9 Trade Show Booth Design Ideas to Delight Visitors [Infographic]

Social media may have transformed the way that brands and customers engage with one another, but trade shows persist as a cornerstone of face-to-face marketing. And precisely because so much brand interaction has been digitalized, the potential for trade shows to create a meaningful and memorable brand experience has only become greater. 

One of the greatest benefits of participating in trade shows is that attendees, simply by virtue of deciding to be there, are incredibly receptive to your message. A striking design is arguably the most important factor when it comes to attracting these open-minded, warm leads into your booth.

But standing out in a crowd of competitors is no easy task. While more traditional, tried-and-true booth design schemes that consist of a graphic backdrop, spandex table covers, and a few banner stands may be the best option for traditionally conservative industries, the trends in trade show booth design have in recent years taken a turn for the stunning and creative. Trade show attendees are increasingly expecting more from the exhibits they visit, and a well-designed booth space plays a decisive role in all of these expectations.

Effective trade show booth design ideas serve to do a lot more than just look good. They are the backdrop against which an entire brand experience can unfold. From the first encounter, to interacting with your staff, to leaving your booth with a goodie bag, your trade show booth design can either enhance or detract from a visitor’s experience every step of the way. Engineering your exhibit to be both attractive and functional, both unique and on-brand, may be the single most important project you undertake to make your brand’s next trade show appearance worthwhile.

Looking for some trade show booth design ideas? The following graphic offers nine creative trade show booth design ideas that are eye-catching, versatile, and sure to impress:

Author Bio:

Joseph Robison is the Marketing Manager at Coastal Creative, a large format printing company based in San Diego that specializes in designing stunning trade show booths and branded spaces. He is also the founder of Green Flag Digital, an SEO and digital marketing consultancy.

40 Event Marketing Statistics

Want the executive summary? Download the infographic here.

Business is changing at the speed of light. As marketers, it seems like every time we feel like we’ve mastered a new strategy, a new one emerges. Advances in modern technology drive marketing organizations at a fast pace. But, just because more and more people are adopting new technology, it doesn’t mean that one-to-one contact is gone. In fact, most of the technology that we create is intended to give businesses the opportunity to automate administrative tasks to make room for more person-to-person contact.

Marketing events are a great way to engage in one-to-one contact. Multi-day conferences, trade shows, conventions, seminars, thought-leadership workshops…these are all great examples of event marketing. They give businesses the chance to interact with consumers who are already 10 steps closer to purchasing, just by the simple fact that they are at the event in the first place.

Perhaps you are trying to decide if your business should invest in event marketing. Maybe you have already started exhibiting at events and you just want to learn more about them. Or perhaps you are a seasoned exhibitor who’s just looking for a few good stats. Either way, you are in luck! We have rounded up 40 important statistics that help shed light on event marketing for business-to-business (B2B) companies.

Why do Companies Invest in Event Marketing?

  • 63% of marketers use tradeshows as a form of lead generation (source)
  • 79% of US marketers actually generate sales using event marketing (source)
  • 81% оf trаdе ѕhоw attendees hаvе buуіng аuthоrіtу (source)
  • 77% of marketers use experiential marketing as a vital part of a brand’s advertising strategies (source)
  • 52% of business leaders say event marketing drives more ROI than any other marketing channel (source)
  • 48% of event attendees say face-to-face interactions are more valuable today than two years ago (source)
  • It takes an average of 4.5 calls to close a sale without an exhibition lead, and only 3.5 sales calls to close a sale with a lead from an exhibition (source)
  • 73% of B2B marketers say events are better than other tactics for customer engagement (source)
  • The three most commonly used B2B lead generation strategies are email marketing (78%), event marketing (73%), and content marketing (67%) (source)

Strategies

Businesses around the world are investing in marketing events. Here’s how those strategies are affecting budgets and goals.

  • Annually, companies spend about $24 billion on exhibiting at events (source)
  • The top three event marketing goals are to increase sales (83%), increase brand awareness (73%), and to enhance product knowledge (53%) (source)
  • Events occupy 14% of budgets, which is the largest share of B2B marketers’ budgets. (source)
  • B2B companies spend 29% of their marketing budgets on events, on average, versus 19% for B2C companies (source)
  • 91% of event professionals stated that increasing engagement at their events was an important priority for their organization (source)

Event Lead Management

Managing the leads from your event is only part of a robust event lead management strategy. An event lead management solution should not only assist you in capturing your lead, but also in properly managing the data, enabling you to follow up quickly, and helping you track ROI.

  • 17% of respondents still use spreadsheets to store information on their leads. (source)
  • Just 6% of marketers believe their company converts trade show leads, contacts and conversations into customer business extremely well, although 27% feel they do so moderately well, and another 41% feel they’re getting better (source)
  • 14% of marketers plan to integrate marketing automation with their events and only 7% currently do (source)
  • 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first (source)
  • The top benefits for event technology adopters are: improved ability to track and measure their events (40%), increased process productivity (31%), and a better attendee experience (30%) (source)
  • 76% of marketers say their event and experiential marketing initiatives are integrated with their other marketing campaigns (source)
  • 22% of brands do not have a way of measuring their events (source)
  • 91% of event planners say that adopting a mobile event app has provided a positive ROI (source)
  • The top 5 metrics marketers feel are best for quantifying event value are: new referrals and introductions; quality and quantity of leads; deal closure; value of sales; and upsell and cross-sell opportunities. Yet, only 34% use those 5 metrics to assess trade show and event ROI (source)

Looking into the Future

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated conventions and events are expected to expand by 44% from 2010 to 2020 (source)
  • 40% of marketers say they’ll increase spending on hosted events in the year ahead (source)
  • Companies are spending on event marketing at a growing rate, with 54% boosting their event activity over the past three years, and only 17% cutting back (source)
  • 43% of marketers believe the value of face-to-face interactions will continue to increase over the next 2 years (source)
  • 85% of executives say the number of exhibitions will stay the same or increase over the next several years (source)
  • 75% of marketers believe that in the upcoming years, live events will become increasingly important to their organization’s success (source)

Conclusion

You get the picture, right? Event marketing holds a significant position in the future of growing businesses. It’s never too early to start mapping out your strategy – whether you are a seasoned event marketer, or you plan on trying it out for the first time. Below is an infographic that summarizes all of these important stats. 

Luckily, we have many resources to help companies make the most out of their marketing events. Here are a few we think you might like:

And, to learn more about our enterprise-level Event Lead Management solution, click here.

Creative Strategies for Your Next Trade Show or Marketing Event

Want the executive summary? Download the infographic here.

Looking for creative strategies to use at your next trade show or marketing event? Look no further! We’ve gathered lots of ideas that can help you before, during, and after an event.

Before an Event

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

Planning for an event is the most important part of your process. If you don’t get the right tools in place, you’re bound to make mistakes.

  • Do your research and see what your biggest competitors’ booths look like. Track competitors in your CRM so that you know if any competitors stopped by your booth.
  • Invest in a great display, so that prospects will want to invest in you. If your display looks pathetic, so will your company.
  • Send 1:1 emails and offline marketing pieces, such as direct mail, ahead of time offering people a chance to schedule a meeting at your booth.
  • Send a marketing email (or a series of emails) announcing your presence at the event and what you’ll be showcasing. Offer educational content in these emails to establish yourself as a thought leader at the event.
  • Send a reminder email (or text, if possible) to stop by your booth.
  • Engage with conference attendees prior to the event – ask for attendees to vote on what swag they’d like best. This is a great excuse to reach out to attendees and an easy way to get them to engage. Lists of registered attendees can usually be found by contacting the event manager.
  • Speaking of swag, reconsider your definition of swag. A few ideas are: headphones, socks, or a free t-shirt with a offer for a free beer if they are seen wearing it to networking parties after the convention.
  • Post to all of your social media accounts. Choose a different image or message for each platform to keep readers’ attentions and reduce redundancy.
  • Consider how you’re going to capture leads at the event (badge scan, business card transcription, upload registrants, manual form fill, etc.). Some event lead management solutions offer all of these!
  • Do all of these things in your marketing automation platform to track key engagement prior to the event. Find one that does it all.
  • Extra Tip: Ensure consistent lead follow up by setting up an automated process to segment, tag, distribute, and follow up with those leads. Create a nurture campaign in your marketing automation platform to distribute leads, assign tasks call tasks, follow up with educational content, and more. (LL)

During an Event

You already believe in your product or solution. Now, it’s time to show off! Make sure you’re the star of the show.

  • Keep your display clutter-free. Don’t distract visitors. Clean lines and a simple, sleek design allows your message (and the experience) to play center role.
  • Don’t list features on your banners. Keep your message simple. Answer “How will your product make their lives easier? What makes you better than your competitor? What problem does your product solve?”
  • Host a wireless charging station at your booth with a fun activity, or snack, for people waiting.
  • Place devices in front of your booth and run them as a kiosk for leads to self-service (watch videos, submit an inquiry to learn more).
  • Use an event lead capture app, such as Lead Liaison’s GoCapture!™, for all representatives to use in place of outdated badge scanners. (LL)

After an Event

Evaluate & measure ROI. This is key to growth and future success.

  • Evaluate your process. What worked? What didn’t? Did your team run into any issues? Did your technology support your properly?
  • Measure ROI of your event using Cost Per Prospect (CPP), Revenue Generated, and overall ROI metrics. Some event lead management solutions offer an Events Dashboard to compile and report these key metrics, which makes things really easy.

Hopefully you picked up some great tips today. We’ve included this infographic below for you to download and/or share with your colleagues. And, if you’re interested in our home-grown event lead management solution, request a free demo here.

Infographic: Post-Event Lead Nurturing Strategy

Want the executive summary? Download the infographic here.

Marketing events can be a very costly effort. There’s the booth rental, the booth design/display, travel and expenses for your employees working the booth. Service costs like electricity, cleaning, or wifi can sneak up on you. Badge scanners are expensive (have you looked into other options?).

I think you get my drift: marketing events cost a lot of money. Return on investment (ROI) is paramount. Once your team has captured hot leads at an event, you should be prepared to follow up with those leads quickly and effectively. There’s no time to waste – don’t let your competitors beat you to the punch.

We are often asked for examples of how a business can (and should) nurture leads post-event. Below is an infographic that examines a tried-and-true post-event lead nurturing strategy. 

Technology to Support Lead Nurturing Strategy

The first step in determining your post-event lead nurturing strategy is to make sure you have the technology in place to automate it. Don’t count on these things being done manually – it’s just not realistic. Companies are busier than ever these days, usually with multiple people wearing multiple hats – stretched thin. There’s also tons of room for distraction at (and after) marketing events. The more administrative tasks you can automate, the better. Let your employees spend their time building relationships and making connections.

There are lots of options out there, but we recommend a wholistic approach. Look for technology that works together, so you don’t have to spend time exporting and importing. For example, our event lead management solution allows businesses to create and customize lead capture forms, prepare intelligent post-event workflows, quickly capture leads onsite, instantly sync with a CRM, and then place them into those previously mentioned workflows. No additional technology is needed.

Of course, we love our solutions. But, there are lots of options out there! Just make sure you have something in place to be able to effectively execute your plan.

Lead Management Strategy – Instant Tasks

Create a list of all the actions you want to take once you’ve captured the lead’s information, and separate them into groups based on the time of the outreach. Here are a few examples of what you might want to do instantly:

  • Tag the Prospect with the Event Name
  • Add the Prospect to the Event Leads list
  • Assign a grade or score to the Prospect based on your ideal buyer criteria
  • Distribute the lead (Prospect) – based on round-robin, geography, or product interest
  • Sync the Prospect Record with your CRM

Side Note – Lead Scoring vs. Lead Grading

Let’s talk more about lead score versus lead grade. You may want your reps to call a Prospect if their score is high and their grade is high. Or maybe just one or the other. To make that determiniation, you should know the differences. 

Lead scoring is a way to measure engagement, and it happens over time. Even before your event, a Prospect may have already been to your website, scanning a few of your webpages, which would increase their score. It will continue to increase as they continue to interact with your website or your content.

On the other hand, grading is a way to measure how well a Prospect matches your ideal buyer criteria. Your reps can qualify and assign a grade onsite at the event. With our event lead management solution, reps can collect lead data quickly and either grade them in the moment, or they can go back later and grade them when they have a lull in booth traffic.

Lead Management Strategy – Starting Your Nuture

Once those organizational actions have been completed (usually within seconds), what do you want to do next? Let me answer that for you…you want to follow up. Insidesales.com conducted a study that found 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. That means that the timing of your follow up matters.

If at all possible, reach out to your leads within an hour of them visiting your booth. A great example of this kind of outreach is with a text message. If you’re capturing a lead’s mobile phone number, use your marketing automation platform to send a text message saying, “Hi Jane, it’s Bob. Thanks for stopping by our booth! We’ll be in touch soon – but in the meantime, here’s my number if you have any questions…” That is sure to make your company stand out.

24 Hours Later

Send an email. Even though you already sent a text message, send an email 24 hours later. Give your Prospect time to filter through messages from other booths, but not enough time that they forget who you are. Remind them of a product feature that sets you apart from other exhibitors at the trade show.

Pivot

At this point in the game, you may want to consider customizing your lead nurturing strategy based on the previously mentioned lead score and/or grade (depending on what matter most to your business) and how the Prospect interacts with your outreach or content. Your marketing automation platform should have the capability of customizing the workflow using this kind of criteria. If the lead score is high, assign a task to a rep to make a call. If it’s low, continue to nurture via email.

Don’t disqualify leads with a lower score or grade. They may be hesitant because they are taking this decision more seriously. Offer a piece of educational content, like an infographic or a case study. Try to be their source of education in the industry, so they begin to see your company as a thought leader.

If they download the content, you may want to pivot further based on that. If they downloaded it, offer another link to an informative blog post with a powerful call-to-action (CTA). Make the decision to reach out to you easy.

If they didn’t download the content, perhaps they need the same information as the lead above, but rather they need it summarized within the email itself to reduce effort. Include your CTA within the email itself, to make it even easier.

In Summary

Continue nurturing your Prospects for several weeks until they are ready to buy, or place them into your newsletter list so that you can continue your educational content without being too pushy.

It’s all about creating a sense of authority and innovation within your industry. Those that actively attend trade shows, conferences, or other marketing events are not passive. They are engaged, and their presence at an event will make them hyper-aware of you and your competitors.

If you decide to exhibit at an event, be prepared to make it count. Here’s an infographic that you can save for when the time comes. And, good luck!  

Decision Guide: Comparing Pros and Cons of Badge Scanners vs Mobile Apps

Want the executive summary? Download the infographic here. 

It’s time to prepare for your upcoming trade show, but lately you’ve heard a lot about new mobile apps that allow you to forego the pricy badge scanners and use your own devices. It sounds intriguing, but you’ll need to know a little more before making the jump.  

We’ve rounded up the pros and cons of badge scanners vs mobile apps. Really, what you’re comparing is a standard lead retrieval system that captures basic information that attendees provide to the event host, versus a customizable, enterprise-ready event lead management system that can empower you to actually do something with those leads post-event.

Badge Scanners

Pros

  • Contact and rental info may be easier to find as most trade show organizers partner with lead retrieval companies who promote their solution.
  • Proven and reliable.
  • Badge scanners are fast. Scanning takes mere seconds.
  • Builds a list of contacts.

Cons

  • Managing and distributing leads after the event is a manual and time consuming process, and it could take days to retrieve your lead list.
  • There is only one way to capture a lead (by scanning a barcode). You’ll lack the ability to have multiple sources of integrated lead capture (like a kiosk for when your sales team is tied up with other attendees).
  • There is no qualification – unless you count your salesperson’s scribble on the printout from the badge scanner. Hopefully, he remembers all the notes he meant to write down!
  • You have to go through the process of renting and setting them up for each event.
  • They are expensive (ranging from $200 to $500 per device). Some might also require internet, which is another expense.
  • They are bulky and can get misplaced.
  • Limited ways to respond to leads, if at all.
  • No GDPR compliance options.
  • No control over entire experience.
  • No lead enrichment.

Mobile App

Pros

  • Leads are captured and in your possession instantly. This results in instant replies, instant lead routing, instant flow through your business process. And apps usually integrate directly with enterprise CRM and marketing automation systems.
  • Less setup & more options. Once you select your mobile app, you don’t have to keep going through the process for each trade show. You don’t have to set it up each time, outside of connecting your Media Kit. And, you’ll benefit from multiple lead capture methods, such as business card transcription, pre-registration, manual submission, and badge scanning.
  • Integration & automation makes it easier than ever to show a clear ROI for the tens of thousands of dollars spent on trade shows. Depending on the martech you integrate with, you should be able to easily track which leads actually convert to sales.
  • Sales and marketing staff can use their own mobile device instead of carrying around a bulky scanner.
  • Works offline, eliminating the need to rent internet which could cost 100s of dollars. You have complete control over the experience with your event visitors and managing leads internally.
  • Mobile apps are usually more current. For example, some mobile apps (like ours) offer GDPR/Privacy Management compliance options.
  • Consistent user experience as sales reps and marketers manning the booth only have to learn one system.
  • Leads are automatically enriched with social and demographic information.
  • Automation, automation, automation – mobile apps allow for immediate qualification, scoring, and follow up utilizing the integration mentioned above

Cons

  • There’s some legwork that needs to be done when choosing a mobile app solution provider. But keep in mind, you only have to do that legwork once.
  • You still have to purchase a “Media Kit” in order to activate badge scanning using a mobile app. These usually run around $500. That’s still significantly less than purchasing internet PLUS a badge scanner for each person.
  • Mobile lead capture apps are typically priced as a monthly subscription, so if you’re not going to a lot of trade shows, it may not be worth it. There may also be limitations on how many shows you can do or how many salespeople can use the app at one time.

Take Away

Using an event lead management system will reduce the amount of headache collecting leads during an event and managing leads after an event, while badge scanners are more convenient to rent prior to an event. Clearly define your goals, and if you go with a mobile trade show app, find one that integrates well with your martech.

To learn more about Lead Liaison’s mobile app, GoCapture!™, or our entire Event Lead Management soltuion, click here.

Plus…

We put together this infographic with the key points from above. Feel free to print and hang this at your desk, or pass along to your colleagues.

Badge Scanners vs. Mobile Apps

Badge Scanners vs. Mobile Apps

event strategy

Event Strategy: How to Properly Manage Leads from a Trade Show or Other Marketing Event

Want the executive summary? Download the infographic here.

Does your company do marketing events, like trade shows or conferences? Whether you’re just dipping your toe into marketing events, or you’re a seasoned pro, it doesn’t hurt to learn more about how to perfect your event strategy. When preparing for an event, there are two main focuses: getting your “gear” ready for the show, and setting up a process for managing the leads you get from that marketing event. We’ll save the “gear” topic for another day…today we’re thinking about LEADS!

What do marketing and sales always have in common? The answer: leads (duh). Marketing teams generate leads, and sales teams pursue them. Marketing events, and the like (conferences, trade shows, etc.) are incredibly effective ways to generate leads. But there’s often a lot of prep work that goes into these events.

The first step in planning for a marketing event is to come up with an event strategy, which should include a well-thought-out lead management process. Without this, you risk losing a lot of potential leads – leads who have seen your booth, spoken with your sales rep, and shown real interest in your solution. What a waste that would be! Here’s our guide to coming up with the perfect lead management process as a part of your overall event strategy:

Do Your Research

Find an event lead management strategy that works best for your business. Do you prefer to just order a lead scanner and do the rest manually? Or, do you prefer to use a lead capture app that already integrates with the rest of your marketing and sales technology (ex: marketing automation platform and CRM)? We prefer to use our lead capture app, GoCapture!™, as it integrates seamlessly with our marketing automation platform and our CRM. We can easily connect the dots between our event-specific marketing campaigns and the end results. We can also customize our forms so that we capture all of the information that we want/need, and we have limitless options for lead capture (not just badge scanning!).

Map Out Your Lead Management Process

Meet with your team (marketing AND sales) and lay out a plan for how you wish to follow up with your leads. A quick text saying, “Thanks for stopping by our booth!” goes a long way – especially considering the amount of email follow-ups those folks will probably have the next morning. Are there any special offers or messages that you should incorporate into your follow-up? Get to the drawing board (quite literally, if you have to!) and map out how you will nurture those leads (your “nurture campaign”). Part of a thorough event strategy is making sure that everyone is on board and knows what kind of messaging that lead will receive.

Here are a few things you’ll want to consider, when laying out your post-event lead nurture:

  • Determine the proper lead score for this event and incorporate that into your post-event lead nurture plan. Either manually, or automatically if you’ve got the technology, add that number to Prospects’ overall scores.
  • Ensure proper lead distribution. Many marketing automation platforms will allow you to automate your lead distribution based on specific rules, or round-robin. Make sure everyone is on the same page about how those leads will be distributed so there is no confusion later.
  • Incorporate omnichannel marketing in your nurture campaign. Sure, emails are great – of course those should be included. But text are powerful, postcards are unique, and handwritten letters give a personal touch.
  • Set up your post-event nurture in your marketing automation platform prior to your event, so that once that lead is captured, it is automatically tagged, segmented, scored, and placed into an automation.
  • Keep in mind that you can usually clone your nurtures (aka automations). Put the proper legwork into creating a killer nurture campaign, and then rest easy knowing you just have to edit a few minor things (like event name, etc.) next time around.

Train Your Team

Okay, now back to your event strategy: Don’t assume that your sales reps (or other team members attending the event) are up to date on lead capture technology. Although there will probably be some complaining, try to get your reps into a room to refresh them on the process or train them on new tech. If you are using an event lead management app, you can have your reps install it on their devices (or the company’s devices) ahead of time so they can get some real-life practice.

You want your sales team to be on board with your process. If they are not, you maby be less successful than you could be.

Ensure Attendance

More often than not, trade show organizers will provide an email list of people who plan to attend an event. Put some thought into your plan for encouraging attendance at your booth and start building those relationships early. Gone are the days when attendees just show up and wander around. With more and more millennials attending trade shows, conferences, and other live marketing events, we find that attendees are doing more research ahead of time so that they know who they want to visit and can plan accordingly.

Make it easy for them; properly distribute and advertise your location and booth number through marketing emails, social media, and 1:1 communication (like Lead Liaison’s Sales Enablement). And don’t forget to include past attendees in your communication (based on location).

In Summary

Marketing events can be costly, so it’s important to ensure you are getting the most out of it. Properly managing your leads is essential. Include team members from both sales and marketing through as much of the process as you can, so that everyone is on board with (and will follow through with their part of) “the plan.” Below is a quick graphic you can print out and stick on your desk, so that you’re ready for trade show season!

Event Strategy: How to Properly Manage Leads from a Marketing Event

The Most Important Email Marketing Elements For 2016 (Infographic)

This article was posted as a Guest Blog Post by our affiliates at OnBlastBlog.com 

Let’s get one thing straight: email marketing is not dead, nor is it dying. It is still one of the most effective means of generating leads and conversions for a business. The old ways may have died, but there are new elements rising into the spotlight that change how we look at our email campaigns.

Today I’ll share several of the email marketing elements you should be using in 2016, followed by an infographic filled with the latest strategies that you can implement into your next campaign.

Today’s Top Email Marketing Trends and Strategies (Infographic)

You should start by avoiding the most common email marketing mistakes. Now, let’s look at some of the most important elements in any modern strategy:

  • Marketing automation such as drip campaigns and triggered message series are becoming more important to manage and nurture leads.
  • Segmenting your email lists based on a variety of factors (such as whether they’ve purchased or not) will ensure that your emails are personalized and relevant to each category.
  • Provide timely and relevant communication that addresses their needs.
  • Offer exclusive content they can’t get any other way.

Email marketing is a powerful tool in the right hands. Check out the infographic below for a closer look at today’s top strategies and let us know how it helps you in the comments!How to Send out Emails Like a Professional