Event Planning

How to Rock the Next Car Show and Score Long-Lasting Visibility for Your Brand

If you are in (or associated with) the automotive business, it’s highly possible that you’ll be attending or presenting at a trade show or two this January—because there are going to be lots of them. The month starts with International CES 2019 in Las Vegas. Then it’s off to Detroit for the Automotive News World Congress, and back West to San Francisco for the NADA Retail Forum and Expo. And those are just the biggest ones.

Looking for Car Show Tips?

For presenters at any trade show, the goals are basically the same. You need to draw people to your booth or display, give them an interesting reason to stick around and engage with your brand, and then make sure your brand remains on their minds after the show is over.

But how do you to these things in a memorable, engaging, and unique way that differentiates you from all of the other presenters?

You trust the experts at National Pen to guide you! Promoting businesses and brands is kind of our thing, and has been for more than 50 years. We have enough car show tips and ideas for car show events to keep you going strong for years—and we’re happy to share.

Draw Them In: Set up an Awesome Branded Display

Your booth or display is often the first opportunity you have to make an impression on visitors—so it needs to represent your brand accurately and with maximum visual appeal. Whether you’re looking for something more understated (but still true to brand) like a custom table throw, or you’re ready to up the ante with a deluxe 8’ Jumbo Wide Retractor Dye-Sub Kit, we’ve got everything you need to create the display you need with the budget you have. If you’re short on space, we also offer customized marketing kiosks like our Sail iPad Stand Tall Kit which allow you to create an interactive experience that’s easy to take anywhere.

Keep Them Engaged: Ideas for Car Show Events

So, your amazing display may have helped draw them to your booth—but how do you keep them there? This year, we’d like to focus on how you can use fun and comedy to make your booth the place to be.

One of the best ways to engage a crowd’s attention is to make them laugh—and what’s funnier than a bunch of grown-ups in business attire frantically peddling kiddie cars? Get some black and yellow duct tape and create a “race course” on the trade show floor. Line the course with a few obstacles and fun ads for your brand (maybe small “roadside” billboards). Paint some kid-sized bikes or cars in your brand colors, stock up on branded prizes for the race winners…and get the cameras ready. Few will be able to resist the opportunity to blow off some steam and take part in some good-humored (on the surface, at least) rivalry, and the laughter of participants and observers alike is sure to draw the crowds to your display.

Another way to hold the crowd’s attention is to have some fun with the used car salesperson stigma. We all know they type—the fast-talking huckster with a cheesy hair-do, loud plaid blazer, and even louder voice. Why not hire an actor who’ll take your brand promotion so far over the top that people will spend extra time at your booth just to hear the next hilarious pitch?

Send Them Away Happy: Awesome Car Show Swag Ideas

Now that you’ve got a good start on a rockin’ display and crowd-pleasing activities, it’s time to think about the swag. The thing about auto trade shows is that everybody there is really into cars and car stuff. So pretty much anything they can get for their cars is a huge bonus and likely to be used frequently. And this is a big bonus for you and your brand, since all of your giveaways will be looking fabulous with custom-printed logos and messaging.

We offer a crazy variety of auto-themed customized products, sure to appeal to every potential client, customer, or partner you’ll meet on the trade show floor this year. For people in colder climates, a custom-printed Power Grip Ice Scraper is always highly appreciated, or you could step it up a notch and hand out the Power Grip Ice Scraper with Glove. And who wouldn’t appreciate having their vehicle filled with the gentle vanilla scent of our customized Round Auto Vent Freshener, or feeling prepared for an emergency with a Magnetic Light Bar that just happens to be wearing your logo?

We Have Car Show Tips for Days

Auto trade shows are always well-attended by presenters, dealers, vendors, aficionados, gear heads, and their sometimes reluctant partners. It can be tough to figure out a way to appeal to such a diverse crowd and make sure your brand rises above the rest.

Fortunately, you’ve made the wise choice to look to the team at National Pen for car show tips this year. We have everything you need, from top-quality display materials, to factory-direct pricing on the best giveaways and swag, to a trunk-load (get it?) of ideas for car show events, to make sure you finish this trade show season like a champ.

Katie H.

Katie in a nutshell? Well, for a start, she thinks custom pens are just about the coolest thing ever. Don’t you?

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