, etc., your printed material should be in this pile. Below is a sample example of some of the materials you can order as handouts!
Besides the basics, what information should be included in these tangible items? This is where to showcase what we call your “Top 3”.
- Your Best Seller: You know what you sell the most of — use that. This should be featured as it’s proven to be an easy and/or effective sale.
- New Promotions or Show Offers: Deals? Discounts? A reason to sign with you within X amount of time after the show?
Keep your timeline realistic when it comes to your show promotion turnaround. To assume a potential client will have the ability to sign a contract at the show is not an expectation you should have. These couples may be signing for hundreds or thousands of dollars. To read your contract, review and discuss the details, provide payment, etc. in the middle of a buzzing bridal show is not only stressful but also takes away your time that should be spent engaging with new leads. Recommended timeframe: Sign within one week to 2 months after the show.
3. What you need to sell: Everyone has that one item/product/service that they want/need to sell more of. Take advantage of this opportunity to mass market it to your target audience at the show.
Showcase Your “Why Us”
What sets you apart from your competition? Does your printed material include these items? Do you need more? Add what items you have or need to your list.
3. Lead Generation
You’ve decided how to design an exhibit booth and have reeled in a couple. Now it’s time to convert! First, prepare a conversational elevator pitch concisely and effectively describing your business. While at the show, the goal is to continue the conversation with a couple after the show. There are a handful of different ways to do this, check out the following options and see if any “T” is an option for you
Our top recommendation is to plan a post-show event and invite attendees during the show. Of course, the event details are completely up to you. However, we suggest an “open house” concept. Invite them to connect with you more extensively and dive deeper into the details.
Collecting Contact Information At The Show
This is an absolute must. While lists are available for purchase, this is the best way to collect your hot leads and know where you should focus your immediate efforts. An electronic option is best (as handwriting can be a mess). If you don’t have a tablet/computer/etc available, handwritten leads are better than no leads.
4. Finalize Your Plan
In Your Booth: Now that you know what items you are missing to complete your booth, it’s time to dive in. Create a plan for what needs to be done for your list to be completed. This could be anything from designing and printing to purchasing additional items. Regardless of what tasks are needed, identify what steps need to be taken to complete your “Must Have In Booth” list.
Marketing yourself: Do you need to create any content? Have you planned your post-show event? Do you have printed material for this event?
Lead Generation: Do you have a digital form set up? Do you need to order forms for attendees to hand write on?
Conversation: Who is going to be working at your booth? Two people are recommended per one 10 x 10 booth (no more than 3 people in one 10 x 10 booth). If you feel that you only need one person working your booth, this would be considered a red flag. Conversations should be consistent throughout the show if you’re engaging in one conversation, you will miss others if you are the only one working your booth.
Before the show, you should sit down and discuss talking points, conversation topics, and assign any specific tasks. Here’s are a few starter pieces to jump off off:
- Create 2-4 phrases to use when starting a conversation beyond the basics
- Create 3-6 phrases to have on hand
- Come up with questions you’re often asked and answers to them
Our Advice: Physical exhaustion is one thing, but emotional exhaustion is another. Often forgotten and not publicly recognized, your social battery plays a large part here. Allow yourself to recharge the night before so you’re mentally prepared for a full day of new faces and conversations.
Don’t overthink it! Put yourself in the shoes of those walking the show floor. Would you want someone bombarding you with a hard sales pitch at every corner? probably not. Keep the conversation light, read the individual and pitch the “T” when you can, give out print materials, and be yourself! Planning a wedding should be FUN for both the vendor and the couple.
In conclusion, here are the steps you’ll want to take when looking to design an exhibit booth that converts.
Make a plan and stick to it. Be sure to add a timeline to ensure any mishaps (be sure all printed material can be delivered before the show, the staff is available, etc).
5. At The Show
Once your setup is complete, be sure to take a photo of your completed booth before attendees arrive. When it comes time to follow up, include a photo of your booth to make recalling conversations easier for your future clients.
6. After The Show
Follow up with all leads to continue these conversations. Remember: a second conversation is the goal. If you don’t reach out to your leads, your lead conversion significantly lowers. To do a show and not reach out to those who provided their contact information is the biggest mistake you can make.
For the full worksheet rundown, download this PDF!