When your business sells multiple line items, the idea of fitting all of your products in an 8’ x 8’ booth space can be daunting. How do you fit everything that accurately defines your brand, products and general mission into your booth? How much is too much? Sometimes it’s a fine line between subtle and overwhelming. Since trade shows are our bread and butter, we’ve gathered a few of the tips and tricks we’ve picked up over the years for packing in a robust product line into your booth without overwhelming attendees.
We’ll Be Honest: The PROS and CONS of Exhibiting Multiple Line Items
- Pro: More line items can attract more buyers and could increase profitability due to market segmentation.
- Pro: More line items could potentially even out irregular seasonal sales patterns.
- Con: The more line items, the more potential for over-extension, which is when new products cannibalize the sale of older products
- Con: You could disproportionately allocate your resources to slower-moving products.
- Con: Too many products can overwhelm customers and turn them off, potentially losing a new customer.
Have No Fear: How to Avoid the CONS
Ensure every product represented in your booth speaks to your target market, target show demographic and your brand. If you’re not 100% clear of your brand, stop what you’re doing right now and craft a brand charter that explains who your products are for and who they are not for. (Note: this is something that should be done at the inception of your company, but if you need help defining your brand charter, download our Brand Assessment Toolkit white paper and take a gander at our Top 5 Branding No-No’s for Small Businesses.)
Don’t bother yourself with the dead weight of slower moving products. Bring only your top products and number one sellers. If you really want to represent every line item, bring a handy brochure to share the details of everything your company offers. This helps to avoid overwhelming and turning off a potential client.
How to Apply Your Retail Merchandising Strategy to Your Booth
Think of your booth as a mini-store and merchandize accordingly. Organize your products like you would at a pop-up shop or farmers market. Give prominent priority to your top of the line products, put them front and center like proud brand ambassadors.
Arrange your merchandise in an aesthetically pleasing way to highlight product, attract customers and promote product features and benefits. Implement some standard small space merchandising techniques, which we’ve outlined here:
- Straight – displays and fixtures placed at right angles (default)
- Diagonal – displays and fixtures placed at diagonal angles (allows for more visibility for staff and customers)
- Angular – displays and fixtures are place in a way that force customer to move at angles throughout the space (works well when going for a more sophisticated scene for each type of product, better for fewer product line displays)
- Mixed – take best of the above floor plans, break floor space into section and apply straight, diagonal, and angular
Be sure to use some of these space saving fixtures to help pack in more without overwhelming show goers:
- Nesting tables
- Ipad stands
The next time you’re planning your trade show booth design, take a deep breath and implement some of these strategies into your design. Do you have any tips and trick to maximizing your small booth space? Leave them in the comments below!