Summer is upon us and for most that means we can put away our snow boots, dust off our grills and enjoy the company of family and friends. Summer is the best time of the year to socialize and meet new people, whether it is at a picnic, parade, county fair or any other outdoor event. These outdoor events can be the perfect way for businesses to showcase their products or services and meet new customers. If you have thought about signing up your business for an event booth this summer it is time to start thinking about how you are going to market your business at these events.
If you decide to have a booth at these kinds of events you will soon understand that your booth set up can be used for more than just an outdoor event. Your booth can be used for many years to come at tradeshows, conventions, networking events, displays inside your store, and in other ways. They can also be simple to create, for some businesses all they need to create a booth is to have a banner, a nice tablecloth and some promotional materials. Larger businesses that have a dedicated marketing budget for their booths will probably have multiple banners, custom tablecloths, and even some elaborate pop-ups.
To help prepare for your booth, think about how much you want to spend and also think about your return on investment (ROI). Luckily pop-up banners are not that expensive to buy. They roughly start at about $100 and go up from there depending on the upgrades you want for them. Regular banners can cost $30 and go up depending on what size and the added features you want. Your tablecloth doesn’t even have to cost that much either, you can just buy a black table covering (or in a color that reflects your brand) that you can order or pick up at a local fabric store.
It doesn’t have to take that much money to get a successful booth up and running and it all depends on what kind of budget you are willing to spend. Keep in mind that these outdoor events might have an “event booth fee” or “vendor booth fee” that helps go towards the costs for the event itself. Depending on the size of the event and location will determine how much they will want to charge but check with the event coordinator about how much it will cost to have a booth.
If you have decided to do a booth at an outdoor event this summer, hopefully you already have some marketing materials in place for your company. If not then please read a couple of my other blog articles on the importance of marketing materials. For a booth your marketing materials are probably the most important things you need to help people recognize your business. They will be exposed to multiple businesses at these outdoor events and when they get home you want to make sure they have your contact information so they can remember your business.
Possible promotional materials to think about would be business cards, postcards, fliers and or brochures. Hopefully you already have a couple of these in place for your business. If not please consider them and if you do then make sure you have enough promotional materials to hand out. Some companies also enjoy the idea of handing out freebies to people like small stress balls, pens, fans and other promotional items with their logo on them. Although these are fun items think about the long-term investment of them before you buy 500 plastic Frisbees.
Creating a booth does take some preparation time but if you start preparing now you will have an excellently branded booth that will show off your business in no time and hopefully be used for years to come.
Creative ways to having a popular booth:
- Giveaway promotional stickers/paper hats for children
- Offer free bottled water or have a water cooler
- Give demonstrations on your products
- Have a drawing to win something of value
- Have a candy bowl (avoid chocolate)
- Give out free carnations with your business card tied to it
- Give out promotional coupons for your business
- Ask if they have friends who might want your services
- Be courteous and don’t be pushy