What Impression are you making? The importance of the right booth presentation
What Impression are you making? The importance of the right booth presentation
The first impression that a show attendee receives about your company comes from your booth display. Presentation is not only the booth design and display; it’s also showcasing your brand and representing yourself with a professional staff.
You have seconds to grab a buyer’s attention to introduce your brand and products.
The message needs to be short, clear and specific. It should support your product function. Specific details can be in your marketing materials.
The look is made with images, color and lighting. Images should complement the brand message and the product function.
The signage reinforces your company name and brand and should be in a prominent and visible spot in your booth. Make sure to include your booth number on signage as well.
- Your booth presentation should complement your products, not compete with them. Keep your products as the focal point. Enhancements like plants and lighting should warm the booth but not distract from what you’re showcasing.
- Don’t overwhelm the buyer with too much product. Keep it simple so the buyer can focus. Remember that post-show follow up is a great time to send samples, catalogs and other collateral.
- Merchandise your products in a way the buyer can envision them in their store. Set the scene.
- Keep enough room in your booth to invite and entice buyers to approach and feel your products.
- If you’re using shelves, keep it simple and at eye level so the buyer can easily see what you’re selling. Be sure to call out NEW products. Free “New Product” signs are available through the Exhibitor Marketing Kit.
- Lighting is a great way to highlight your products; research your options to manage expenses. Be sure that the cords are covered and tucked away so it’s not unsightly or a tripping hazard.
- Consider a counter top or tall café table instead of the standard table and chairs. This allows the buyer to stand or sit as they’d like and keeps you at eye level.
- Flooring sets a tone as well. Keep your flooring clean and uncluttered, free of cords and other potential hazards. Padded carpet is an additional expense but more comfortable for you and your buyers.
- Before you invest in the development of any booth designs, please review the Show guidelines to ensure your booth adheres to all booth regulations established by IHA and McCormick Place. Show Guidelines are available through the Exhibitor Services Manual.
- Taking notes and business cards for follow up is critical. Free lead retrieval is available but quantities are limited. Have a plan for collecting leads and follow up. Rent your lead retrieval units before the Show.
- Promote NEW products, Show Specials, Eco-friendly and Made In America or other features that set you apart. Free pre-ordered signs are available.
- Be approachable and presentable. A trade show is the time to be meeting people. Eating, sitting, using the phone or lap-top creates the feeling that the exhibitor isn’t interested. Image is everything.
- Professional, polished and polite demeanor and dress will reflect upon the company. Friendliness and a smile at all times are still the nicest invitation.
- A cool giveaway creates buzz during an event, but functional ones make you memorable even after the trade show. You’re welcome to give product samples but be sure to also provide the buyer the appropriate form for security.
- Renting a booth can be a quick and easy option. If you do multiple shows a year a rental may cost you more.
- Buying a booth is an investment but may be worth it depending on the amount you use it. Consider purchasing a booth you can easily take with you and set-up yourself. Using Fabric Graphics can be an easy return on investment.
What the Retailers Say:
“Create an open booth and viewable from the aisle”
“Larger is not important”
“High walls or closed booths are a turn-off”
“Make it easy to find a sales contact”
“Highlight new products” – retailers like the New for the Home signs offered by IHA for free
“Include company name and booth number on your booth sign”
“Use the lead retrieval device because it makes follow up with the exhibitors much easier”
Below is a downloadable list of recommended Exhibitor-Appointed Contractors (EAC's) that have an historical record of being in good standing with IHA.
Setting Goals and Objectives for the Show
Every marketing tool’s goal should be to help your company move closer to achieving your company’s overall objectives whether it is increasing sales, finding new customers, reaching international markets, growing gross profit, growing market share developing key top to top relationships with retail partners.
When setting your goals and objectives for the International Home + Housewares Show, make sure the goals are clearly defined, are realistic and can be measured.
Take the following steps before setting your company’s goals and objectives for the Show.
- Review the buyer list provided by IHA at no charge. This list contains more than 20,000 buyers that registered for the previous year’s Show. This invaluable customer list can be sorted by product category or retail channel. U.S. and Non-U.S. buyers are separated.
- Identify your target audience and determine the number of qualified prospects or buyers you would like to meet with at the Show.
- Conduct the necessary pre-show promotion and invite these buyers to your
booth. Take advantage of the many promotional opportunities offered by IHA at
- Determine the maximum number of potential quality meetings you can have at the Show by using the following formula:
A. Total hours working the Show (Show is open 29 hours)
B. Total number of booth personnel
C. Average number of quality meetings per hour (the average is 3-4 meetings per hour)
D. Total number of quality meetings overall
- The formula above will help you and your sales team set realistic goals and by determining your target audience upfront, it will allow you to measure the results of your pre-set goals.
- The key to success with any trade show is follow up. Follow up immediately
after the Show by taking advantage of the free lead retrieval unit.
Measure your return on investment. Take a few minutes to read the industry white paper, "Delivering Value".
what are retailers looking for at the show?
What are buyers looking for at the Show?
The International Home + Housewares Show attracts an extremely wide audience of retailers, both domestically and internationally.
Surveys of these buyers reveal that the vast majority of buyers visit the Show “looking for new products.” The second most popular reason for attending is "to find new suppliers."
Buyers also tell us that it is very important for them to speak to key executives from their supplier partners and that the Show is the most important annual venue to accomplish this.
Larger retailers tell us that the Show gives their buyers an opportunity to review business with their Divisional and General Merchandise Managers and to forge strategic partnerships.
Independent retailers also appreciate the chance to speak directly to principals from their supplier companies and preview their new offerings.
But all retailers tell us that they strive to spend some share of their time at the Show scouting for new business partners.
Your chance to reach those buyers before, during and after the Show
Participating in the Show offers you access to a complete list of buyer registrants from the previous Show including contact information. [Emails are not available at the expressed wish of the buying community.]
After the Show, you will receive a complete list of buyer registrants from the current Show.
The Buyer's Lists are available. [You will use your company ID and Seniority Number as user name and password. Those are available on your space application contract. If you cannot locate them, contact Dawn Wittmann at IHA.]
Use this list to invite retailers to your booth and to follow up after the Show. For your convenience you can easily create separate lists of registered buyers for each retail channel by using the Excel sort function. You may also sort by buyer responsibility (owner, merchandise manager, etc.) and products of interest.
The Show also offers free Lead Retrieval/Buyer Connect devices for use in your booth. Lead retrieval is a way for you to get a comprehensive list of the buyers that visit you at the Show including their email addresses. Buyers also get a list of all their booth visits to use in their Show follow-up. This program is a great way to connect buyers and sellers.