What We Learned at the AHR Expo

 January 31, 2024

By  Riley Hosman


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As a building product manufacturer, staying ahead in a rapidly evolving industry requires innovative solutions and strategic brand positioning. That is why trade shows are a valuable platform to showcase your products, connect with potential customers, and gain industry insights. 

Our team had the privilege of attending the AHR (Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating) Expo, conveniently located in our hometown of Chicago this year. It was an exciting, fun-filled event and provided our team with a wealth of knowledge and invaluable experiences.

In this blog, we will explore the importance of trade shows on brand perception, the factors contributing to exhibitor success, and reflect on the lessons we learned at AHR. We will also share practical strategies to ensure your booth stands out and garners the attention it deserves in the dynamic and competitive trade show environment. 

Let’s dive into our takeaways!

Importance of Trade Shows on Brand Perception

Trade shows are a game-changer when it comes to shaping brand perception. They provide opportunities for businesses to boost their brand recognition and image and make a lasting impression on attendees.

One of the major advantages of trade shows is the positive impact they have on brand recognition. Participating in these events puts your brand directly in front of a targeted audience, including industry professionals, decision-makers, and potential customers. This increased visibility helps your brand stand out among competitors, making it more memorable to attendees. Regularly participating in trade shows can build familiarity and recognition for your brand, making it easier for customers to recall and associate your brand with your products or services.

What Contributes to an Exhibitor’s Success/Impact

There are several factors to consider when it comes to achieving success and making an impact as an exhibitor at a trade show. Understanding your target audience is essential to tailor your approach and put together an exhibit that resonates with them. By researching and identifying your target audience’s preferences, needs, and pain points, you can design your booth and message accordingly.

Creating a unique branding message is another aspect of standing out at a trade show. With countless booths vying for attention, it’s important to have a compelling and distinctive message that sets you apart. Your branding message should communicate the value and benefits of your products or services while highlighting what makes your brand unique and different from competitors. By crafting a clear branding message, you can capture the attention of attendees and leave a lasting impression.

How to Prevent Your Booth from Getting Overlooked

Providing a memorable experience is the biggest key to making a lasting impact. By creating an experience that is engaging, interactive, and enjoyable, you can leave a lasting impression beyond the trade show floor. Make sure your booth doesn’t get overlooked with these tips we picked up at the AHR Expo:

1. Choose the Right Location: The right location on the trade show floor can make all the difference. Consider positioning your booth near the main entrance or in a high-traffic area to draw in plenty of people from the get-go.

2. Offer Interactive Experiences and Demonstrations: Offer interactive experiences and demonstrations that allow attendees to interact with your products or services firsthand. Set up interactive games, virtual reality simulations, or live demos that capture their interest and immerse them in your brand. Look to exhibitors like Uponor, who showcased their product through a live demo.

3. Provide Comfort and Hospitality: Consider setting up a coffee bar, offering food or beverages, or providing a designated area for visitors to rest their feet. These thoughtful touches create a positive and inviting atmosphere, encouraging people to spend more time at your booth. Take inspiration from Noritz’s booth, where they had a coffee bar that provided attendees with a hot beverage and a comfortable place to sit, making their booth a popular spot to relax and recharge.

4. Showcase Creativity and Innovation: Demonstrate the possibilities of your offerings by showcasing creative applications or building unique structures using your products. These creatively displayed exhibits capture attention and spark curiosity, making your booth memorable among the competition.

5. Be Memorable: Above all, aim to make a lasting impression. Make sure your booth is unique and unforgettable. For instance, the Enershield booth caught my attention because the sales representatives were dressed as the Blues Brothers! This fun and unexpected approach grabbed my interest and created a memorable experience, sparking conversation.

6. Have an Offer or Giveaway: To draw attendees to your booth, consider offering an enticing giveaway or incentive. During our time at the AHR Expo, we noticed the Carhartt booth had a long line of people eagerly waiting to take part in their offer of a free product in exchange for filling out a form. This clever strategy not only generated excitement but also enabled them to collect valuable leads for future follow-up.

At GreenHouse Digital + PR, we understand the importance of leveraging valuable opportunities like trade shows to increase brand recognition and connect with potential customers. With our proven track record, industry-specific expertise, and commitment to client collaboration, we can help you implement the practical strategies we learned at AHR and ensure your booth stands out in the competitive trade show environment.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can partner with you to achieve your business goals.


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