A typical trade show has rows and rows of booths side by side all looking pretty much the same. When you think of ways you can stand out at a trade show, being the odd one out may be the answer you’re looking for. Designing a trade show booth is a daunting task and it’s easy to look at other booths and try to imitate your competitors, but that may be the wrong approach. Let’s talk about why being the odd one out at trade shows is effective and if it’s right for your company!

Why Being the Odd One Out at Trade Shows is Effective

Turning Socialization on Its Head

We want to get noticed and stand out. We want to be remembered. Does it really matter if it is our silly (but still appropriate) behavior or odd clothing choice that does the job? Take a chance to stand out because odd may be exactly what you need to do. Certainly, you will remember the booth with the guy dressed in shiny purple boots and cowboy hat. A Qzzr‘s representative used this technique (purple is a brand color) to stand out at a recent conference. The idea execution gave everyone a chuckle, and a reason to remember him and Qzzr.

Dare to Be Different

Instead of dressing up yourself, dress up your booth. An excellent example of a creative booth display is from Quinn Popcorn, built out of cardboard. An ingenious idea, the booth is a creative masterpiece for two reasons:

  1. Was relevant to their back-to-basics branding
  2. Surprisingly inexpensive way to get noticed

The booth stands out for its plainness, the complete opposite of what we are usually told to do at a trade show. The takeaway from this idea is that conventional wisdom is not always the best choice if you are trying to capture attention.

There are a few new products that take conventional displays to a new level. The Backlit Vector Frame Display uses LED light bars to create a large light box that stands out from the crowd. The clean, contemporary design looks professional, while standing out at the same time. The Pascale XV Line is a modern twist on a traditional design allowing for easy customization and unique designs. These systems are also designed to easily interchange panels while using the same basic framework.

Booth design should be made based on the show and crowd. Being unique at Comic-Con is much different than the National Teachers Conference, adapting to your crowd and competition is the key to developing the right exhibit for the conference.

Strange is What Works

Odd is effective at trade showsA company does not always come up with something different every time but even achieving something different half the time is progress. The key is to keep trying. Perfection is not the goal; rather it is to be noticed. Here are ideas from trade show experts:

  • Mail them a pineapple (or something else) that gets their attention before the show even starts
  • Offer a prize or an incentive to make people crowd your booth
  • Dress up as a cheerleader or in another relevant costume to support your brand
  • Bring props (10-foot-tall purse) that get attention just by their presence
  • Take risks with your design and have fun … but with a plan

Again, inspiration will not always strike but when it does, when everyone gets excited, work hard to make it happen.

Attention is the Game Plan

People and other companies like those who take risks. Since getting prospects’ attention and having them visit your booth is your first goal, and connecting that visit to your company name is the second goal, being odd is the technique you need to bring to your next trade show. It not only gets you noticed momentarily, but will also be remembered for many months afterward. Is being the odd one out at trade shows right for your company?