Event Production

Top 10 NEW Trade Show Booth Ideas

Written by Northwest Event Show Team Member- Victoria Blasich

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So, you’ve decided to exhibit at a tradeshow, congratulations! Tradeshows are one of the best ways to get valuable face to face with potential customers and clients. Now that you’ve got a booth space…. what are you going to do with it?  Tradeshow booth design has become a huge part of any exhibitor’s plan for attracting attendees to your space, because if your booth is boring, it won’t attract attendees! You may be thinking that creating a captivating booth space may be too much work and too much money, but our friends at Event Manager Blog (EventMB.com) have put together an incredible list of 100+ amazing tradeshow booth ideas that range from DIY to the extravagant. Here is just a taste of 10 of our favorites!

 

Give your attendees a taste of the outside-

Because most tradeshows take place inside stuffy buildings under florescent lighting, giving attendees who come by your booth some greenery can be a literal breath of fresh air! Even if your company has nothing to do with plants or nature, a green space is very inviting and welcoming to any guest.

Keep costs down by investing in fake plants that you can use over and over again at future tradeshows. If you are at a multi-day show, create different arrangements for each day, don’t be afraid to rearrange to freshen up the space. Trust us, attendees will notice!

      

Say Cheese!-

Photo wall, Photobooth, Step and Repeat- whatever you want to call it, attendees love having a photo op! Make sure it’s branded with your company and have a branded hashtag ready to tell attendees to use when they share on social media. In fact, offering a giveaway or raffle for those who post is a great way to entice people to your booth, learn about your offerings, and to gather content from all those who post!

 

Everyone has a camera phone nowadays, so you save on costs by skipping hiring a professional photographer at your booth.

 

           

 

Smoothie Bikes (you read that right)-

If you’ve been to a few tradeshows, you’ll know that the food offerings are not usually the healthiest or the easiest to navigate when you have dietary restrictions. Offering attendees, a healthy treat that they get to make themselves is both nutritious and a great marketing idea. Especially if healthy living and wellness is something your company focuses on.

 

Smoothie bikes have popped up on a few tradeshow floors and allow attendees to pick their ingredients and then jump on a bike to blend them all together! You’ll have a line, so be sure to plan for that in your logistics!            

Cardboard-

Sustainability is top of mind for a lot of companies lately, and there is a huge opportunity to showcase your companies’ offerings while also demonstrating your attention to the environment and it’s limited resources.

 

Cardboard is cheap, highly customizable, packs flat and is lightweight. Which means your shipping and storage costs can be significantly less that with any other traditional booth material. Not only that, but cardboard is surprisingly sturdy, so you can even use it as chairs & tables.

 

Gamification Activities-

Take your SWAG giveaways up a notch! Instead of offering all your SWAG to whomever comes to your booth, try adding a game that attendees have to complete in order to get a prize. Anything from a simple putt-putt green, or a “guess how many candies are in the jar” can be a great conversation starter and gets attendees excited to stop by your booth!

 

If you can somehow link what your company does with the game, even better! That will reinforce with the attendees about what you do and how you can help them. Multi day show? Have a different game each day so attendees keep coming back!

          

Interactive Walls-

The usual goal at tradeshows is for companies to show attendees all about what they do and how they can help the attendees with whatever their goals are. But how often do we get to learn about the attendees on the show floor?

 

Take a step back from selling and get to know the people at the show with an interactive wall! Have them answer a fun question and leave a note on the wall. Or have them take a poll by placing a token in a jar for their opinion. It’s a fun and free way to gather some great information for your own as well!

        

 

Modular Designs-

This idea may be a little more costly to invest in initially but could be very beneficial if you exhibit at many shows during a year. Modular designs are great because they work like building blocks, you can rearrange them as needed to make whatever you need! Higher backdrop needed? Easy. More seating? Done! Create low walls for a more privacy? Of course!

 

Every show floor is different, even if you always get the same amount of floor space for your booth. Use the modular design’s ability to be flexible and switch things up each time. Your staff will be excited and any attendees that see you more than once a year will be too!

 

Enclosed Booths-

Big footprints and large, airy openings are typically what you see on a showfloor. So large tents, canopies, or even full enclosed, ‘secret’ booths instantly attract curiosity.

 

From affordable pop-up tents that fit within your booth space and can be spotted from anywhere on the floor to a custom build that keeps attendees guessing at what is behind the screen, you’ll have lots of eyes on your booth.

 

Custom Carpet & Flooring-

All tradeshows are different, not all come with all the same amenities. Flooring being one of the items that sometimes is included, and sometimes isn’t. So if you know you’ll be in a booth with no carpet, why not bring your own (if the tradeshow will allow of course)?

 

Besides giving your feet a cushy place to stand and for attendees to relax, you can brand the carpeting or flooring in your company’s colors and with your logo. A pop of color, texture or a fun print will really catch attendee’s eyes!

           

 

Meeting Areas-

The best way to close a deal, is to sit down face to face with people. That is why tradeshows are so amazing for networking and lead generation. However, tradeshow booths are mostly focused on standing room only…

 

Create some soft seating, away from the aisle, for you to sit and chat with attendees. Invite people in to sit and talk, ask about what they need, how their day is going, keep it relaxed and make your booth the place to go for a great sit down meeting.

           

Are you ready to make the most out of your next tradeshow as an exhibitor? Register now for the Northwest Event Show and get your Advanced EDU or VIP All Access pass if you haven’t yet, and if you would like to upgrade your General Admission pass, click here!   

 Victoria Blasich- Event Marketing Manager atFreemind Seattle. A boutique marketing agency focused on creating distinctive marketing campaigns and impactful event strategy to help you connect with your customers in cool and unusual ways.

How To Produce An Amazing Live Event That Makes Everybody Talk

Written by NWES guest blogger: David Doxtater of The Workshop

Live events exist in a unique bubble in the marketing space. You’re not producing digital-only creative. Live events are a blend of creativity that touches both the physical and digital world (often referred to as “experiential marketing.”) So, we often get customers who want to know exactly what live event planning is — and why it’s valuable. After all, most customers see two things — the plan and the end product.

But, behind every delectable bite of finger food and every stunning electrical display, there is thought, creativity, and ingenuity happening on the back end to pull it all together. 

At The Workshop, we create “live events.” But what is a live event? And what goes into making a great one that makes everybody talk?

It Started With A Whisper (The Start)

Here’s a secret — live events are stories. They’re a way to deliver a brand experience to customers that’s personal, exciting, fun, and ultimately brand-friendly. What does this mean? No two live events are alike!

There are millions of variables that go into a successful live event. The location, brand, customers, message, story, and activities all come together to create what will ultimately be the “live event.”

So, every brand will have a one-of-a-kind event that’s hyper-targeted and incredibly on-brand. This means combining two layers — creative and production. The creative layer is all about developing the brand story, and the production side is about the technical aspects of making that happen.

And Then She Made My Lips Hurt (The Creatives)

The beginning of the creative side starts with a client meeting. At The Workshop, we use this meeting to carefully listen to the client’s needs, goals, and story. What do they want out of the event? What kind of event is on-brand for them? And, how do they want to use this live event as a lever to accomplish internal goals?

These goals differ for every business. Often times, the networking and connections of a live event are the primary goal. 75% of businesses think that live events should form real-life connections — which can be difficult to do outside of events, especially in our current digital-first ecosystem. So, each brand has a unique blend of goals they need to capture to be able to confirm, internally, that the event created these relationships.

After the meeting, we get busy. I always lean on my team to capture the creativity of a brand. You can’t do this alone! Brands are complex, intricate organisms that are comprised of many working parts. You need your entire team to come together for this part.

We love to get theatrical. An OK live event will share the story of a brand. An AMAZING live event will invigorate attendees, create an atmosphere of fun, AND tell a brand’s story in a way that’s imaginative and thoughtful. There’s power in a brand’s story. Not only does Walker predict that branding will outpace both price and product as THE key differentiator between brands, but 70% of attendees will become customers if you create a compelling live event.

I like to start with an interesting story arc. This is what makes the brand tick. It’s the part of the live event that invites people to change and experience the brand for themselves. And, of course, you need a little theatrical twist to make it exciting and interesting. A great brand story presented through live events is only compelling if the audience is interested.

After we’ve burned our brains out creating this story, we present it to the client. If they think “It could be better,” we jump right back into that boardroom and spin up the idea generator again. We also try to ensure that they can clearly present each draft to the decision-makers in their company in a way that makes sense. After all, everybody has to check yes, or the event doesn’t happen.

I Can Hear The Chit Chat (The Production)

Once the client says, “That’s the one!“, we start the production side. The easiest way to think about the production side is that it’s all of the things that your guests can feel, hear, taste, smell, and see. It’s the enactment of that incredible creative. This is when we start thinking about the workflow, plan, and budget.

It’s time to put your scientist hat on. We want to create this compelling event in the most productive, cost-effective way imaginable. This means ensuring that each cog in the event machine is well oiled.

Questions like, “Does this work?” or “How can we make this better” start to come into play.

You also have to think about risk. This isn’t an ad popping up on social media. These are events that will have tons of people, lots of dynamic elements, and some inevitable risk factors. That’s the beauty of live events. There’s a reason that 75% of marketers think that events are the single best marketing tool; they create in-person relationships in an increasingly digital world.

But, with any real-time, in-person event, You NEED contingency plans. If plan A fails, you need to be able to fall back on plan B. And, if plan B fails, you should have plan C up your sleeve and ready-to-go.

Production is all about ensuring that the creative happens. And, that they happen without a hitch.

This includes thinking about:

  • Signage

  • Scripts

  • Technical Plans

  • Safety Plans

  • Contingency Plans

  • Vendors

  • Materials

  • Training Staff

  • etc.

I won’t go into all of the complexities baked into forming vendor deals, dynamic budgeting, etc. But, I will say that this entire business relies on forging in-person relationships — both for the client and for the live event marketers.

Everybody Talks (The Event)

Now it’s time for the fun. You want to build the production, write some scripts, hire amazing talent, and rehearse the show. Our goal is to let the client live the event before it happens. This way, they’re prepped for the show, and ready to nail any of the goals they have during the event.

Then, it’s time to run it live! Wooo! For brands, this is where you get to see the value of your event live and in-person. People will be meeting, your brand will shine, and you’ll see the power of event marketing with your own eyes.

In the end, everybody will be talking about your brand and the spectacular event they just attended. Pat yourself on the back. — you just created a live event.

Specializing in the production and design of brand enhancing events for local businesses and nonprofits, The Workshop provide clients with the ability to achieve their goals through strategic live experiences. We design and develop event concepts, and oversee show, production, and technical management. Our goal is to design event experiences that create impact and help clients achieve their objectives through the most powerful communication tool available: events.

5 Key Elements for Successful Event Production

Written by NWES Guest Blogger: Troy Whalen of 206 Events

Whether planning a business meeting for 40 or a celebration for 4000, a solid production game-plan can make or break your event.  Hiring a knowledgeable team of professionals who can guide you through the planning process will add incredible value to your guest experience.  At 206 Events, you can expect the following elements to be front and center as we help you create the perfect event.

1.     Know your Audience

“Tell us about your group”, is always the first question I ask when meeting new clients.  Learning about past event’s successes or challenges can be a valuable tool in discovering what will work for the future.  Is it an energetic group who loves to dance?  Maybe your group is more laid back and wants to be entertained.  Perhaps engagement and group activities are a better solution to get people involved and excited about what is happening in front of them.  Whatever your group is looking for, there is a solution if you are willing to spend some time exploring options.  Instead of just doing “what worked” last year, find a way to expand successes to continually create more excitement each year by incorporating innovative and new elements to the show.

2.      Engage your Guests

Create an Immersive Experience that people can’t wait to tell their friends about!  From the moment your guests arrive, capture their attention by making your theme “pop”.  Character actors are always a hit and can really help to jump start the party.  Costumed greeters at the front door, directing guests through their experience, Paparazzi Red Carpet Photographers interacting with your “Star Guests” as they arrive, Small Group Entertainment with Magicians or Mentalists working the room during cocktail hour, Dance Instructors leading a group through the most popular dance of that particular era, there are so many options to help build excitement and create energy.

3.      Set Reasonable Budget Expectations

You’ve got the perfect idea and now you need to pay for it.  Make sure your production team is aware of budget goals to keep the boss happy.  Creating realistic expectations is an important conversation that should happen early during the planning process.  Ballpark numbers can help your vendors as they begin to plan and paint the vision for your event.  Educate yourself on costs and ask questions of your trusted professionals. Key elements need to be funded properly, so highlighting those is incredibly important.  If you’re planning a fundraiser and short the AV budget so the room isn’t properly equipped with sound and visuals, you can lose your guest’s attention and in turn miss out on capturing funds you were expecting to raise.  Balancing all elements and elevating the most important ones will create more successes in the end.

4.     Set an Intention for your Event

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Make sure your purpose is clear and obvious to your attendees.  Are you raising awareness or funds for a cause?  Celebrating accomplishments of the staff?  Networking and teambuilding for your group?  There are many ways to embed your messaging or brand through the experience.  Let’s start by creating a take away for your attendees, a clear message about the purpose of the event.  Maybe it’s as simple as a fun celebration to acknowledge your people.  Perhaps it’s a fundraiser to make sure your organization can continue it’s important work into the future.  Whatever the case, find a common thread and weave it throughout the elements of the event.  By asking key questions, and offering creative solutions, an experienced Production Team can help you keep your message focused and at the forefront of your theme.

5.     Planning your Guest Experience

Don’t ever forget who you are planning for…your guests.  Timeline and flow are critical to the success of your event.  Visualize the experience, make sure you plan for areas of congestion and wait times.  Give people a reason to move to other areas of the venue, provide an extra bar in the back, create an eye-catching element that will draw people into another space.  By giving the event some room to breathe, you will create a welcoming environment for people to navigate, allowing them the ability to fully enjoy the party.

At the end of the day, a successful event is hundreds of little details executed flawlessly.  Make sure your Production Team is experienced and prepared to address each and every element of your event.  Planning for the unexpected by creating contingency plans, organizing the show timeline, creating synergy with the vendor team and supporting you throughout the process.  By planning ahead and hiring the right company, your event experience will be a successful one! 

Troy Whalen is the owner of 206 Events, with over 25 years of experience in the private event industry.  206 Events is a Production and Entertainment Company providing Services around the Greater Puget Sound Area. Offering award-winning Event Management, DJ and Emcee Talent, Performance Entertainment, Custom Lighting Design, and Professional Audio Installations to create spectacular Corporate Galas, Holiday Celebrations, Weddings and Parties for all Occasions.