How To Build a Strong Brand With Your Trade Show Stand

The difference between a successful trade show and an unsuccessful trade show is one thing: brand identity. Good branding can make or break an exhibition stand. And an exhibition stand with a solid brand identity can do wonders for you business prospects. But how do you create a “brand” at your stand?

All successful business have strong brand identity. Good branding creates trust, interest and, importantly, loyalty. There are countless statistics that prove how brand loyalty is more important than bringing in new customers, for the majority of businesses. For example: it costs five times more to bring in new customers than to retain current ones; it is also three times easier to sell a new product to existing customers than to prospective customers.

Trade show attendees
photo credit: IAVM WHQ / Flickr

Attendees at a trade conference will often be experiencing your brand for the first time. Take charge of the moment and dazzle prospective clients or customers; and even your rivals. Your exhibition booth can make you a force to be reckoned with. Here’s how:

1. Brand logos – get in your customer’s eye line

You have to think like your customers. Will they need more images? A slogan to remember you by? Engaging with what attracts them, not just what is a priority for you, and understanding the difference, is key

Plastering the walls of your exhibition stand with with your logo and monicker, especially if your name corresponds with what you do as a company, will go a long way to help your brand stick in an attendee’s mind. At its basest, memory comes from repetition. Have your logo legible, everywhere and the repetition will ingrain it in your customer’s memories.

Of course, you have to get it noticed. Backgrounds can be ignored if they do just that, fade into the background. To catch your potential customer’s eye, or if you have limited space, target signage areas like: posters, flyers and business cards to display your logo or brand name.

2. Stand theme – use colour psychology

Though the psychology of colours evoking emotions is hazy at best, the importance of colour in marketing cannot be understated. A study found 90% of snap judgements about brands are based on colours alone.

Motorbike trade show girl
photo credit: Ilcello / Flickr

At a trade show or exhibition, quick judgements are paramount. Colours could make the difference between a wanderer walking up to your booth, or wandering on to the next stand. In terms of brand identity, consistent colours across adverts, brochures, posters, uniforms, name tags and everything else will make your brand stick in people’s minds.

You can create more muted or vibrant stands by using your brand colours either as your stand theme, or picking complimentary contrast colours to make it stand out more.

3. Staff – engaging and outgoing

One of the most important factors for trade show brand-building is your staff. The behaviour of those manning your stand is, as in any business, an extension of your brand. Engaging and happy staff make your brand more inviting. Equally, moody or reclusive, rather than outgoing, stand staff will be a hinderance to how your business is received.

Select team members to work your trade show stand who are confident talking about your brand, as well as comfortable approaching exhibition attendees. Timid staff won’t inspire people to approach you. But be aware of different “shopping” styles. Some prefer to browse and engage staff when their ready, others can be receptive to your staff making the first move.

4. Interactive technology – evolve the experience with gadgets

With recent developments in technology, interactive trade show stands will arguably become the new norm. REWIND, the VR agency behind flight simulators for Red Bull and a 360 degree video for Bjork, note that virtual reality production isn’t just associated with gaming anymore: it’s now fast transforming the marketing landscape. If you can afford it, and you want your company to be seen as cutting edge, or even just up to date, adding immersive aspects to your stand is a must.

Businessman tries Oculus Rift at digital event
photo credit: Manchester City Council / Flickr

But in a convention full of Oculus Rifts and Google Glasses you need to do something special to stand out. To keep your branding consistent, your interactive element has to be linked to your corporate identity. You can’t just throw a VR headset on a customer and expect them to care if the VR experience has nothing to do with your real world service.

Skyline Whitespace suggest using trade show technology that helps users get to know your brand is better than unrelated, flashy tech. Touch screens that allow visitors to explore your website or a digital version of your products gives more information, at your customer’s pace. You might also want to develop your posters or backdrops, making your logos interactive by adding QR codes to link customers to your app or website. These elegant interactive touches communicate that your brand is efficient and effective. Plus, mobile engagement makes it easier for potential customers to save your information for later recall.