5 Booth Tips for Crushing It at #DF18

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

By John Corrigan

B2B events

It’s crunch time, Trailblazers. Dreamforce 2018 is under a month away. With your pre-show marketing and outreach in full swing, don’t forget about your booth!

As we discussed in an earlier post, setting strong goals for your team and having a clear understanding of your mission at Dreamforce is essential for a successful experience. Whatever your goals are, your booth absolutely can make or break them.

Your booth represents a tremendous investment, so be sure it stands out on the floor and represents your brand well. Read on for our top five booth tips that attract prospects and drive ROI.

1. Be Known Before the Show

Don’t be a booth in a sea of booths, be THE booth Dreamforce attendees seek out. While this might seem obvious, pre-event marketing is crucial towards driving booth traffic and recognition. With hundreds of booths at Dreamforce, it’s easy for attendees to get lost. Leverage your pre-Dreamforce outreach with the intention of driving people to your booth. An attendee is more likely to visit a booth when they have communicated with someone they know will be there or if a compelling and clear call-to-action is known through marketing.

2. Flash Burns Cash

Having fun with your booth is great, but whatever you do should always advance your brand story. Think about what you want people to take away from your booth, what experience do you want attendees to be left with?

We can all remember something outlandish from a big event we’ve attended: a random clown or a make your own terrarium station—but we have no recollection of why these things were there or what they meant. Don’t be that booth! Stay true to your brand story and remember that substance always wins over fluff.

3. Collect More than Business Cards

Getting people to your booth is the first step. Put yourself in a prospect’s shoes and ask: “WIIFM?” (what’s in it for me). Most attendees expect that when they enter a booth, they’re going to be pitched. Remember to have conversations. Stand out from the pack by welcoming prospects in and engaging with them. Ask questions and genuinely listen. A fistful of business cards after the event pales in comparison to a handful of meaningful connections with plans to follow-up after Dreamforce.

4. Morale Matters

We can likely all remember a booth we’ve visited that felt lacking or uninviting. More often that not, this energy stems from a team’s tension or disconnect, not a booth’s physicality.

Driving meaningful conversations (and sales) requires sincere commitment and dedication on the part of your sales and marketing teams. Team buy-in is crucial. Ultimately, your team sets the tone for your booth. Be sure that your sales team understands and supports the marketing team’s booth design and strategy. Disconnect between your booth design/strategy and your sales strategy will spell trouble for you and your team and will make for a long week in San Francisco.

5. Design Influences Interaction

Forget about spending money on cheap giveaways. Instead, remember that a physical space influences behavior and interaction. Design your booth intentionally and ask yourself, what would welcome people and make them feel comfortable?

Be careful not to exploit hospitality in order to increase your opportunity to pitch. Charging stations and other amenities meant to draw people in should be in their own space for people to use comfortably. No one wants to be pitched when they simply want to plug-in their device.

Creating zones, like a casual area for charging devices and congregating, and a more formal “selling” zone is a smart move. It separates those looking for an outlet from those who are serious, makes your job easier, and everyone’s experience more enjoyable.

Your Booth is Only the Beginning

Remember that a successful booth is often a full booth. While your booth design and strategy is important, so is your pre-event marketing. Last minute or discombobulated preparation will ultimately hurt your booth’s success—as well as your team’s overall success at the conference. For even more actionable tips on crushing it at the big event, check-out our Dreamforce 2018 blog.

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