In trade shows, there is the golden rule of “5 Seconds”. 5 seconds represents the average time it takes for an attendee to walk by a 10-foot booth. It also represents all the time you have to grab that person’s attention long enough so you can have the chance to qualify them as a potential customer. It is important to keep this in mind when putting together your trade show booth. A trade show booth needs to be treated like a roadside billboard – big and bold yet clever and short. The goal of your booth is to create enough curiosity in the attendee to stop them in their tracks, NOT educate them about what you’re selling with infinite number of bullet points filling up every square inch of your booth. Trust me, nobody is reading it. It’s you and your staff’s role to qualify and educate, your booth’s role is to grab attention. If you can’t stop attendees, you can’t qualify them – then they just become another lost sales opportunity walking by. Let’s face it, trade show marketing is very expensive when you factor in travel, hotels, booth space, freight, logistics, and staffing. A well-designed booth represents just a small fraction of the total cost, yet is critical to your success at shows. If your booth looks like word vomit, it’s time to get a new one. The next 5 seconds could be your best.
Rajan is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BIG Marketing for Small Business. He's an award-winning marketing strategist who is passionate about branding, digital marketing and social media. He spent nearly a decade as the marketing executive at global IT firm Peer 1 Hosting and was instrumental in their explosive growth.