When you are at a Concert as an artist, or a trade show or event as a vendor, there are things you can do to make your wares shine a little and get as many or more views than the competition. Even if you are the sole musical act or speaker, work to improve your merchandise’s visibility and appeal. One rule of thumb is if you are allowed to, you do not have to put your merchandise table right next to another competitor. If you have to, you are in direct competition, which could be good for you if you are organized and have fresh content, but if you don’t have to, don’t. The reason for this is individuality; if the competition has their goods displayed in one area of the venue, you can still retain revenue and interest by simply being located in a different spot. It’s subtle enough of a tactic to seem innocent, and you can shrug it off and immediately start leading onlookers to why your product or idea is stellar and fitting for them.
If you are at a trade show and have a choice about where to be set up, don’t worry about being in an area that is not bombarded with 5 to 10 other displays. If your visual appeal or idea, contest, giveaway, or host is attractive enough, the foot traffic will wander into your display zone. Even though it sounds simple, keeping the display area clean is probably the number one way to enhance a good visibility factor. Even the tidiest person may start to exchange business cards, demonstrate a product or gadget numerous times, and all of a sudden there is a pile of clutter around. When you see this happen, you sympathize with the display person, but mentally you may steer yourself away from their merchandise booth. Another very important rule for merchandising is still frequently ignored, if your company has a green logo, keep the product or selling points near to the same color. Have you ever seen a booth with an energy drink style lightning bolt, but then on the booth table are soft white wedding tones? There are still many vendors who are in such a hurry to get to the show that they forget to consider the sensibility factor of their display.
It is true when advertisers and consumers alike say that “Colors speak a thousand words”. If you are working on a green, recycling or eco-minded project or product, sticking with greens and blues and a little white is a guaranteed key to staying on “color topic”. There are consultants and idea brokers out there that will steer you towards many different and modern color schemes with the sales pitch of “being cutting edge and unique”. Keep in mind that if your product is one of the best in the world, this may work. But overall, sticking with the usual color scheme will earn you points in the form of interest and foot traffic. Another very important tip is to keep the merchandise at the center focus of the table or area. We have seen many tables where there is a high tech tie in gadget, mailing list, or sweepstakes giveaway and then the merchandise is at the back left or back right of the table. Try to avoid making this mistake and physically place the item for sale up front where it needs to be.
A well put together merchandising area is one of the strongest tools you can use to promote your product or service. Of course your selection for booth personnel is key as well so be sure you’re giving future costumers someone with an outgoing personality. Some of the old rules do not apply in the current era of Smartphone apps and high tech allure; but if you take a closer look you will see the basics of merchandising can edge you ahead of all the other booths. Freebies always help, and thinking outside the box well beyond just pens and stick it notes can gain you momentum. And if your product is food or drink, well there you have it; you have just climbed the first hurdle of what to offer for free to keep them coming back. So pack the portfolio and large display case in the airport shuttle, the trade show or music event is waiting. Accept the challenge of representing with grace, and dream of success in your current situation.