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By Dylan Cooper

Standing out in a crowded convention center surrounded by your competition requires making a memorable and brand-heavy impression. LKF enjoys helping clients from a variety of industries to do just that at trade shows around the country.

In our 30 years of business, we've learned quite a few tips of the trade - no pun intended. We're happy to share our guiding principles for developing engaging and informative trade show experiences with you along with anecdotes from Glen Dimplex Thermal Solutions (GDTS), an LKF Marketing client with a robust trade show schedule and presence.

The Basics

Whether you are at a 5-day trade show with thousands of attendees every day or a one-day career fair, using consistent branding is a must. Trade show theming and handouts should match your website and collateral materials. Presenting a clean and recognizable image of your organization in all forms will help elevate your name and logo for the top of mind recognition and a professional impression.

Give visitors a glimpse into your company, its culture, and your uniqueness. Just like visual branding mentioned above, it's important to present an authentic experience to visitors. Help them get to know your company by living out your core values in person and in print. Trade show interactions are a dime a dozen, so making a personal connection that demonstrates what a working relationship with your company can be will go a long way in earning new business and solidifying customer loyalty.

Don't let your visitors walk away empty-handed. Trade show giveaways range from pens and keychains to models and custom pieces. When selecting booth swag, choose an item that makes sense for your industry and target audience. To ensure that your giveaway is effective in spreading your company's name, it has to be useful.

In addition to small giveaway items, distribute information-rich brochures and collateral materials to visitors demonstrating your capabilities, what sets you apart from the competition, and how to reach out for a deeper conversation. These pieces should be an extension of your web presence and feature specific calls to action.

Expertise in Action

LKF Marketing put all of these tips and more into our work with GDTS when we began working with the North American headquarters of the company a few years ago. They needed our help to refine their brand after several mergers and acquisitions and the introduction of a new international style guide created brand confusion.

Trade show displays were created to follow the new standards including the revised name of Glen Dimplex Thermal Solutions as opposed to Dimplex Thermal Solutions as the company had previously been referred to in the North American market.

In addition to themed booth displays, backdrops, and table set-ups, we also created a series of brochures and industry-specific materials for GDTS. In order to play off of the industrial chiller manufacturers cooling capabilities, we helped design can coozies for a 2018 dairy show. By keeping drinks cool, this piece acted as a fun way for GDTS to relate the work they do with cooling systems. Coozies have since been created with specific imagery for an event in the brewery industry as well.

For GDTS, we've also developed applications (apps) for use in the booth. These apps have a two-fold purpose; sharing and collecting information. The dairy-specific app acts as an interactive sales tool and allows salespeople to explain why GDTS chillers are perfect for the dairy industry. Among the functions featured on the Dairy Application were a dairy calculator, product list, spec list, and photos.

We've also helped GDTS by managing social media, enews, and blogs focused on trade shows as well as the odds and ends that go into every trade show.

"LKF has been an extension of our marketing department, providing innovative ideas for our trade shows," said GDTS Marketing Communications Manager Bonnie Martens. "The creative services rendered graphics that well defined our messaging for our target audience, plus the app equipped our team with a tool for and after the show.

"Rarely is there a trade show that doesn’t have some sort of plot twist that requires a last-minute graphic or spec sheet revised and reprinted. I knew I could depend on the LKF team to help find a solution to make it all run seamlessly and minimize my stress. I am very grateful for their assistance and look forward to our future projects."

At Your Service

We are eager and willing to help design and handle the logistics of your next trade show. Contact us today to put our trade show experience to use for your company!