Monday Motivation: 16 Genius Ideas for the Best Trade Show Exhibition Booths
Trade show statistics show that 67% of event attendees represent new opportunities for businesses because the majority of them work in upper management, have real buying power, and will likely buy one to two products/services that they learn about that day. To capitalize on these opportunities, you’ll need to create the best possible exhibition booth.
How do I attract people to my exhibition booth?
Here are some basic principles that most modern business expo ideas stem from:
- Aim for a homey, welcoming vibe. Choosing wood and textured fabrics over sleek metal options.
- Provide for their immediate needs. Free water bottles, charging outlets, and wifi are always in demand.
- Make your booth about more than just your brand. Yes, feature your logo and products. But make sure that stopping by your booth gives an attendee more information or a better experience than if they were to just visit your website online.
If you have these, you’ve done the majority of the work needed to pull in some crowds. But if you want to go a step further, consider making your exhibition booth truly unique.
How can I make my exhibition booth stand out?
In general, the most awesome trade show ideas fall into one of these categories:
- Insane giveaways. Things like Xboxes and $500 Amazon gift cards are always popular. But even if you don’t have the budget for something like that, just remember that the key is to provide something that is both in high demand and universally appealing. Capture emails for your raffle by scanning badges or otherwise simplifying the entry process to one quick and painless step.
- Stunts. Exploding Kittens’ vending machine puppet show is a great example of how creative a brand can get no matter what they’re working with.
- Capitalize on trends. Pick the current hottest topic in your industry and provide something at your booth – for free – that people will go out of their way for.
Got all that? You’re well on your way to having the best booth at the trade show. Now let’s take a look at some more inspiring suggestions to help fill out your exhibition booth strategy.
16 Creative Booth Ideas the Best Exhibition Booths Use to Attract Visitors
These awesome tradeshow ideas will help you get the most out of your event investment.
1. Incorporate 3D projection mapping into your exhibition booth design.
3D mapping brings augmented reality into your booth, a cool and innovative touch to any existing design. It’s also a great quick fix for booths with dim, mood lighting, or spaces with interesting structures. Try projecting something entertaining (like folding abstract shapes or dancing gears) or something that directly links to your brand (an artistic rendering of your logo or product blueprints would be a hit).
2. Hire dedicated booth staff.
Yes, you should have representatives from your core staff present at the show. But for things like greeting guests, setting up displays, and running the cash register you’ll want to have a few people who specialize in customer service on your team.
3. Play interactive booth games.
Interactive booth games are a great way to draw people in and keep them there for a bit. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Industry or featured speaker trivia
- A game show wheel filled with both valuable prizes and fun mini challenges
- Set up an actual video game console and controller in your lounge area
4. Plan your exhibition booth activities around the main event agenda.
For example, you wouldn’t want to host your highly anticipated giveaway during the main speaker event. Instead, use those popular seminars as a time to tidy your booth, wipe down electronics with anti-bacterial cleaners, and make sure all of your newly captured prospect data has been backed up properly. Then save the demonstrations and special guest signings for those high traffic/programming lull periods.
5. Launch new products at the event.
92% of trade show attendees say their main reason for attending trade shows is to see new products being featured. So why not have a special release just for guests of your exhibition booth? You can even incorporate some guerilla marketing strategies (like a flash mob, geofilters, or costumed floor reps) to make the occasion extra special.
6. Base your booth location on where the restrooms, concession stand, main entrance, and secondary entrances are.
It’s called the A triangle, and it’s one of the best ways to secure a great booth location at any size venue or trade show event.
7. Make it visually stunning.
An eye-catching stand is the most effective method for attracting attendees according to 48% of exhibitors surveyed. Examples like the ones in this article are especially effective – just look at how each one is both unique and memorable. But if you’re really stuck on how to make your exhibition booth look eye-catching and professional, contact one of these best trade show booth design companies.
8. Strategically place your booth among other brands with similar target audiences.
Develop a symbiotic relationship with related companies in your industry by feeding off their crowds as they gather on either side of your own trade show booth. If the venue is unable to provide details regarding what brands have booked what spaces so far, just keep in mind that most companies rent the same booths over and over again. Which means that, at the very least, you might be able to view photos of the event from last year to determine who will be presenting and where they will likely end up this year.
9. Add some aromatherapy.
This trend helps marketers capitalize on more human senses beyond just seeing and hearing. Choose scents that align with your goals. For example, if you want attendees to see your brand or product as one that makes their lives easier, go with a calming vanilla or lavender fragrance. If you’re looking to invoke something more action oriented, try energizing citrus or mint.
10. Include a branded step and repeat.
You could even throw in a professional photographer too. If you really want to get noticed on the expo floor, collaborate with the main event organizer to emphasize event hashtags or get their help setting up and running it.
11. Host a kickback space.
The space inside your booth matters. Use dynamic seating that allows attendees to sit facing one another and talk in groups or provides a little bit of privacy amidst the chaos. Also, be clever with your layouts – circular seating or train station rows provide lots of options and space. Some other general rules for making this a success include not letting salespeople hover in this area and providing more than one table so it doesn’t feel awkward to join the group.
12. Provide toys to play with.
Interactive touch screen games, DIY 3D printers, and VR headsets? Yes please! Advanced technology should keep visitors entertained and create memories for them that last beyond the event itself. Just make sure to choose content that matches your exhibition booth theme. And always end each interaction with a simple CTA.
13. When laying out materials or products on tables, avoid straight lines.
Straight lines look very polished and purposeful so guests won’t want to mess up your table by picking up or interacting with anything. Make everything more accessible by building small piles of pamphlets or fanning out your goodie folders to make everything look more interesting.
14. Host your own featured speaker, special guest, or educational lecture.
Who said you can’t have your own exciting event within the event at your exhibition booth? Most venues are fine with allowing you to add a program of your own to tradeshow. So bring in an industry influencer who isn’t already speaking or grab a special guest when they’re in between panels to do a signing of their new book at your booth. Just make sure to submit your mini event to the main exhibition listing or magazine so people actually know what you plan to do.
15. Add experiential marketing to your trade show event plan.
If you want to bring this element into your exhibition booth, aim to provide 2-3 immersive, tactile experiences any passerby can participate in. For example, you can have them create something within your software or program using demo mode on a tablet. Or you can have guests go through a mini tunnel filled with interactive screens.
16. Use the airspace above your booth.
Sometimes you need to think outside the box. Or in this case, the booth. One of the best trade show booth ideas for winning the hearts (or at the very least, the attention) of attendees is with a floating sign, prop, or inflatable character. Not only will it help guests find you, it will also stand out as a location marker for everyone else at the event.
Now, you’ll attract high ROI prospects to your exhibition booth in no time!
Looking to land some great corporate clients in the near future? Be sure to read up on some event KPI tips and these great event giveaway ideas so you’re ready when you do. Or, discover ideas for creating better event networking moments.