How to Build a Scalable Trade Show Program: Follow Your Heart’s New Approach

Scalable Trade Show Program

When you reach a certain level of success at trade shows, it’s natural to wonder what’s next? How can I build on this success and create a scalable trade show program?

Group Delphi recently partnered with Follow Your Heart, purveyor of vegan food products, to scale their exhibit space. When your products are delicious, your brand experience needs to invite attendees to have a seat at the dining table. But how do you bring more people to your table without losing a cozy, personal experience?

Build on What’s Working

There’s a clear benefit to starting small: it gives you useful intel on where to invest more time and energy as you grow.

When we first worked with the team at Follow Your Heart, we designed a warm, welcoming space to reflect the growth of their brand and the passion behind their mission.

Debuting at Natural Products Expo West, the convention’s 85,000 attendees were treated to a natural wood backdrop, plush seating, and warm lighting in the lounge area. The aroma of delicious baked goods enticed attendees to stop and snack on samples.

“The 20-foot-by-20-foot space they used at Natural Products Expo West was a hybrid of custom elements and rental to meet their budget and the natural warm aesthetics they wanted,” says Shannon Zoltek, Group Delphi’s lead account manager for Follow Your Heart.

Rental properties are an affordable way to test designs, but if you’re attending more than three shows, custom designs are a better long-term value. (Note: If you’re looking at your trade show budget for next year, now is the perfect time to plan ahead to budget for a custom build that will deliver higher quality and save you money over time.)

Focus on What Matters to Your Brand

Because budget matters, especially as you scale, devote your resources on customizing features that play to your brand’s strengths.

Building on what they learned at Natural Products Expo West, Follow Your Heart wanted to incorporate even more custom elements into the design that helped them both attract and engage more customers.

This meant to a custom build that played up the wood elements and counters. The new booth added a functioning, flush-mounted sink independent of the show plumbing using two five-gallon tanks, and a special water pump water that turns on immediately and delivers water with minimal noise.

This thoughtfulness translated into a truly beautiful, yet functional space. We created built-in stovetops with knobs that could be made flush when not in use, trash receptacles large enough to handle a full day of food preparation and serving, and sliding doors for easy access to kitchen items, as well as storage for supplies in the back wall.

For a Scalable Trade Show Program, Think Modular

Customization helps optimize your trade show program; modularity makes it flexible.

Behind all of the new custom features in Follow Your Heart’s new booth lies a secret: it’s really two booths in one. As Shannon says, “We constructed all of this in a way that could easily break down to two 10-foot-by-10-foot displays that could be deployed simultaneously.” To make this extra simple for the trade show manager, we created a color-coded, shape guide for the crates so they can assemble it with ease and make sure the right components arrive at the right show.

The result? Follow Your Heart can be in two places at once, with the same cozy intimacy of its Natural Products Expo West build, or come together for one large integrated experience. It can scale down for a smaller event or to conserve budget, and scale up for the year’s make-or-break show. A booth that transforms can transform your entire trade show program.

Learn more about how Group Delphi can transform your trade show program.

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