You’ve convinced product managers that they don’t have to bring every doo-dad your company makes to the show. But still they worry that "if we only displayed two products, visitors will think that’s all we have." How do you show the "more" in "there’s more where that came from"? Graphics and literature are standard alternatives. And here are six additional techniques:
1. Video. Mail handling systems manufacturer Pitney Bowes uses videos to give an "on-site tour" - showing its products in action at a customer’s site. Much of its equipment is too big to bring to shows. A video allows Pitney Bowes to show an entire system configuration.
2. Model. "One exhibitor I work with wanted to bring a huge component to an overseas show," says Mim Goldberg, president, Marketech, an exhibit marketing company. "She didn’t realize how expensive it would be to ship. When she found out, she had to look for an alternative. Instead, she (purchased) a smaller-scale, working model of the component." Customers still got to see a working product, and the exhibitor saved big bucks on shipping.
3. Business cards. Instead of shipping reams of product literature at shows, Hewlett-Packard hands out a special "product showcase" business card to booth visitors. Organized by product category, it lists toll-free phone numbers, World Wide Web addresses and a phone number for callers to get information immediately faxed to them. "This satisfies product managers because if they can’t have all their products at a show, they know that attendees will know how to get more information on their product categories after the show," says consultant Jan Craven of Jan Craven Trade Show Management.
4. Photo album. ABB Power uses a photo album of their products for literature requests. Each photo has a code number, which visitors use to request additional information. "Photos help because often customers are more familiar with what a product looks like rather than its serial number," says Goldberg.
5. Software presentation. "We bring a lot of product presentations on disk," says Peter Foster, manager of market research, Halliburton Energy Services. "We can give (visitors) a quick PowerPoint presentation. You can stash a lot on disk, and it doesn’t take up a lot of physical space in the booth. All you need is a computer."
6. Interactive product catalogs. These can be either touch screen or mouse-driven. You can scan in catalog pages and spec sheets, and create your own multimedia presentation of your products. "Once somebody has come in to the booth and seen your ‘lead’ product, you can quickly access additional information," says Mark Hager, vice president of marketing, Heritage, an exhibit builder/designer. "You can also print out pages. Some systems allow you to illustrate or sketch the attendee’s needs. You can print out two copies of what you talked about - one copy goes with the prospect, and one copy goes with the lead."