Trade Show Booth Ideas if Your Budget is Small

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Annually, hundreds of thousands of companies take part in trade shows. Some of these companies have huge marketing budgets and are limited with their trade show booth ideas only by their imagination.

For smaller businesses, trade show booth ideas are constrained by small budgets. But that shouldn’t mean you can’t make the most of your time at the trade show. It just means that in order to make an impact, you will have to be creative with the space and your small budget.

And remember, it’s only a myth that the most expensive trade show booths create the most impact – with proper planning and a well thought out design, you too can wow the crowds with your trade show booth.

We want to give you some trade show booth ideas if your budget is small, because a small budget shouldn’t stop your brand from shining. But first of all, as a small business, how do you make the most of the opportunities that exhibiting at a trade show can afford you?

How do you get the most out of a trade show?

Trade shows are a great way to showcase your business, make new contacts, garner new leads and network with other people in your industry, they really are worth your time and energy.

However, just because you choose to spend money attending a trade show doesn’t mean you have to then spend £££ making sure you get the most out of a trade show.

With the large number of companies exhibiting at each trade show, you may feel you can’t get as much out of the event as you want to, but that isn’t true.

With a little forward planning, you can overcome the limitations of a small trade show booth and the competition.

  • Take down everyone’s contact details and make a note of why they matter and why you’ve spent the time talking to them. Yes, you can hire a badge scanner to save you the time, but they’re expensive, and if you’re on a tight budget, they can be superfluous to requirements. A pen and paper and a system for capturing details will work just fine too.
  • Don’t hand out business cards. Instead, take prospects’ business cards and send them an email there and then with a quick reminder of who you are and why they spoke to you. It’ll not only save you money printing unnecessary business cards that will get binned, but it will save you a job of connecting with the prospect later down the line.
  • Find out who of note attended the trade show in previous years, and make contact with them ahead of the show. Arrange to meet up at the show, and follow up on the day to remind them. A handful of prearranged key meetings can really make a trade show worthwhile.

How do you stand out in a trade show?

You won’t always be able to second guess who is going to be at a trade show and arrange meetings in advance. And with the large number of companies competing for meetings with the same people, and trying to get in front of the same prospects, how do you stand out in a trade show and make your brand as memorable as possible?

  • Give away something unusual. Free pens and mugs are so dull, and tote bags are ten a penny. Think outside of the box – branded coconuts are new, as are branded socks. Or something else quirky. The point is. Stand out and be memorable.
  • Do your homework. Attend trade shows where you know your competition is going to be and check out how they set out their trade show booth and how they attract prospects. Learn from how they operate effectively and put their knowledge to work for you.
  • Embrace your small business agility. The big companies will be constrained by rules dictating how they can and can’t behave at trade shows. You on the other hand are the underdog, the new kid on the block, the young guns. So have fun and embrace your newbie status – throw an after party, relish being young and make sure all your staff are pumped up with lots of energy. Be young at heart and memorable.

But how do you make your trade show booth stand out when your budget is small?

5 trade show booth ideas on a budget

  • Rent your booth. There is no point in buying a dedicated setup if you’re only going to be attending a trade show once a year. Renting a booth design is a lot more cost effective, and if you don’t like the design, you’re not stuck with it for life. Renting also removes the need to find storage for the booth post event, and if you’re exhibiting overseas you don’t need to worry about shipping costs. Here at Temporary Walling Systems we also offer transportation, installation and dismantling service, so you don’t have to worry about any of that, meaning your trade show is cost effective and stress free.
  • Pop up trade show displays. A pop up trade show design is cost effective, transportable and simple to use.
  • Innovative light display. If you can only afford to splurge on one thing for your trade show booth, consider investing in lighting. Good lighting can really turn the spotlight on your brand, it can set you apart from the competition and help you stand out.
  • Rent your floor covering. Yes, there will be carpet on the ground, but add a splash of personality to your trade show booth and rent a unique floor covering. It will give you a point of difference and attendees will notice the change under their feet.
  • Make a video.If you want something that is going to be bursting with energy for the duration of the trade show, make a video before hand. Include in it all the details you want to share with prospects – make it sharp, edgy and eye catching. And have it running on loop. That way if you are lagging, prospects will still see experience the energy of the company.

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