There are many reasons to attend a trade show: to gain new clients, strengthen your reputation, see what your competitors are doing, and so on.
No matter your reason, the goal is always to attract as many visitors as possible to your trade show booth.
Here are 50 ideas from our trade show display experts for attracting visitors to your exhibition booth.
1. Find the right event for your company
This seems obvious, but it is also essential. The attendees of the trade show you’re interested in must match your targeted audience. If your product or service does not “speak” to anyone, few attendees will enter your trade show booth.
Take the time to choose the right trade show and evaluate the following factors:
- The typical exhibitor profile
- The trade show’s reputation
- The trade show cost and logistics
2. Contact your current clients and trade show participants
Statistically speaking, the probability of selling to a new client is 5-20 %. On the other hand, you have a 60-70 % chance of selling to an existing customer since they already know and trust you.
Do not neglect your existing customers since they can potentially bring a lot in terms of sales and traffic to your booth.
Send them a trade show invitation email a few weeks beforehand to let them know you will be participating. You can also send them a friendly email a few days before the big day.
3. Promote your participation in the event beforehand
Promote your participation in the event beforehand to attract more visitors to your trade show booth.
Post about your attendance on your social media platforms before the event. Let your followers know where you will be located and give them a sneak peek of what they can expect. Use the trade show’s official hashtags in your posts for maximum reach.
You can even have a special offer for customers who find you through social media. This will help you attract more traffic to your booth while also discovering which networks your customers find you on.
Communicating about your event in advance will build excitement and start engaging your target audience.
4. Consider your target audience and your goals for the trade show
It’s wise to target customers who match your brand image at the event. For example, if your business sells hair and makeup products, it would be more beneficial to target female visitors.
Additionally, it is a good idea to clarify what you want to get out of the trade show beforehand.
Do you want to use the trade show as an opportunity to get more people signed up to your newsletter? Do you want to sell a certain number of products? Do you want to gain more Instagram followers? Determining this will help you save time and organize your day.
5. Make sure your trade show booth stands out
There are many benefits of having a custom trade show booth. Creating a unique design that stands out and promoting a strong message are essential for increasing your brand visibility and attracting more visitors to your trade show booth.
6. Choose a good booth location
Try to position your booth in an advantageous spot on the trade show floor. Ideally, locate yourself near other booths with similar target audiences.
For instance, someone attending an event in search of a caterer for their next party may find it convenient if a disco light company is in the neighbouring booth.
7. Create a photo opportunity
Make your guests centre of attention and install a photo booth in your stand. You could even provide props and get your guests to share their photos on social media with the official trade show hashtag.
If you want to go even further, you could make it into a competition to take the most creative or funniest photo! This will help generate more visitors to your stand and create a buzz around your brand on social media.
8. Build upwards and stand out
Get your trade show booth noticed by building it upwards. The more height it has, the more impressive it’ll look, and the more guests will notice your stall from across the room.
For example, if you are a sneaker business, you could try making a tall wall of sneaker boxes to attract visitors to your stand. Get creative!
9. Make your booth interactive
Interaction is key! Getting your guests involved through interactive games, videos, and quizzes provides a unique, engaging experience. Attendees will remember your booth and be more inclined to purchase your products.
10. Showcase your mascot
Who doesn’t like a photo with a cuddly mascot? Dressing one of your staff up in a funny costume is a great way to attract visitors. Adding a bit of fun and humour to your trade show booth goes a long way!
11. Hire a masseuse
Hiring a masseuse to give relaxing massages to your guests will have people queuing up around the block to access your stand. After a long day at a trade show, a lot of guests will be fully appreciative of a calming massage.
12. Provide a private meeting space
Create a secluded area within your booth where you can discuss your services and products with guests in private. This will make the environment more professional and prevent other guests from interrupting an important sale.
Take advantage of this space to practice your sales dialogue and convince customers to buy your products.
13. Book a band
Adding a bit of music to liven up your trade show booth will without a doubt entice more people to your stand. A live band can be an excellent way to put a smile on your visitors’ faces and make your stand THE place to be!
You could also ask the band to promote your stand several times throughout the day to let guests know where your company’s booth is located. Be sure to check for permission with the venue beforehand.
14. Keep up with trends
Trends are there to be caught onto! Promote your booth by performing the latest TikTok dance, providing trendy giveaway t-shirts, or creating a game around the latest TV show.
Using a trend to promote your stand will be an instant pull and your stand will become the talk of the trade show!
15. Set up a phone charging station
This is one of our favourite ideas! We’ve all been in that situation when our phone inconveniently runs out of power. Setting up a phone charging station is the perfect opportunity to save someone’s day. Your company will go down in history for years to come!
16. Keep guests hydrated
Why not hand out free bottles of water with your company logo? Trade shows go on for hours, and people often forget to stay hydrated. Handing out bottles of water is a smart, cost-effective way to attract visitors to your booth.
17. Hire enthusiastic booth staff
Selecting passionate, engaging individuals to manage your trade show booth will make a big difference. Let’s face it – no one wants to be greeted by a grumpy, monotone salesperson at a trade show. Hiring enthusiastic staff with great interpersonal skills can really pay off!
18. Provide snacks
Trust us when we say that free food will have everyone flocking to your trade show booth! Anything free and edible will work wonders. Having bowls of sweets, fruit, and potato chips out ready on your booth table will attract many, many peckish visitors.
19. Be creative with your design
Think outside the box with your trade show booth design. Give your booth a little je ne sais quoi to stand out from the rest of the pack. Go wild with your shapes and colours and produce something truly unique.
20. Deliver an experience
You should 100% aim to create a memorable experience for your guests at a trade show. Giving guests a diverse experience creates a lasting impression and gets them thinking about your brand days, weeks, and months after the event. Think about texture, sound, colour, and lighting. If this all seems a bit intimidating, a professional trade show booth design team can help you to create a well-rounded experience.
21. Choose colours that will draw attention
Using bright, bold colours will help entice visitors to your trade show booth. Consider also using big lettering, high-quality images, and unique fonts to attract guests from across the trade show floor.
After all, the more visitors you have to your booth, the more opportunities you have to promote your brand and sell your products. At totm exposition, we offer a graphic design service to help enhance your company’s image at trade show events.
22. Ensure your signage is legible
Go big or go home! Making sure that trade show visitors can read your company name, slogan, and logo from across the other side of the room is very important at trade shows.
There are so many different businesses that attend these events, making it very easy to get lost in and amongst the crowds. Being visible at a trade show is absolutely essential! It gets you seen and helps visitors locate your stand.
23. Have a sales goal to motivate staff
Setting sales goals for your staff to hit during trade shows gives them something to aim for. You could even provide an incentive for selling a certain number of products such as a monetary bonus or a free meal.
Keeping your trade show staff motivated and engaged throughout the day will inevitably improve sales and visitor interaction.
24. Make it informative
Is your company selling a new, innovative product? Is your manufacturing process environmentally friendly? Teach guests about your brand, the range of products you offer, and the solutions you provide. Make your booth experience interesting and educational!
25. Hand out freebies
Free stuff is always a hit with trade show guests! Pens, stickers, bottle openers, notepads – you name it! We’re all guilty of loading our pockets with freebies at trade show events.
Slap your brand name all over these goods and start handing out them out. This will raise brand awareness and attract visitors to your booth.
26. Create a social media challenge
Social media is your best friend at trade shows! Use it to promote your brand and get guests to post stories with your company hashtag. This will build excitement around your brand and attract more people to your stand.
Why not create a nomination challenge where visitors post a photo online alongside your hashtag and then nominate a friend to do the same? For example, if you are a dental hygiene brand, your hashtag could be #makebrosmile and visitors would have to capture a moment when they make their friend smile and nominate someone else to do the same.
If enough people get involved, this is an excellent way to spark conversation around your brand and kick start a trend! You could even add an incentive such as a free product for the best post.
27. Set everything up early
As the Scouts would say, be prepared! We recommend arriving to your trade show early to set up your booth. This will give you time to talk tactics with your staff, rehearse your opening lines, and make any last-minute changes.
If you’re all ready to go in advance, get yourself to the entrance as soon as the trade show opens and greet guests in person. A good first impression is key!
28. Have fun
Be that fun booth that everyone wants to visit! Joke around with guests and keep the atmosphere at your trade booth upbeat and light-hearted. Yes, it’s important to remain professional but keeping the vibe at your booth relaxed and fun at the same time can help attract guests!
Don’t forget to network and make friends with neighbouring stalls, boost your staff’s morale, and have a darn good time! These events often go on for a long time so it’s important not to overlook having some fun.
29. Advertise from the ceiling
Utilize all the space you have at trade shows! Ultimately, you’ve paid for a certain area so ensure to make the most of it! Get your brand noticed from afar by hanging posters, banners, and lights from the ceiling. Let everyone know you came to play, not to sit on the sidelines.
30. Make it easy for guests
Guests aren’t going to stick around for long if they must complete 3 registration forms and successfully throw a basketball through a hoop to sign up to your monthly newsletter.
Simplicity is essential! Having several interactive iPads ready to go with a short sign-up form is ideal. Guests don’t want to waste time and neither do you!
31. Invest in more space
The bigger the better! We recommend making some noise at your next trade show event by investing in a bigger area to showcase your brand.
Taking up more space will have everyone’s eyes drawn towards your trade show booth. It’ll be worth the extra cost!
32. Create a relaxing environment
Make your trade show booth a place for visitors to come and relax! Trade shows are tiring days, so we encourage you to create a relaxing environment for your guests to repose themselves for a few minutes while exploring your brand. Think scented candles, fluffy cushions, and comfy bean bags.
33. Identify what you want your guests to learn
Determine a plan of action for what you want to educate your guests about and make sure they all leave your stand with that new piece of knowledge. If you want them all to leave knowing your contact details for example, think about distributing business cards.
34. Provide a place to sit
Creating a seating area is an easy win! Guests will be on their feet all day, so they’ll be thankful for a sit down for a while at your stand. Bringing along a comfortable sofa is a great way to entice guests and score you a few extra brownie points!
35. Bring samples
Don’t forget why you are at the trade show! You’re most likely there to promote your brand and sell products so it’s a good idea to bring some sample products with you.
Guests will be interested in trying out how your products work. They’ll also be more likely to purchase from you if they are able to see your products in real life.
36. Wear fun uniforms
Get the crowd’s attention by wearing fun, bright t-shirts embellished with your company logo. This will help guests identify who works for your company.
Other companies will likely be wearing dull business suits, but your team will stand out. It pays to be different at these events!
37. Play jumbo Jenga
Make your trade show booth interactive and include a game of jumbo jenga. You could even take it a step further and write true or false statements about your company on each block.
This is an imaginative, fun way to start a conversation about your company with guests. Playing jumbo games is a bit different to the usual board game and gets your company noticed.
38. Have the right amount of staff
It’s about finding the perfect balance. Having too few staff can cause waiting time delays, whereas being overstaffed can be intimidating and put guests off attending your stall.
We recommend starting with 3 staff members and seeing how it goes. Learn from experience!
39. Familiarize yourself with the event layout to help guests navigate
At big corporate events, guests often get lost. Being available to guide lost visitors around will come in handy and show that your company’s staff are kind and helpful.
40. Practice natural, opening lines
It is important to greet guests in a friendly, confident manner at trade shows. Here are a few tried and tested techniques for welcoming customers:
- Greet visitors as soon as they arrive
- Be positive and smile
- Actively listen to your customers’ wants and needs
41. Set up a big poster of your logo for guests to colour in
Who’s not partial to a bit of colouring in? Giving visitors an interactive task to complete in your trade show booth engages them with your brand in a fun way.
42. Scavenger hunt competition to find your booth
Another idea for attracting visitors to your trade show booth is to create a scavenger hunt competition. You could send emails out to guests before the event or greet them at the trade show entrance with several clues to find your booth.
There could be a prize for the first 10 visitors who locate your stand. Contest ideas like this will help increase the number of guests you receive.
43. Create a virtual reality experience
Using the latest technology, like virtual reality devices, in your trade show booth will help attract guests. Offering visitors the opportunity to try something that they’ve never done before is a fantastic way to promote your business.
44. Ensure your staff know their stuff
Making sure that your trade show employees are all clued up about your company products and services is crucial. Simply put, it serves no purpose to have an amazing, creative trade show booth if you have inexperienced staff manning it.
45. Mini golf and basketball games
Mini golf and basketball are fun activities to bring to your trade show booth. They’re enjoyable, don’t require too much skill, and will attract visitors. Prizes can be awarded for guests who perform well.
46. Offer a special discount to those who visit your booth
Offering visitors discount codes at your trade show booth is a great promotional technique. Everyone loves getting something for a cheaper price!
47. Host an afterparty
Arranging a follow-up event after the trade show will spread the word about your brand. It’ll show you’re a fun, dedicated team with lots to offer your customers. Perhaps you could hand out free drink vouchers at your stand to encourage visitors to attend your afterparty.
48. Set up a karaoke
Awful singing to cheesy music – can’t beat that kind of entertainment! Invite guests to pick up the mic and sing a classic banger. People will soon visit your stand either to participate or watch others sing out of tune.
49. Light your booth up
Your trade show booth lighting is also very important. It sets you apart from other exhibitors and showcases your products and services.
50. Contact a trade show booth company that can help you succeed
To make your trade show a success, reach out to a professional trade show company for help and guidance. At totm exposition, we offer the full trade show package so feel free to contact us.