30 Simple Trade Show Booth Ideas That Attract Visitors
A common misconception amongst new traders is that they need a large space or mega building to do an exhibition show.
Most times, this kind of heavy exhibition might not suit the kind of product you want to sell. Besides, you might not sell that much because you have set your eyes on something way past your budget.
Exhibition booths are like mini shops where people can do a trade show. For instance, a photographer from Belgium goes to a festival in Spain.
You will agree with me that it’s literally impossible for him to take his studio to Spain. However, this festival poses a good means to earn good money and also receive some exposure.
When it comes to exhibiting at an event, one of the hardest things to do is ensure your booth stands out against the rest.
With so many other businesses, brands, and competitors attending the same events as you, you need to ensure you’re doing everything you can to stand out.
This is where you have to think of booth ideas where couples and families can sit to take pictures for memories.
This is the same for a chef that operates in Venice. He must attend a fair in Toronto but must think about some affordable exhibition booth ideas to pitch and sell to eager customers.
Whether it’s hosting a unique competition or investing in some incredible free samples, you want people to stop and look at your stand as they walk by.
The longer they stay, the more chance you have of turning them into a paying customer. There are simple and cheaper booth idea alternatives for an auction, a show, or a yard sale.
I’ll discuss some ideas with you whilst keeping the small budget in mind.
With that in mind, here are some exhibition booth ideas to make you stand out at your next event:
1. Avoid Purchasing So Many Things
One of the first mistakes that people new to exhibition shows make is that they want everything.
Don’t think that stocking up their booth will attract more customers. The truth is that the less stocked your booth is, the more organized and attractive it looks and the more customers are likely to troop in.
A piled-up, disorganized booth will give customers the impression of a confused business person whose products would probably be clumsy.
Let me give you a realistic example. If you were given two options – a nice meal of grilled fish and chicken in a really neat home and the same food in a very dirty home.
If a friend tells you he saw a cockroach in one of the meals during the two visits, which meal will you immediately suspect?
The meal at the dirty home, right?
It’s the same thing in business. If your business environment isn’t conducive, customers will ignore your product or service.
Everybody loves a neat and clean environment. Always remember the number one rule in marketing – packaging is everything.
You might have heard the saying that you could literally sell faeces to an eager customer in a fancy, well-packaged wrapper.
This isn’t meant to make you feel irritated or portray marketers as deceptive, inhumane people who take advantage of customers.
Instead, it is to let you know how powerful packaging can be in every production process.
2. Write A List Of What You Need
Next, you need to write down your scale of preference. A scale of preference is like a list of your needs arranged according to their importance.
This is very important especially if you are running on a tight budget and you don’t want to purchase some items you wouldn’t need at the end of the day.
This could be very demoralizing therefore I will advise that you take your time to write a list and edit this list to narrow it down to only very important things.
3. Get The Important things first
Once you have successfully written and narrowed down your list. It is time to purchase the items from this list.
According to your list, number one should be your most important item and number 10 should be the least.
Any other item that didn’t make this list shouldn’t be given any form of priority. Focus on the accessories or building equipment needed to construct your exhibition booth.
Start with pieces of furniture like chairs and tables. Do not allow yourself to be too excited that you forget your budget and your list.
Always carry your list to the market and never ever go above your budget except if you need to buy better quality.
4. Hire A Professional Builder
Depending on your desired booth architecture, you would have to employ a professional builder.
There are do-it-yourself kinds of booths, and there are also booths that require that professional touch.
Although the DIY booth is a cheaper option, you can not compare it to a booth that was built by a professional.
So this decision depends greatly on your budget. Ask around and get to know the price to build a temporary or even a permanent booth.
This will help you to know if you can afford to hire a professional builder or just stick to a DIY booth.
Do not commit your entire resources to one stage of your project else you would be left with a nice booth with nothing to fill up the booth.
Some DIY options are very cheap but still attractive and workable. The main point is to attract customers to your booth.
5. Study The Environment
Before you move on to begin organizing your booth, you need to know what kind of environment you will be trading in.
Environments differ and there are population imbalances in some environments such as having more old people than young people and sometimes it’s the other way around.
To get the appropriate target, you need to know your environment to attract the right customers to your booth.
If it’s an older community, you might want to use a vintage setting to remind them of the ’80s when they were much younger.
Research has proven that older people respond better to vintage settings in the market. This is why most adverts for vintage cars are in black and white.
Nevertheless, some younger people also respond positively to vintage settings & you might want to add a little vintage to your booth setting.
6. Show Live Demonstrations
If you have products that can be used in a live demonstration, hosting regular demos at your stand could be a great way to encourage people to visit at a particular time.
Whether you’re giving a makeup tutorial or you’re showing how to cook using your ingredients, you want people to be able to see a real-life example of how your products work.
Not only that, but they will also see that they’re high-quality and are worth investing in. If you want people to visit your stand for your demos, you need to ensure you’re advertising your demonstrations on social media both before and during the event.
7. Make Provisions For A Bad Weather
While setting up your booth, don’t forget to make provisions for bad weather, especially in the summer.
While a good forecast could determine if there would be bad weather beforehand, the weather is still one of the most unpredictable natural phenomena.
You must be ready for anything and any weather. If you are making use of an open booth, make provisions for rain covers and windbreakers.
You don’t want your customers running helter-skelter during a storm or rain.
If you’re making use of a closed booth, try to also make room for ventilation and lighting in case you have to close the main entrance due to rain or bad weather.
This should conform with your budget and you should check that you are not overspending.
However, this is one thing that cannot be pushed aside. I once attended an exhibition show in Lagos, Nigeria.
The trade show was going smoothly until a sudden storm started. I immediately found a cover from the rain and watched in pity as the trade show organizers frantically struggled to hold down their canopy and keep their products from getting wet.
Customers who had been interested in their product raced to other booths with covers. It must have been a disaster for them because
I found the manager behind the booth in tears. She was around my age and she looked torn apart.
I wanted to help so I bought one of her cookie boxes even though it was ruined by the rain, it was the little I could do but I learned a valuable lesson that day.
8. Get A Professional Marketer
Have you ever met a professional marketer who is so convincing? I have witnessed firsthand the power of a good marketer.
So there I was, I had just alighted a bus and was on my way home. I had just 3,000 Naira in my wallet, the equivalent of $8.
A young man who was neatly dressed walked up to me with a big bag and claimed to sell male shoes.
I know this sort of marketing and immediately told him I wasn’t interested. However, this guy wouldn’t give up and pitched in such a convincing manner.
I didn’t know when I pulled out my wallet and took two pairs.
If you hire a good marketer to help draw the attention of passersby to your booth, you might just be in for the best sales in your small business history.
This strategy is also used by major brands in the market, especially at the annual Lagos State trade fair.
The marketer could stay outside the booth and draw the attention of passersby by either talking to them like my friend did or just displaying a sample of your product.
9. Organize Your Booth and its environment
It is important that you try as much as you can to beautify and organize your booth. Don’t let your booth be scanty and at the same time, do not congest your booth environment.
Yes, a booth has little space but with the right organization, you could have enough space for customers to at least move their legs.
10. Arrange Your Products And Make Them Visible To Customers
Where I come from, we don’t trust things that are brought out from a hidden place in a market or shop. It is more trustworthy when it’s a restaurant and food is openly displayed.
I will assume it’s the same mentality worldwide because people usually respond well to things they can see.
This is why customers trust chefs that cook customers’ food in their presence. Making your products visible to customers not only attracts customers but also gives an impression of professionalism.
11. Work On Your Pitch
If you have successfully attracted those eager customers, it’s time to pitch them your product or service. Once you have their attention, that is a plus but it doesn’t guarantee a sale.
In order to succeed in selling to customers after attracting them to your booth, you will need to work on your pitch.
This greatly depends on the kind of service you are rendering or the product you sell. It’s more like the job of my friend who I bought two good shoes with the last money in my wallet.
You need to centre your pitch on these key points:
- What’s your product?
- What does it offer?
- What makes it stand out?
My shoe seller’s pitch to me – “this is an opportunity to get quality shoes at a cheaper rate”.
Then I asked him how I would contact him if I need a refund.
He looked at me, smiled, and said “I sold thirteen shoes a week ago and twelve more today, do you think if I sold fake things I would still be here?”
That statement alone was enough to throw me off guard and I paid for the two shoes.
I still wear them today. My point is, your marketing skills have to be top-notch to turn eager customers into paying customers.
12. Incorporate Social Media
One of the best booth ideas to get people to stop and engage with your stand is to incorporate social media one way or another.
Not only will social media help encourage people to visit your stand, but it will also help when it comes to your brand visibility.
You could create an Instagramable display that people want to photograph or you encourage people to post on social media in order to enter a competition.
The more people you have talking about you online, the better. These tips and tricks are useful when it comes to using social media at an event.
13. Ensure You Have An Impressive Design
One of the best ways to make your booth stand out at an exhibition is to have an impressive design.
This may mean purchasing the biggest space possible or creating something incredible with the smallest space in the room.
Whichever one, you need to ensure your event design is making people stop and engage.
For more information when it comes to event displays, you can visit the event display.
14. Use Event Technology
Finally, if you want to make an impression with your exhibition booth, you might want to consider using event technology.
Whether this means using an LED screen to attract attention or using virtual reality to get people involved.
Event technology is a great way to bring in crowds. Bizzabo gave some guidelines about event technology.
15. Prepare for the trade show as early as you can
A great way to market your booth is by creating a buzz about it before the show begins. To achieve this, social media can be of benefit.
Give hints about some of the amazing things you’ll have at your trade show booth by posting pictures from previous events on your social media platforms.
You can even hold a contest on social media to generate buzz about the giveaway before your booth visit.
Generating excitement for what you are going to give away will keep people interested in both yourself and your business and make them much more likely to stop by during the trade show.
16. Media coverage before the tradeshow will go a long way
To attract an audience, use pre-show media coverage to alert people of other ways that they can follow and engage with you.
If you plan to have a giveaway, announce a new initiative, or provide entertainment at your tradeshow event that is more compelling than what other suppliers offer attendees, then media attention might come before the show.
One way to learn what you need to bring is by drafting a press release, detailing the compelling reason for attending and what you plan on doing while there.
Provide information to the media that you know they cover, or have covered before. Offer them interviews with key speakers and encourage their attendance at the trade show itself.
The event coordinator will also appreciate your efforts in publicizing the event.
17. Send out formal invitations
Send out formal invitations to your most important leads and customers, inviting them to connect with you at the tradeshow.
Try to include some perks, like free trade show tickets or other valuable extras with your invitation.
By crafting an experience for someone you want to impress, you can leave a lasting impression on them and improve customer experience.
If you can afford to, create a VIP experience for your trade shows by starting with the formal invitation. These offers are hard to refuse and will be appreciated.
18. Make attendees feel comfy
If you have a large space for your booth, consider setting up some chairs. You can’t expect people to stand around all day though it’s at a trade show!
They’ll appreciate the chance to sit down and rest for a few minutes when they see it available.
This is also an opportunity to expose them more fully to their perspective on what your company offers.
During their visit, make an effort to introduce yourself or at least welcome them. If this isn’t feasible due to time or other constraints, consider setting up a presentation that can play onscreen while they wait.
If you don’t have space for chairs, layering thick mats over your floor will give people a more comfortable place to stand.
A lot of trade shows are held on hard concrete floors which is why exhibitors commonly include some sort of mat or carpeting in their booths.
19. Appeal to most attendees need
Food is a great way to attract attention at a trade show. For example, people walking around all day get hungry; so handing out cookies, muffins or fruit will quickly draw them to your booth.
You may even attract other businesses to your area. If you have the opportunity, create a custom table cover with your company name and logo on it.
This could be an exciting way to expose customers to and improve your brand awareness without being too aggressive.
Have a physical wall on your booth at which people can write personal messages or comments. Get passersby to stop and write something.
People enjoy writing on the wall, and it’s interesting to see what others have written there. This will attract a crowd of show attendees who are eager to learn more about our product line-up.
20. Provide free Wi-Fi at the trade show
Creating a mingling space at your booth with free Wi-Fi access is one of the best ways to attract attendees to your booth.
If the tradeshow event or hotel does not offer free Wi-Fi for attendees, create one!
You can display your Wi-Fi password at various places around your booth to encourage attendees to come by.
You can rent a 4G internet provider for just a few days and use that time to network with people when they are near your booth.
21. Provide a free phone charging station at your booth
When attendees get to the end of their phone’s battery life, they are most likely going to be looking for a place where they can charge them.
If you have a place set up where people can lounge and recharge both their phones and their bodies, you’re sure to attract a crowd, and build strong customer relationships.
You can then take the time to mingle, pass out literature, offer product demos, or just engage in conversation.
22. Offer refreshments to attendees
What better way is there to attract people to your booth than by offering them refreshments?
The atmosphere at trade shows can be exhausting and many people often miss out on eating or drinking anything during the event.
By providing a refreshment stand, you’ll attract more people to your booth which is especially important when vying for attention in crowded spaces.
You can engage with attendees while they enjoy refreshments and perhaps qualify them as leads.
Ideas for swag vary widely, from simple water bottles and chips to more elaborate coffee artists or bartenders. Just be sure you’re mingling in the refreshment area.
23. Make your booth the most conspicuous
If you have time, research your competitors and see what types of promotional strategies they are using at trade shows.
Then create some new ideas that take those approaches one step further. Create displays that are taller than other booths and visible from a distance.
This will attract attention right away, making people wonder what your booth is all about.
A great way to attract attention is by making an overhead display and hanging it above your booth.
Another option is placing a graphic of some kind on the floor in front of your company’s space such as an arrow or logo.
If you want to impress your audience and market your business, think of creative ways that will capture their attention. A custom-wrapped product or caricature might just do the trick!
Some trade fairs have poorly lit showrooms, so it might be helpful to bring your lighting. If your exhibit is not well-lit, you can use portable lamps or other kinds of light sources to make things easier on the eyes.
This will attract more attention to your booth. The right lighting can make your booth feel more appealing and welcoming.
24. Make your booth interactive
An easy way to make trade show displays interactive is to allow your customers/audience members to try out the products themselves.
You can sell hair-care products by giving customers attractive new hairstyles, makeup by helping them achieve a fresh look, or shoe-care products by making their footwear sparkle.
If you sell massage chairs, set them up at your event and let people test the products. This will help your potential customers experience how the massage chair feels first-hand.
Long lines outside your booth can attract people on their own, who will then ask what’s going on.
If you find yourself spending too much time demonstrating your products all day, try scheduling specific demo times.
This works well for demonstrations such as cooking classes or other hands-on events that attract a crowd.
25. Arrange some sports and give out prizes in big bags
Your company can attract more attention by hosting a contest that is easy for people to enter and involves them taking action, such as signing up for your email list or following you on social media.
When giving prizes or free items, consider giving them out in large bags. Other companies will probably do the same, and your customers would rather get a big bag than two little ones.
People carrying multiple bags tend to stuff all their smaller parcels into the biggest bag. Make sure that the bigger one is yours, otherwise, other people will find your loot and steal it from you!
26. Setup selfie booth and photo stand
Selfies have become ubiquitous in our world. There’s no place where you can’t find them. So why not use this to your advantage?
Adding a selfie station or photo booth to your trade show display will pull in plenty of traffic. If you add exciting props and the right backdrop, then use the right hashtag so other attendees are aware that it’s happening.
They might even join in! Want to go one step further? Add your logo and brand to a custom frame that guests can use. It will help to increase your business brand awareness.
27. Make a special announcement at the trade show
A special announcement at a trade show can help draw a crowd to your booth, especially if you did good marketing beforehand.
It’s important to think about what you want to get out of this crowd and plan accordingly.
It would be best if you had prepared answers for your staff to give to people who ask about the event after it is over.
Also, ensure you record a copy of the announcement so you can use it in future promotions. This type of video can be used to create other content marketing pieces that will help grow your business.
28. Have a celebrity appear at your booth
Having a celebrity attend your trade show is an awesome way to draw a crowd, but depending on the celebrity it may cost you an arm and a leg.
This tactic would probably be best combined with the entertainment one.
If you could book a performer to do an event during the trade show, ask if they’d be willing to spend some time signing autographs and chatting with attendees in your booth.
Since you’ve already paid for their services, it might not be too expensive to add on this extra service.
29. Set up a meet-up area
You know what you could use in your trade show booth: a networking or mingling space. Trade show floors are often crowded, making it hard for people to stop and rest or speak in private.
By providing refreshments and signage, you can create a destination for your booth that attendees will come to without planning it.
30. Offer an unusual trade show deal
Trade show booth ideas include offering special deals. People like getting a bargain on something, so discounting items or bundling them with another product can increase sales that day.
But don’t make the deal too good to be true. Keep it fair and reasonable for both sides. If you are willing to work hard, it is possible to find a deal that will benefit both of you.
Exhibition shows are responsible for generating a whopping revenue of 12.81 billion dollars every year.
However, setting up an exhibition booth can be quite expensive if you don’t have a definite plan when you are setting it up.
So booth ideas will help you to set up an exhibition booth for trade shows and also attract visitors.
Just be sure to also take care of your trade show booth staffing, so that you have enough people taking care of possible customers.
Finally, have you had an incredible exhibition booth in the past? What did you do to ensure people stopped as they walk past?
Let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.