Your Booth as a Brand Storybook

Ann Marie Burke | June 13, 2017

Stories make powerful connections. And they can do that in a variety of ways; the spoken word, the written word, photography, video, sculpture… and they can be told by a trade show booth.

What stories tend to do, more than any other type of incentive, is move people to action. And that is what every exhibitor wants to do with their target audience – move them to awareness, deeper interaction and ultimately partnership.

The good thing is that your trade show booth can house a variety of storytelling vehicles in one space. Unfortunately, that can also be a bad thing. Unless they work together along a single plot line, the story will not become a bestseller.

So, let’s look at 5 storytelling tips for inspiration.

  1. The author’s name is always on the cover. Do attendees tend to come up to you and ask you what your company name is and what exactly is it that you do? Sometimes we are too close to our own brand to see that element is missing. Always make sure that is clearly communicated up front.
  2. Introduce the main conflict. It doesn’t matter whether the conflict is internal – workflow challenge, performance improvement – or external – new product launch, brand perception. The best way to show that your product or service meets the needs of your audience is to communicate your understanding of their challenges. Strong imagery helps to put them into the story when they recognize a familiar situation they are facing now or on a regular basis.
  3. Provide the resolution. Once you have listened to their needs and they are in the story with you, it is time for the hero. Hero’s always put the needs of others before their own so make sure your solution benefits them and not just your bottom line. In fact, your goal should be to make them the hero of the story by providing a solution they can take back to their team.
  4. Adopt a short chapter style. There is a sweet spot where you are conveying all the key information but keeping it as brief as possible so that the audience doesn’t lose interest. Use a mix of infographics, bold but simple headlines, ‘did you know’ soundbites, hands-on demos and more. And make sure to keep the dialogue real vs. ‘corporate speak’.
  5. Understand the purpose of the story. Is it to entertain with a fun and memorable brand impression? Is it to relay that one key value proposition for them to take away? Is it to establish your brand as a thought leader with industry insight? Once your objective is established it will help to align all the elements of your space towards that purpose.

The best part? The story doesn’t have to end the last day of the show.