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There are many ways to stand out at your next trade show, and we’re going to cover many of them in this post. But they all have one thing in common: double decks. A double deck is a trade show exhibit with two distinct parts: a ground level portion, and an upper level accessible by a short stairway or ramp.

These types of decks carry a variety of impactful benefits, but are especially effective from a marketing standpoint. In addition to giving your company an aura of innovation, they enable you to use strategies that won’t be available to single-level exhibits.

Read on for 4 of the primary benefits and strategies around trade show double decks.

1. Enhanced Visibility

The primary benefit of double decks is their enhanced visibility. It’s simply a matter of common sense, really. If the majority of your fellow attendees are using single-level exhibits, and yours has two, you’re going to be more visible. Period.

There are a lot of factors to trade show success that you can’t control: market conditions that affect interest in your product, technological advances that impact relevance, and other secondary factors. But there’s one thing you have 100% control over, 100% of the time: your height.

And what’s the most sophisticated and visually impressive way to double your height? A double deck, of course. But the added height is only the first part of what you get when you invest in a double deck. What you do with the added height matters just as much.

2. The VIP Experience

The second level allows you to section off a sort of “VIP lounge” in your exhibit. Exclusivity breeds desire. It’s a simple and well-known fact of human psychology.

The key, though, is to have the top portion of your exhibit blocked off to anyone but your VIP visitors. How exactly you differentiate that status is up to you. But we have two suggestions to get you going.

First, you could utilize some pre-existing membership status for a qualifier. For instance, if you have a particularly large following already, you could make the VIP section available exclusively to visitors who are existing customers and have already signed on to your mailing list. If you make it apparent to non-VIP visitors that this is your test for second-level entry, this will fuel curiosity around your products as well as envy for those who are VIP members.

Your other option would be to give entry visitors that sign up for your email mailing list. This is a great option if you’re a startup or newer company looking for a way to build your customer base.

3. Multiple Branding Opportunities

Aside from the visual benefit of its added height, double decks offer you the chance to leverage multiple visual branding techniques. Why exactly is this such a big deal?

It goes back to those two magical words: multiple impressions. The more you can get in front of people, and get them to build mental associations with you, the more likely they’ll be to buy from you.

If you want to maximize your results, however, we have the following recommendation on getting the most out of your double deck’s branding power. As in most areas of life, the key to success lies in balance. People process the world differently, and zero in on different things.

This means that certain people’s attention will be captured by your company name, your product name, or your tagline. All of these are text-based, left-brain points of interest. They will reliably grab the attention of certain types of people.

Right-brainers, however, will be immediately drawn to the visual components of your branding and exhibit. Do you have a recognizable visual logo? Make sure to put it on at least one portion of your double deck, to draw in the right-brained crowd too. If you want to be even more effective, consider making special alterations to your logo just for the trade show.

The multiple branding opportunities afforded by taller exhibits allow you to play to the preferences of everyone, while staying 100% on message.

4. Showcase Products In Multiple Spaces

Double decks give you the opportunity to showcase multiple products, each in their own dedicated area. This gives you the advantage of seeming like “one of the big guys.” The key, again, is to keep the exclusive or especially attractive stuff upstairs. Even if you don’t trade emails for entry, for instance, the physical fact of the demo being in a different section will make a similar impression.

The ways in which you could leverage this are practically endless. The “exclusive” demo upstairs could be for a nearing or recent product release…or it could be a certain type of product geared at a growing market demographic. Your options are only limited by your imagination.

Double Decks: Summing Up

Standing out at trade shows is a big deal. When crowds of people gather, individuals tend to subconsciously drift where they see large groups of other people.

This means, simply enough, that visitors bring more visitors. And once you adopt that mindset, your mental calculus shifts, and you realize that each visitor is not simply one visitor…they may equate to two or even three people over the span of their time with you. As soon as you look at things this way, you attach an entirely different level of importance to attracting those initial visitors.

Double decks are an incredibly effective way to get and keep foot traffic flowing toward your exhibit. They give you an undeniable height advantage over your fellow attendees, meaning you’ll catch more eyes and interest. They allow you to use the psychological power of exclusivity, explore multiple product demos, highlight upcoming products, and much more.

What does all of this add up to, for a visitor who has just encountered you? It shows that you’re a company who goes the extra mile. And who’s not drawn to that?




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