Without a doubt, talking face-to-face with your customers is the most effective way to deliver a clear product message. Sharing the benefits of your products or services in person allows you to both show and tell. And that personal connection makes it easier for people to remember your business.
But to make sure people visit your event booth, you first need to stand out. Eye-catching signs encourage people to stop by for more information. And a well-designed set of marketing materials supports your business before, during and after each conversation – provided the message is clear and consistent.
In fact, according to MarketingCharts, 71% of B2C and 64% of B2B marketers use events to educate customers, prospects and attendees about their products and services.
Among Vistaprint customers who attended an event in 2018, 77% shared business cards, 51% wore custom T-shirts, 49% attracted attention with banners and 48% handed out printed postcards.
Sharing a relevant message at events helps people get a clear understanding of your unique products or services. You can answer their questions and even give them a demonstration.
But remember, the messaging you use needs to be clear and consistent with every interaction people have with your business beyond events. When designed with a clear message in mind, your signs, marketing materials and website will pique people’s interest and encourage them to contact you to find out more.
1. Define the value your business offers
Before showcasing your business at an event, it's essential you can communicate the distinct value your products or services offer.
It’s a common belief that you have about seven seconds to make an impression with a potential customer. Events are challenging as there’s always a lot of activity and other vendors vying for attention. So, using a sign or trade show display that’s readable from a distance goes a long way to capturing people’s attention and introducing what you do.
Start by creating a one-sentence description that includes the name of your product and the problem it solves. Imagine someone is walking past all the vendor booths at an event. This sentence is the hook that makes them stop at your booth to find out more.
There's time to go in-depth after you've captured someone's attention, but it's essential to have a simple explanation of your product outlined first.
For example, Scrub Daddy is a popular cleaning sponge that featured on the well-known TV show, Shark Tank. It could be described with the following message at a trade show:
Scrub Daddy is a non-toxic sponge used for cleaning all kinds of mess as it changes textures whether you wet it with hot or cold water.
Write out a few different versions of your product message in this way ahead of the event to best communicate what you offer.
On the website, Scrub Daddy uses the following messages:
Scrub Daddy is soft, compressible and more absorbent in warm water.
In cold water, he’s firm and can remove stubborn debris without the need for added harsh chemicals.
Getting this down on paper helps you create compelling messages to add to your marketing materials.
2. Identify every interaction with your business
After refining and selecting your clear product message, narrow down the list of promotional tactics you'll use.
Too often, companies attempt to do it all. From giveaways and competitions to banners, flags, swag and more. Overextending the interactions people have with your business can lead to a lacklustre promotion and a muddled message.
Instead, choose three to four touchpoints to convey your product message in a compelling way.
Whether you're active at a pop-up shop, workshop, trade show, seminar or conference, define what your budget is and then decide what promotional materials will help you stand out.
For example, a florist showcasing their products would likely invest in a sign or banner, business cards and brochures for promoting their specific products at events.
In the case of Flora, the owner wants people to know that they can create floral bouquets for all occasions. So, it’s important to call that out on all the marketing materials.
Consistency across the touchpoints you've chosen is one way to stand out as a professional with a clear understanding of the value your product provides.
And remember, whether it’s booth signage, customised clothing and business cards, Facebook invitations or a website, try to look consistent wherever people find you, both online and off.
3. Design with your product message in mind
In the year ahead, 40% of companies plan to spend more on hosting events – making it essential for the design of your promotional materials to stand out from those of other businesses.
To deliver a consistent product message on different products, use the same family of fonts, similar graphics and a consistent colour palette across each touchpoint.
When choosing the font and colour palette to include on your promotional materials, they should reflect your brand values and the emotions you want the product to evoke.
If a product message is uplifting and creative, then branding your materials with a green-focused colour palette helps express those feelings.
Or, if the product and the message you're communicating is focused on strength, sophistication or tradition, consider using black to convey premium quality.
Being consistent and strategic with your marketing material design choices makes all the difference if you want to leave a lasting impression at events.
4. Define your key talking points
If you’re enlisting the help of other people, it's important that your whole team is consistent in how they talk about your products and their benefits.
Picking up a brochure is a great way to go into a product or service description in more detail. The visual clues you add can also help. You can then hand the brochure to the person you're speaking to so that they take the information away with them.
Here are a few tips to help make sure everyone at your stand communicates consistently:
- Provide everyone with talking points describing the high-level overview of the product, as well as more detailed aspects of how it's used.
- Practice discussing the product and the company to provide a better, more consistent experience to attendees at the event.
- Embrace these tactics to prepare and package your product message before an event to more successfully connect with potential customers.
And don't forget to share this resource with fellow business owners in your community looking to expand their presence at events in a meaningful way.
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