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What Are Memorable Trade Show Displays?

June 11th, 2010 · 11 Comments · Trade Show Marketing

What are memorable trade show displays? Perhaps the answer seems obvious… a memorable trade show display is a trade show display that you remember, right? Well… no. It isn’t quite that simple. There are “good” memorable trade show displays and “bad” memorable trade show displays, and this post is going to cover the difference between them (which is very important to understand if you want to be successful at trade show marketing). And if you’re wondering what the picture of the sock-puppet monkey [image removed] has to do with this post, I’ll cover that too…

Let’s start with the question, “What are good memorable trade show displays?” Good memorable trade show displays are those displays that get people saying things like, “Did you see the trade show display for the ACME Fake Vomit Company?” Specifically, if people remember a particular trade show display AND they remember what company it was for AND also they can tell you what the company does and why they would be interested in the company or may choose to use the company, then said company has a good memorable trade show display. Put another way, there are good ideas and bad ideas for trade show displays, some of which will make your booth memorable in a way that benefits you (which is good), and some of which may make your booth memorable, but it a way that nobody knows who you are or what you do, which is of no benefit to you (which is bad). The key to a good memorable display is that people need to remember the company, what it does, and why they would chose to do business with the company.

On the other hand, if someone says, “Wow, did you see the trade show display booth with the ten-layer velvet chocolate cake with pink champagne shooting out the top?”, and then you ask them what company had that trade show display and they say, “I don’t know, but the cake was delicious…” then that, my friend, is the definition of a bad memorable trade show display. Put another way, you need your trade show display to be remembered for the right reasons!

I think I can make my point the best (at least to myself) by bringing in the sock-puppet monkey. During the last Superbowl, a car company ran what I call the “sock-puppet monkey car commercial”.

Sock Monkey SuperBowl TV Commercial

The funny thing was that after the game when we were talking about which commercials we thought were the best (and most memorable), everyone remembered the sock monkey commercial (the music rocks). But when we tried to come up with the name of the company that it was for… no one could. Most of us assumed it was for a car company, but that’s about as far as we got. The current hip term that comes to mind to me is… epic fail.

Now you may be thinking that people will see the TV commercial over and over and over again, and eventually the name of the car company will stick (which I am told is a common TV commercial tactic). But people won’t see your trade show display over and over again… they will most likely see it once. And as far as the sock-puppet monkey car commercial goes, I asked my wife yesterday (who has probably seen the TV commercial at least a dozen times) which car company it was for. She said she really wasn’t sure, but then guessed the right company, but then changed her mind and went with a different car company… which makes me wonder, does the commercial really work for the car company that isn’t even in it?

But enough about retro toys and thumping music… it’s great to have a memorable trade show display, but only if it is the right kind of memorable trade show display… otherwise you might end up helping your competitor more than yourself! Make sure trade show attendees remember who you are, what you do, and how you can help them!


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