The Global Pet Expo in Orlando, FL, is one of the world’s largest and most significant pet exhibitions. Exhibitors at the show can expect around 6,000 qualified buyers from 80 countries and dynamic, relevant educational sessions.
There’s no better place to get your products seen by consumers, distributors and other professionals. If you plan to exhibit at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando for GPE 2023 and want to win Best in Show, consider the following five tips to catch the eyes of the judges AND your prospects.
Tip 1: EMBRACE THE SPECIALTY SECTIONS IN THE EXHIBIT HALL
The Global Pet Expo offers “Specialty Sections” inside its exhibit hall to help exhibitors boost their visibility and discoverability. However, there’s another advantage to selecting one of these specialty sections. It gives exhibitors a clear direction, or theme, to pursue when designing their booth.
The specialty sections include:
- What’s New!
- The Natural Pet
- Country Pavilions
- Everything Aquatic
- The Boutique
The names are self-explanatory. For example, The Natural Pet section is meant for “exhibitors who focus on holistic, organic and natural pet products.” So then, if you have a booth in one of those sections, embracing the theme will be critical to designing a booth that gets noticed.
As you prepare to design your booth space, graphics and experiences with the theme in mind, ask yourself:
- How can we, as an organization, show our passion for organic pet products?
- How are we supporting education on pet health in the industry?
- What booth materials best signal we are committed to natural ingredients or recyclable materials?
- Why does this matter to pet owners or our distributors?
- How do our core values provide value to pet owners?
- How do we explain that to customers in 3 seconds or less?
Use these questions to provide a sense of direction when meeting with your creative team and exhibit house. Of course, the theme doesn’t have to be the central element in your design but referencing it in an authentic way could score big points with the judges.
TIP 2: MAKE IT EASY FOR CUSTOMERS TO UNDERSTAND YOUR UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION
Judges will favor attractive booths with substance on the crowded show floor, and creative exhibit graphics, intuitive design, experiential elements and lighting are essential to get noticed. However, judges at Global Pet Expo might also consider your organization’s impact on the pet industry, the unique problem your company solves and how you communicate that message.
TIP 3: TRAIN BOOTH STAFF ON KEY MESSAGING AND ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIES
According to the Center for Exhibition Information (CEIR), 80% of attendees remember a booth based on their interaction with the staff. So, don’t assume your staff will be able to deliver your key messaging points effectively. The booth staff will most likely have to engage with the judges, and they will definitely engage with prospects, so be sure to practice the elevator speech.
Booth staff training is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to improve your trade show ROI. Some of the things that need to be covered before the show are objectives (sales revenue, number of prospect meetings, etc.), challenges, messaging (how the company uniquely solves prospects’ problems), and etiquette (no food or drink, no cell phones, no sitting down).
Amazingly, 52% of companies admit to rarely or never training their staff. Most managers assume that because their staff is in sales, they don’t need training. Furthermore, salespeople may take offense at the suggestion they need training. But trade shows are marketing as well as selling environments. The goals are often more extensive than sales revenue in the short term; it also includes raising brand awareness, which will support sales in the long term.
For a guide on the essential booth staff training points, read this blog.
TIP 4: USE EXPERIENTIAL ELEMENTS IN YOUR BOOTH DESIGN
Experiential marketing is especially popular with millennials and younger generations. The rise of experiential marketing coincides with the rise of social media. People love sharing their experiences online, from posting reels to blogging to vlogging. This type of marketing works wonders for raising brand awareness and loyalty. According to Finance Online and Event Marketer, 70% of consumers become repeat customers after an experiential marketing event.
And in case you didn’t know, crafting fun, memorable and interactive experiences is one of our specialties here at The Trade Group. From ridable 3D dinosaurs to indoor slides to emerging technology like virtual and augmented reality—our creative team has a hard time saying no. Watch some of our case studies to see what we mean.
TIP 5: GIVE RELEVANT SWAG
In general, there are three strategies for using promotional items effectively. The best promotional items incorporate all three. Use swag to
- Generate buzz and bring traffic to your booth
- Collect prospect info
- Attract top prospects
Sticking to these three strategies and considering your target audience will prevent spending money on items that end up in the trash bin after the show. Promotional items can be relevant by referencing your booth’s theme, being genuinely useful for your target audience in some way, or just being something your prospects want. High-end items like air pods can be raffled off as a prize in exchange for information. Be creative as possible!
Here are some more ideas on choosing relevant promotional items.
Need help getting your Global Pet Expo display “Best in Show” ready?
The Trade Group is a full-service trade show and event marketing company. We will work with you to create an exhibit or an event that brings in leads and helps you achieve your business goals. Contact us here or give us a call at 972-734-8585.