I’m a big fan of “thinking outside the box”, especially when it comes to marketing, and trade show marketing in general. It seems that many trade show exhibitors just try to copy other exhibitors instead of coming up with a unique marketing strategy or message. Of course, it is one thing to say that you should think outside the box. It’s another thing to say what that really means or how one does it. And the point of this post isn’t explain how to think outside the trade show marketing box… this post is to discuss the problem that many people get so focused on thinking OUTSIDE of the box, that they forget about the BOX itself…
I support the concept of thinking outside the box, but not at the expense of the box itself. It’s great to have a trade show booth that is the talk of the show, but the question then is, what are people saying about it? If everyone is talking about your trade show booth and the half naked trade show booth babe juggling kittens, but they have no idea of who your company is or what you do, then you’ve forgotten about your BOX! I’m reminded of how many great TV commercials that I see that I later remember because they were funny or unique, but I can’t remember what product they were for, or if I remember the product vaguely, I still can’t remember which company it was for.
Before you start thinking outside the box on how to promote your trade show booth, you want to make sure you have extremely clear trade show booth graphics that cover the basics, like what your company name is and what you do, and why people would want to do business with you.
I think it’s always good to set your company apart from the competition instead of being a carbon-copy of them, but don’t forget to explain what your box is and what it does. Then you can start thinking outside of the trade show box.
As always, feel free to drop me a comment and let me know if you’ve seen any trade show booths that really nailed the “outside of the box” part of the equation, but forgot about the box part.