Published on April 26, 2022
Are these some of the best trade show booth ideas? The results speak for themselves.
Since the earliest days of human culture, trade shows have been part of our lives. They’ve come a long way from the days of carrying your wares around on the back of an ox cart, though. Today almost every major industry hosts regional, national, and even international trade shows. Some of the larger events can draw tens of thousands of attendees. If your company is participating in a trade show, that’s a lot of potential customers in a concentrated space and time. That also means you have a lot of competition.
For attendees, trade shows offer plenty of attractions. Booth after booth of enticing products and giveaways lure the eye in every direction. But exhibitors with the best trade show booth ideas know this, and they work to make their booth a destination for people.
How? Every trade show has its aesthetic. Your booth will necessarily look different if you’re at a tech industry event than if you’re at a trade show for spas. However, there are a few rules to follow when it comes to creating a space. And then there are even more ways to use those rules to make your booth stand out.
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The best trade show booth ideas start with the basics
No matter how much creativity you put into your trade show booth, if you skip the basics, you won’t get the attention you want. You could even get negative attention if your mistakes are especially egregious.
1. Keep your message simple.
What do you want to convey? What are you sharing with people? Even if you have multiple products or services, you need a message that people can read and remember quickly and easily. Think: “Get more miles with our tires” vs. “We use a proprietary manufacturing process to make 6 specialty tires lines that last 2x longer on cars and 2.5x longer on trucks.” Catch their attention. Save the details for the fine print.
2. Keep your image simple.
You might draw a lot of attention with flashing lights, loud music, and Day-Glo colors, but you’ll also annoy your neighbors. Of course, in the right situation, this tactic could work, but in most cases, this approach overshadows your messaging and will likely make people want to avoid your booth.
3. Don’t let your message get lost.
Keeping things simple doesn’t mean you can’t use eye-catching graphics, a social wall, or unique booth designs. You do want to stand out (in the right way). But once you draw people into your booth, don’t overwhelm them with a space full of stuff. Make sure you leave empty space in your booth, give your products, and your visitors, room to breathe. Remember, less is more.
4. Staff your booth appropriately.
There’s no magic number here; it’s highly dependent on the event and your plans. However, too many people is better than not enough. If you find that you’re overstaffed, grab your giveaway items and roam the trade show, giving away your branded swag. Speaking of which:
5. Give stuff away.
This could get pricey, but if it’s part of your marketing budget, the right giveaway could give you a huge ROI. Go for useful or fun items. T-shirts and hats work if you have good graphics. Water bottles and coffee cups are always a hit (just be sure they’re good quality, so people keep them).
Before you get too far, though, check your graphics. Is the design interesting and fun? Is it stylish? But hold up just a minute before you start handing things out willy nilly. Read the next tip to find out what to do with those giveaways.
The best trade show ideas: taking the next step
6. Get people on your mailing list
All those cool hats and coffee mugs aren’t 100% free. If visitors want them (and they will) they have to give you something in return: an email address and permission to get added to your mailing list. You now have someone marketing for you by wearing your gear, and you, in turn, can market to them every week or month with your email newsletter.
7. Make your booth comfortable
If it fits in with your brand, make your booth a place where people can relax and recharge. Design a quiet area and provide snacks. Once word gets out that you have food, you won’t be able to keep people away!
8. Hire a band, DJ, or other entertainment
Hire a fun, high-energy band, or DJ to perform at your booth, or other entertainment that can draw people in. Just make sure they aren’t too loud, or too quiet. And, before you even seriously consider this, you probably also want to make sure they’re even allowed. Depending on the event, you may or may not be able to do things that expand greater than your allotted booth space—and yes, loud music would do that.
If something that creates noise won’t work for your event, then maybe consider game wheels, where people can spin it for prizes, or even the classic move—raffles.
9. Partner with a complementary business
Make your budget go further and draw more interest by working together with a complementary business. Do you sell high-end cookware? Partner with a custom oven company. Do you manufacture solar panels? Work together with your favorite contractor at the next home show.
If you don’t have a list of partners to choose from already (who does!), then take a look at the vendor/booth list that’ll be there on the floor before the show and try to reach out to them so you can have a partner there at the show. You can refer people to their booth, and they can refer people to yours, too.
10. Use digital signage
Trade shows are busy, active places. Do your public service and use a digital sign, so people can keep up with the latest on the trade show hashtag, your specific hashtag, or stay current with the leaderboard.
Make your next trade show a success. Display all the exciting ideas from attendees in real-time! Everwall is built to handle high volumes of social posts, with filters that help ensure the content shared is appropriate and relevant. Start building your social wall today!
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