In a sea of conference booths, how do you stand out? Having your company attend a conference can get expensive, so you might as well get your money’s worth! Otherwise, what’s the point, right? So how do you ensure you get the most out of having a booth at a conference? How do you stand out from the crowd? Well, you came to the right place! Let’s break down some fun and creative ways to make your booth the talk of the conference!
Why Your Company Should Attend A Conference
When deciding if it’s worth going to a conference or not, think about what you wish to gain by attending. Not all conferences are worth investing in, so it’s wise to really evaluate if your company gets a return out of it. So before going crazy booking your travel and ordering some swag, ask yourself the following questions:
What is the ROI of going to this event?
Let’s be honest — some conferences can be really expensive; especially if you have to travel. And that’s not including the booth, swag, and all the dinners you will have to attend. Figure out the costs and budget needed to attend the conference and see what type of return or exposure are you looking to get. Make sure that, whatever you decide, you can actually measure the success of your company attending the conference.
What is the main purpose of attending the conference?
Understanding your purpose for attending the conference can help define the marketing strategy you will want to use. For example, are you trying to break into a new market? Are you trying to maintain status in the industry as the key leader? Are you simply trying to find new customers and connect with some clients along the way? Know your purpose and make a plan that makes sense around that. If you are meeting with existing clients, it may be more sensible to get a private suite to meet with your customers, rather than having a booth. On the other hand, if you are looking for brand exposure you may want to lean on sponsorships or landing a speaking opportunity.
Now that you’ve decided your company should attend a conference, let’s talk about ways to stand out! Creating memorable experiences is key to standing out at these conferences. So let’s see how your brand can really set itself apart from the competition! Here are some tips and strategies to get the most out of your next big conference!
Social Media Presence
The key is to promote prior to, and throughout, the event. Email some of your customer base and get them excited to stop by your booth. Work with the event space to see if email lists of attendees are shared. Lastly, social media is a great way to promote your raffle as well.
People love memorabilia, especially when it’s signed by a famous celebrity! If you’re looking to gather as many business cards as possible, creating a raffle is a great way to drive traffic to your booth.
Conferences are exciting, but also really tiring! Lots of walking, talking, back-to-back meetings and you have dinners you have to go to. Offering fun experiences such as a massage at your booth is definitely going to win you some good traffic.
Food & Branded Swag
Who isn’t hungry at these events. Unless you have a client meeting for lunch, do you even have time to eat? The lines are long and not all conferences offer quick grab-and-go lunches. Plus offering food can be part of your booth’s experience. Have a bartender make some water-infused drinks in custom water bottles. Or offer something nostalgic like cotton candy! We recommend mixing food with branded swag so they get the best of both worlds, food + swag!
Late nights, long hours, and possible time changes will leave attendees tired and ready to go home. Having an Oxygen bar at your booth is a fun way to get more attendees to come and take some time to recharge. Not a bad way to get people relaxed and check out what your brand is about.
Games & Activities
There’s a friendly competition for all of us! Booths that have games definitely make it easy for attendees to stop and take a break. Especially if you’re keeping a scoreboard where attendees can win some prizes towards the end of the conference. Make it fun! It can be something as simple as basketball hoops or a golf putting green.
Sponsor Cocktail Hour or Event
Sponsoring an event or cocktail party for a conference is a great way to get some brand exposure! It allows for you to open up the party to all guests or have it be exclusive to only your customers and potential buyers. What’s great about doing events, is it allows people to talk about your event and take pictures! The exposure and content you’ll gain from it makes it well worth the while!
Branded Team Swag Outfits
If you and your team are manning the booth, it makes for a perfect opportunity to ensure your team is branded with some swag! While, yes, your team can all wear a nice custom-branded t-shirt, you can also get more creative here. Have the shirts say something eye-catching or create fun uniforms for your team to really stand out. Have fun with this — it’s an easy way to get your brand out there and stand out amongst the crowd!
Have Celebrity Appearance
If you are looking to really be the talk of the town, bring celebrities to your booth or event! This can be a good tactic to get new customers or maybe even impress that new client that ghosted you. Be sure to pick a celebrity that makes sense for your brand or is someone admired in your industry. Having a celebrity is the ultimate nod to your brand.
Premium Swag Giveaways
Skip the cheap giveaways. If you really want to stand out, giveaway swag that will really get people talking. This is about it, it’s your brand you are putting on swag. Do you really want your swag associated with something that is cheap? Imagine having some limited edition shoes to give out during the conference or some high-quality tote bags with a nice saying on them? Or you can really go all out and give some Apple Airpods to any client that signs a PO at the booth. Get creative here. The better the swag, the more it will be talked about and shared.
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If you are looking for brand exposure, there is nothing like having a speaking gig. Think about it, you have a slotted amount of time to promote your brand in front of an audience. It also allows for your brand to make a stand as being a thought leader in a specific industry.
You are now ready for your next big conference! You understand, first, if it’s worth attending and if it makes sense for your business. Will you get the right ROI or branding exposure you are looking for? Secondly, understand the purpose of your company attending the conference. Are you looking for a new market to break into or are you trying to connect with customers? From there you will know which strategy is best for you to really stand out at your next conference!