Who had the very best booth at the September 2010 International Catholic Stewardship Conference (ICSC) in San Diego? In our opinion, we award the following:

First Place: Our Sunday Visitor (most interactive & welcoming). Sure, their booth was huge. But the design was really impressive. The free photo session (although low quality) was interactive and captured leads. The products were on display.

Second Place 3-Way-Tie: Faith Interactive / LifeTouch / Catholic Stewardship Consultants (best showing of client benefits, although still could be better)

Third Place: Visit Isreal (best overall use of imagery)

Simple ways to improve your trade show booth:

  • Invest a few bucks in a contemporary trade show booth. Older-style booths and simple stands can make your company look obsolete or unsuccessful. No matter how good you really are at what you do, your appearance might say otherwise.
  • Understand the difference between features and benefits. “Contains Sugar” is a feature. “You’ll love the taste!” is a benefit. Show off the benefits.
  • Make sure your benefits can be seen clearly from a distance, and avoid using small type on your backdrops. Look at your booth photo below. If you can read the benefits on the photo, you’re in good shape.
  • Use fewer, better words on your back drop. If there’s too much for a person to quickly read, they won’t read it.
  • Don’t sit down at your booth. It looks bad. If you need to sit down, let a co-worker take over for you, and go in the other room to take a break.
  • A table holds stuff, and it shouldn’t block visitors. Turn your table to the side so that your space is more welcoming. Or better yet, get rid of the table.

Kudos to:

  • The vendors wearing branded clothing, embroidered shirts, etc. You are more memorable.
  • The business who made an effort to collect email addresses for follow-up.
  • The representatives who stood in front of their booth to greet guests and invite them to stop.
  • The companies who are willing to break new ground and move away from obsolete products / services.