Brand activations for success at trade shows

Rowan van der Veen
Jun 27, 2024 4:22:42 PM

For market leaders, creating visibility during a trade show is crucial. A strong brand experience plays a key role in this. It determines how your target audience perceives your brand and the image you project.

Did you know that powerful brand activations can make a significant difference? In this blog, we dive deeper into brand activations and how to effectively implement them during your trade show participation. We share practical examples and show you how to achieve your goals with strong brand activations.


How to create a brand experience at trade shows

Before we proceed with creating a brand experience, it’s important to clarify the following three aspects:

  • Brand Identity
  • Target Audience
  • Trade Show Objectives

KOP - Merkbeleving


Brand identity

At KOP, we believe that a strong brand identity forms the foundation for successful brand experiences at trade shows. A clear focal point helps you work consistently and purposefully. Although your brand identity may evolve over time, it's important to have a clear vision from the start. But as a market leader, you already have that of course.



Target audience

In addition, you need to have a clear understanding of your target audience. You might have fun activations, but if they don't align with your target audience, they will develop a negative association with your brand. And that’s something you want to avoid.


Trade show objectives

When applying this to a trade show, it’s important to clearly define your trade show objectives. Your activations need to align with these objectives. The foundation starts with a clear strategy that centers around your brand identity, target audience, and (trade show) objectives. Objectives that fit this include:

  • A product launch or the introduction of a new brand
  • Showcasing your authority in the market
  • Leaving no room for your competition
  • Relationship management: improving contact with your existing customers

With the right approach and booth design, you can immerse your target audience in your brand story. Curious about how to apply this on the trade show floor? Read on.


Give Away a photo opportunity

You know the deal, a photo booth. You often see them around. If you want this to contribute to your objectives, it needs to fit into the overall picture. Does the photo booth align with your brand identity and is your target audience open to it? Then a photo booth is a strong brand activation. Why? If everything aligns, your target audience will share it on social media, giving you free publicity. Good to know, it’s important to set up an “Instagrammable” booth.


Photobooth (1)-min


Above, you will find examples of photo booths we created for Fuze Tea and Samsung.  


Collaborate with a well-known person

Are you going to collaborate with a well-known person? Make sure they fit well with your organization, what you want to convey, and that they resonate with your target audience. A great example is our client Steel Blue, a market leader in work boots. At the IAA, they made a big splash with their campaign “A mark of true skill.”

For this campaign, Steel Blue collaborated with the famous Dutch music group “Goldband.” They designed a “Limited Edition Goldband x Steel Blue” work boot. The great thing is that the members of the music group were originally plasterers, making the collaboration a natural fit.




Interaction at your trade show booth

By adding interactive elements to your booth, you allow trade show visitors to engage with your organization in a fun way. For example, with a lift and learn setup where you get information about the product when you pick it up. Want to know more about interactive activations? In the blog “The Best Interactions at Your Trade Show Booth,” we highlight several interactive activations, such as Rabobank’s interactive wall and Scala’s Lift & Learn activation.



Aperol Spritz events

So much for our own applications and examples. We’d also like to show you how Aperol Spritz handles this in detail. They elevate their brand experience to the next level. Besides attending events as a brand, they organize their own “Aperol Spritz Festivals” worldwide. Here, everything comes together into one brand experience. We’ll give you a few fun examples.



Use your brand colors boldly

As you can see in the video, you can’t miss the color orange. It’s the color of the drink, and they incorporate it everywhere. From the entrance arch to the stages and the balloons. Everywhere you see the typical orange color of Aperol Spritz.


Organize stimulating activities

At Aperol’s festivals and events, there are many stimulating activities. For instance:

  • An Aperol Canal: Canoeing and drinking Aperol Spritz at the same time. And yes, even the canal is orange.
  • Aperol Cabana: Sunbathing on an orange beach bed while enjoying your Aperol Spritz.
  • Aperol Photo Booth: At one of their events, there is a photo booth with an Aperol Jetski. Of course, entirely in Aperol style.

Logos everywhere

Not familiar with the Aperol Spritz house style? You will be after the event due to the logo usage. There are large logos everywhere. From the beach beds to the bar. Everywhere you find the Aperol Spritz logo.


Collaborations with well-known people

The most recent and well-known collaboration in the Netherlands is with the Offsiders (Wilfred Genee, Wesley Sneijder, and Andy van der Meijde), with whom they even created a song. The song has been streamed over 1 million times on Spotify and viewed about 200,000 times on YouTube. And that’s not to mention the attention it received on the weekly TV show of the gentlemen.



You should now have plenty of inspiration and ideas for creating a brand experience around your trade show participation. With a clear strategy, you can start working towards achieving your trade show objectives. Need our help with that? Contact us.

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Rowan van der Veen
By Rowan van der Veen Online marketeer

Continuously seeking developments in technology, data, and sustainability that the KOP team can apply within their projects.

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