The Garden Media team attended IGC East earlier this month, and with half of the team being Millennials, we looked at the show with a different perspective. We definitely ran into certain booths that caught our attention.
Many companies are shifting their focus onto the new garden consumer: Millennials, and with good reason. Millennials make up nearly 25 percent of the US population and are the most influential consumers.
One trait of Millennials is that we love to be engaged - not of the marrying kind, not yet - but of the stimulant kind. Give us something to do or something to watch. And be approachable... without being creepy. Be nice, be calm and be welcoming.
Continue reading to see what booths stood out in the Millennial mind and why.
The Colorful Booth
When I walked past a booth, I want to be hooked by color.
Kate Lally Ceramics instantly caught my eye. From the subtle lighting and product colors, she nailed it. Pink, blue and yellow gardening sticks were displayed in cilantro and mint colored pots that, as an added benefit, also gave off a wonderful smell.
Once she hooked me, a great thing about the product was that it's personal and customizable. As someone who has very unique taste, I loved that I can pick exactly what colors I wanted. I could even create my own on the company's website.
The Freebie Booth
Millennials love two things: free product and free food.
Combine them together and you get a perfect trade show exhibit.
Country Home Creations mastered this idea with their booth. They presented different tasty dips AND let the audience take a free chip or pretzel to taste them. It was a win-win for all participating. Plus, it seemed to attract all ages, not just Millennials.
While your company might not have an edible product, think about how you can market your product, reel people in and have the consumer directly test your samples.
But, think about what freebies you can offer. The tastier the better.
The Pretty Booth
Out with the ugly and in with the pretty.
Theuts Flower Barn attracted a lot of foot traffic to its booth because it didn’t just present their product; it presented their product as how it would fit into my lifestyle. Each succulent was planted in a unique planter that I could invision in my bedroom.
The Teaching Booth
As a public relations intern, I’m still learning about the ins and outs of the gardening industry.
When I wasn’t familiar with how a particular product worked, I found it slightly intimidating to interact with companies.
One display that found the perfect balance between “teaching” and “marketing” was Jonathan Bardzik, food entertainer for FootPrint Plants Edibles.
What I loved about this company was that it didn't try too hard. Jonathan was just behind a table making some food and talking about the process. This simple approach gathered a larger crowd, and people were eager to stop by and listen.
Moral of the story: ease us in with simple, unintimidating sales tactics and we will stay if your product is right for us. It's all about the senses for us.