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7 tips for offering a successful vendor booth

By ALLISON MILES
Nov. 3, 2012 at 6:03 a.m.
Updated Nov. 4, 2012 at 5:04 a.m.

Jacob Dentler, 4, receives a free bag of popcorn from Maria Ramirez, of GCR Tire Centers, at the store's booth during the 2012 Farm and Ranch Show at the Victoria Community Center in mid-October. Many booths were giving out free items, such as candy and pens, to attract potential customers to their booths.

6 TIPS for CREATING a POPULAR PROMOTIONAL ITEM

When it comes to operating a trade show vendor booth, thought goes in to more than the booth itself. You should also consider what items you're giving away.

Here, Agama Advertising offers tips on selecting those just-right promotional items for booths or business in general.

Be unique.

Everyone gives away pens. Instead, consider picture frames, engraved humidors and more.

Stay relevant to the brand.

Items should logically relate back to the brand emblazoned upon them. If the company is based on technology, for instance, the product should be, too.

Consider client value.

Offer promotional items clients can use daily or ones they'll want to keep on their desks.

Avoid cutting corners.

Inexpensive items are OK, but don't be cheap. A cheap giveaway might lead people to believe the company is also cheap.

Include contact information.

Adding a phone number or website on an item makes it easier for clients to contact you.

Go with quality over quantity.

Give high-quality items to select people instead of giving away generic items at random. It's more effective.

The Victoria Community Center was a busy place Oct. 24 as farmers, ranchers and other Crossroads residents talked with vendors, grabbed up information and meandered past displays at the South Texas Farm and Ranch Show.

And then they found GCR Tire Centers' booth.

With their freshly-popped popcorn and free boot shines, those operating the booth offered up something different.

And it was all by design.

"The extras get people here, so they can see what we do," said Patrick Ramirez, who works with GCR. "The popcorn gets everyone."

Once customers ventured over, it was then the company's chance to show off their product, said Kenneth Zermeno, also with the company.

Exhibitors say planning and strategy are key when setting up any successful vendor booth. Here are a few tips on how to create a display that stands apart from the rest.



1. Keep the enthusiasm up.

Be friendly and willing to discuss your company with those who come by. Be sure you're knowledgeable about the products you'll discuss and make sure others working the booth are willing to take that same initiative.



2. Add a pop of color.

Brightening up your space can make a big difference in helping you and your business stand out from other vendors.



3. Be smart with promotional items.

Giveaway items can draw interest to your booth, but be strategic. Offer something unique and make sure it includes your contact information. Don't be cheap, as it can reflect poorly on your business.



4. Don't let competition scare you off.

Having other booths in the vicinity that offer the same general services isn't always bad. It often means there's demand for the product or service. Multiple booths can increase business for everyone.



5. Think outside the box.

Would music or a video display add to your booth? What about offering up special bonuses, such as discounts, drawings or hands-on exhibits? The little things can make a big difference.



6. Remember why you're there.

The extras are nice, but you set up a booth to advertise your company and services. Have information available about what it is you do. Be ready to answer questions and make a sale.



7. Ask advice if necessary.

Decorators and designers can offer helpful hints on how to make a statement. Consider hiring someone who decorates for a living. Have a friend with a sense of style? He or she could help, too.

Sources: Stacy Niemann, with Niemann's Insurance Agency, Patrick Ramirez, with GCR Tire Center, Kenneth Zermeno, with GCR Tire Center, Agama Advertising news release

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