This past weekend I went to the 16th Annual Boston Vegetarian Vegetarian Food Festival. I have been a vegetarian for 13 years and have been to this festival before. There are always intriguing speakers and delicious food samples. This year I went with a new perspective of checking out the branding of the exhibitors. For some context, the festival takes place in the gym of a community college, giving it a casual feel, and many exhibitors are small businesses or grassroots non-profits. These are my favorite examples of best practices for event booths:
If you can have the real thing instead of pictures of the real thing – Do it! The Sproutman‘s exhibit made it pretty clear what he specializes in.
In a space where most exhibitors just used the table given to them, No Meat Athlete used vertical space in back of its table to really catch my eye. The consistent color scheme throughout the display and the logo everywhere was a great example of branding done right.
Go seasonal! Vegan Treats had Halloween-themed mini-cakes on display, which gave them the impression of being current while other booths’ food doesn’t change much month to month. Their branding was consistent through the font and and designs of the signs you can see a bit of in the picture and you should really check out their one-of-a-kind website.
Interactive is always better. It’s that simple! Viana cooking their tofu bratwurst right in front of me actually drew me in and I ended up buying it while I didn’t buy any other faux meats that I sampled and liked. Doing a live cooking demo led lots of people to start a conversation with the cook (“Is that done cooking? Can I take one?”) who could then launch into his pitch whereas with other samples you could more passively take one and keep walking without saying anything.
The last exhibitor I have to give a shout-out to is Mercy for Animals. I don’t have a picture of their booth, but you can see their display from the Boston GreenFest from my last Exhibitors Who Got It Right post. Their campaign is “We’ll pay you $1 to watch this 4-minute video.” I took them up on the deal this time and around minute 2 converted from vegetarianism to veganism. The video had a profound impact on my life (and the lives of animals) and it goes to show the power of marketing and exhibiting. The beauty of non-profit work is that every once in a while you remember how everything you do every day is furthering a mission that you believe in, and no matter your position in your organization, you are having an impact on the world.