11 Feb 2014

Being Heard

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Branding | Events
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Being Heard In A Crowded And Competitive Environment  

Creating a Spectacle at Your Next Event

Setting yourself apart from others can be very intimidating.  Being heard in a crowded environment is not always simple, but if it helps get your message across to your target audience, you should do everything in your power to make it happen.

Below are some tactics to help standout from your competitors and other businesses at your next event. Whether it’s a tradeshow, fair, festival or corporate outing, you must think big and outside of the box to be heard.

Think about your promotional giveaways. Would you actually use it?

You’ve probably been to a tradeshow or an event and walked home with a bag full of branded items that you will never use.  Branded pens, hand sanitizer and stress balls with another companies name on it.  Sure, it works for some businesses, but let’s think outside of the box.  You don’t want people to throw it away immediately!  You want to provide potential consumers with something that they can actually use and think is cool. 

Now, you will need to pay a premium for a “special” branded item, but remember you want to create a good first impression and a lasting one for that matter.  Think outside the box and don’t be hesitant to spend a few extra bucks.  What about branded notepads, coasters, a beer mug, ear buds or Bluetooth speakers?  What would you like to receive?  Do your research and find something that’s unique.

Just think about it – if someone gave you free toilet paper, would you use it?  I know I would, and heck, talk about good branding!

So many people, so many people!

Working events for the past six years, I’ve learned that you MUST do something to help draw people into your booth.  People won’t just walk up to your table unless you have something inviting – like free candy.

Think about it – how many tables have you walked by because the event staff is just staring at you awkwardly or they are trying too hard to get your attention? 
On a side note (and in another blog to come…) if you are working an event  - don’t be too pushy!  Nobody likes it when someone is being “that sales guy/girl.”

Stepping out of the standard 10x10 footprint.   

Typically, you are given a 10x10 setup space when you are working a tradeshow or event.  Is it worth spending a few hundred dollars extra for a larger space?  Absolutely!  You don’t want people to feel all cramped when they enter your setup.  You want to create a warm, inviting atmosphere!

Getting people’s attention!

Drawing people into your booth can be difficult, but it’s much easier if you have a fun and creative way to do so. There are many tactics that can be used, so put your thinking cap on and get creative - the more out of the box, the better!

Here are a few fun ideas:

  1. Raffle Drum / Raffle Prizes:  Place your business card into the raffle drum and be entered to win an awesome prize. Be sure to choose a great prize such as an iPad, an iPod, an exclusive trip, or a Cash prize; etc.  People love money – trust me!  I mean really... who doesn’t?
     
  2. Entertainment:  This is easier than it sounds! Do you know a good magician, a juggler, or a hypnotist? Think about hiring someone to stand out front. Remember, you want to make a first impression, why not make it fun?
  1. Kids Activities:  Don’t forget about the kids!  Balloons, kids activities, face painting - you name it; if your child sees something fun to do they will stop by your booth.  If your child is entertained, this gives you plenty of time to give your sales pitch to their parents. 
  1. Product Sampling:  If you have a specific product to sample, I highly encourage you to spend the extra money to put your product into the hands of potential consumers – specifically those who may not be familiar with your brand.
  1. Set Design:  If you really want to set yourself apart from others and have a reasonable budget, spend some money on your booth setup.  You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on this either; there are many ways to be creative with your budget.  As mentioned earlier, the “first impression” is very important.  Why settle with a 6-foot table and two chairs.  Be bold.

These are just a few ideas.  There are so many things that you can do to help set yourself apart from others in an event space.  You will do just fine! Whatever you decide to do, remember to be genuine and be yourself.  Be a good listener.  Don’t sell, sell, sell.  Two-way engagement is key.  Oh no, this sounds like another good blog post to write about… until next time.