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If you've ever manned a tradeshow booth, you're familiar with that sense of urgency to bring back home a stack of qualified leads. And, with so many other exhibitors vying for the same prize, you may find yourself behaving a bit like a carnival barker in your efforts to lure visitors into your booth.

Luckily, there's a more dignified option: Let your tradeshow booth do the work for you.

To learn how marketers can attract a constant flow of traffic to their booths, I interviewed industry expert Les LaMotte, founder and CEO of Xtra Lite Displays (www.xtralite.com).

The key to maximizing booth traffic is to make sure the booth commands attention at several distances, starting with about 30 feet away, according to Les. Your booth needs something eye-grabbing that attendees can spot from that distance. "Side wing" displays that catch attention from several aisles are also a good option.

Getting in the Zone—Three Zones, Actually

But let's say you weren't able to secure such a desirable spot—or, for that matter, invest in a fancy exhibit booth. That's OK; attendees are still going to pass your booth at some point, and you can still attract—and sustain—their interest by displaying three types of messaging, each uniquely suited to viewing from one of three distinct zones, says Les:

  • The Memory Zone—about 15 feet away.
  • The Sensory Zone—close enough to interact with booth materials and demos.
  • The Data Zone—as much a state of mind as a particular proximity, the Data Zone is where booth visitors are looking for evidence that your product or service will solve their problems.

The Memory Zone

When an attendee is in the Memory Zone, Les says, "their eyes naturally move to the top of your display. This is where you want to put your take-home slogan, that power statement attendees will remember about your company."

For new or unknown companies, the Memory Zone is a particularly ideal place to put the major benefit of working with you.

But what if you're a big brand, a Coca-Cola or an IBM? Everyone already knows who you are. In that case, your Memory Zone statement should reveal something new and relevant to the tradeshow's audience.

The Sensory Zone

Now that the Memory Zone has attracted several attendees to your booth, let's see how appealing to them in the Sensory Zone can extend their visit.

"This is the middle zone where you want to appeal to the attendee's senses. You can stimulate them with compelling words and big visuals, or even give them something tactile to do," Les suggests. "Learning is a key aspect of the Sensory Zone, so your demos or other interactions should happen here."

If you want to get really creative (and maybe split some costs), consider pairing up with one of your customers or partners to create a demo.

At an engineering design tradeshow, one of my clients, a 3D rendering company, teamed with an auto manufacturer to display a memorable scene in the Sensory Zone. The auto manufacturer had a sleek sports car shipped in, which my client displayed next to a large graphic of its stunning 3D prototype, generated by its rendering software.

Les points out that one of the biggest errors exhibitors make in the Sensory Zone is putting up blocks of text from their brochure copy. This won't stick with attendees, as it simply won't make that immediate, big impact you're looking to achieve here.

The Data Zone

The Data Zone is where so many booths lose visitors' interest, and hence leads, with weak (or nonexistent) messaging.

"At this point, the attendee is now looking down at the bottom of your display. And when people are looking down, they're contemplating," Les states. "Essentially, what they're contemplating is if they should work with your company. How will you solve their problems, or make their job easier? The Data Zone is where you want to give them the answers."

In other words, the Data Zone is where you give attendees the major reasons to purchase your product or service, or where you make a powerful call to action.

* * *

Les concludes with the following tip: "Never block the entrance with a table, especially if your tradeshow staff is standing behind it observing everyone who comes in. It makes visitors feel self-conscious. Consider your tradeshow booth your company's living room where guests—potential customers—should feel at ease. Make it inviting!"

Continue reading "Tips for Creating Traffic-Stopping Tradeshow Booths" ... Read the full article

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stephanie Janard is a freelance B2B copywriter, with a focus on technology products and services. Visit her at www.betterb2bcopy.wordpress.com or reach her via sjanard@msn.com.

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