Maximizing Trade Show Impact: The Value of a Product Theater

Product theaters have long been a staple in the marketing strategies at many trade shows, including those within the healthcare segment. These dedicated engagement areas offer a unique opportunity to reach a targeted audience, such as clinicians or healthcare professionals (HCPs). The goal is to foster quality time and meaningful discussions, though success is not always guaranteed. Here’s how to enhance your chances of making a product theater work for your organization.

Understanding the Basics

A product theater is a scheduled presentation space within a trade show where companies can present their products, research, or educational content. These theaters aim to engage attendees through informative sessions that provide value beyond the typical exhibit booth interaction.

Key Steps to Success

1. Understand the Rules and Regulations

Each association hosting a trade show may have different rules and structures for their product theater offerings. Some associations handle marketing, registration, and logistics, while others merely provide the space. Thoroughly understanding these rules is crucial to avoid costly mistakes and ensure a smooth operation. Always read the prospectus and maintain open communication with the exhibits manager.

2. Preparation and Promotion

Product theaters require the same level of preparation and promotion as a successful exhibit booth. This includes setting goals, pre-marketing, creating educational content, scanning badges, and following up with leads. Ensure you allocate enough time to prepare and promote the product theater to your target audience effectively.

Educational and Demonstration Opportunities

Product theaters are ideal for a variety of educational formats. Depending on the sponsor’s needs, company representatives, researchers, or designees can discuss patient education, research, products, or conduct demonstrations. These presentations must be approved in advance, and space is often allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, typically during unopposed hours.

Marketing and Promotional Materials

Adhering to the association’s guidelines for marketing and promotional materials is critical. Many associations require that all materials include a disclaimer regarding continuing education and a statement clarifying that the association does not officially endorse the product theater. Ensure all materials are approved by the sponsors legal and regulatory department is critical prior to printing and distribution to avoid last-minute issues.

Comprehensive Planning

A successful product theater involves various components, including pre-show promotion, signage, speakers, audiovisual equipment, meals, and lead retrieval. Each aspect may have specific requirements based on the association’s rules. Incorporate all these elements into your overall plan to ensure a seamless and effective presentation.

Compliance and Best Practices

If providing meals and scanning badges remember to comply with CMS Open Payments requirements. Determine if a product theater aligns with your company’s goals, and if so, thoroughly read the prospectus and ask any necessary questions. Building a strong relationship with the exhibits manager can be invaluable and is a key investment in your success.

By following these guidelines and paying attention to the details, you can maximize the impact of a product theater, making it a valuable component of your trade show strategy.

Reach out to the P&O team to learn more.

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