Trade shows are a great opportunity to connect and engage with your target market, boost exposure and generate sales.
And, with increased levels of competition in all areas of business, it’s more important than ever before to ensure your organisation is seen in the best possible light.
When you attend a trade show as representative of your business, the most important goal is likely to be reaching potential new clients and customers. A trade show booth is like a shop window, so it pays to make it eye-catching and inviting, so that people can’t help but stop and find out more about the products or services you offer.
We’ve gathered some of the best ideas we’ve seen at recent trade shows to help your booth stand out from the crowd – we hope you find them helpful.
Trade show booth ideas
One of the key things that will bring people to your booth is a level of interactivity. So, find an engaging way for people to get involved with your stall, and if it’s linked to demonstrating your business, even better!
To capitalise on the draw of interactivity, make sure that the touch screens you use – whether it’s iPads or TV sized screens – are visible and easily accessible by attendees. This way, they can interact actively with your content, instead of purely receiving information as they walk past.
Gamification can be a fantastic way to promote your brand and get people in your booth excited about learning about your products or services. The experience of being involved in a game will leave a lasting impression beyond the end of the event and will allow you to connect your brand with the game.
Games could include prize wheels, gaming apps, quiz shows, social media content and interactive activities. Making the prize linked to your business – even if it’s just through branding – can also help ensure you leave a lasting impact.
3. Video walls
Few things catch the eye more than a video wall, especially since it creates movement in a relatively static environment. Using a video wall is a great way to stand out from the other booths around you and showcase your company from a distance.
Video walls are far more visible from further away than text on a board, so even if you’re showing a slideshow of product images or a graphic using your business’s branding colours, you’ll be more noticeable than other companies.
4. AR and VR
Who says trade shows can’t be fun as well as informative? Embracing new technologies is a really effective way to bring some entertainment into your booth. AR and VR are particularly popular right now, and are becoming a lot more accessible.
Why not consider a virtual scavenger hunt around the exhibition space or VR experiences including demonstrations of your products? At Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018, for example, Siemens gave attendees the opportunity to travel in an autonomous car using a VR headset.
5. Promotional gifts
Everybody loves freebies. However, giving away freebies that have no value or are likely to be discarded, can actually work against your brand.
With this in mind, make sure the items you’re planning on giving away are useful and something that people will actually want. For example, capitalise on the idea of staying hydrated at a trade event by giving away reusable water bottles. People will not only be thankful for them on the day, but they’ll be likely to use them in the future too.
Or you could give away something that will make a statement, as long as it connects with your brand. Google Cloud demonstrated this effectively by giving away candy floss at their recent trade event, capitalising on the cloud-like nature of the sweet treat.
6. Booth design
While it’s important to make sure your space is eye-catching and original, it should also be tailored to reflect your company and branding.
Sustainability is a trailblazing concept that has started to seep into the trade show world – some companies are branching out to show their commitment to sustainability by building their booths out of cardboard. If there’s a concept or a movement that your company is involved in, embrace it and create something that reflects it.
7. Work with the space you have
Trade show booths aren’t always the largest of spaces to work with, so it can often feel a little limiting when designing the space. However, don’t let size restrictions limit your creativity – sometimes the most eye-catching booths are the ones that use the space they have most effectively, instead of the ones that fill their space completely.
For example, maximise the space you have by using an open plan concept. Do away with the chairs, tables, dividers and stands at the entrance of your booth that stop attendees exploring further into your space. Instead, keep the front of your booth open, allowing people to explore at their leisure, without feeling blocked or trapped by your décor.
8. Add some mystery
If your company is announcing something new at a trade show or event, why not consider employing techniques to keep it an intriguing mystery? The best way to do this could be making your booth fully enclosed with a single entrance to allow attendees in.
Secrecy is a great incentive for people to visit your booth since they won’t be able to see what it’s about from the outside. You will have to employ some incentives inside the booth when people visit so that they can spread the word about what’s really inside.
9. Set up a creative stunt
One way to capture the attention of your customers is to set up a creative stunt to ensure everyone remembers your stand. A great way to round up the crowds, an effective and relevant stunt will make an instant impression and keep your customers interested in your brand.
10. Light up your stand
To ensure that your product or service can be seen, it’s always a good idea to bring along your own lights to a trade show. Lights already at the show are not always reliable and can be dull.
11. Decrease sign-up time
Trade shows move at a quick pace, with talks and presentations happening throughout the day. Due to that, it can often be quite difficult for attendees to spend long amounts of time at the booths they’re interested in.
If you’d like to ensure more sign-ups at your booth but can’t incentivise people to stay and chat for long, why not employ a different technique? Put a jar at the entrance of your booth, with a sign that tells attendees to put their business cards in the jar if they want to find out more – incentivise this by letting them know that one business card will be selected at the end of the day as the winner of a prize.
This way, people who are interested in your company but don’t have time to talk, can easily give you their contact information to find out more and could possibly even win something too.
12. Photobooths or photo walls
Everybody loves taking photographs to remember an event and, if you create the best place for them to take their photos, then they may be more willing to chat to your team while they’re there. Creating a photo wall on one side of your booth is a great way to maximise visibility and also engage with people in a fun and creative way.
Theming the wall around the event, with some subtle links to your brand as well, will allow for you to appear in social media posts as people share their attendance at the event.
Finally, a great way to generate sales is to offer a special trade show deal such as a discount, a package deal or offer, or even a free gift with every purchase or sign up.
Trade show booth ideas for small budgets
No matter your budget, there are plenty of engaging trade show booth ideas that will help you stand out from the crowd. And if you’re struggling to juggle your business budget, there are still lots of ways that you can take part in various trade shows and pull in crowds without breaking the bank.
13. Pop up trade show displays
Pop up trade show displays are one of the most cost-effective ways to exhibit. Allowing exhibitors to enjoy a large display area, as well as incredibly versatility when it comes to framing and accessories, this type of display can also be easily stored and packed away into areas with limited space. They are also great for displaying large graphics and are built to stand the test of time.
14. Renting flooring
Another money saving option is renting flooring covering for your show booth. A number of companies offer great floor covering options on a rental basis.
A great way to boost footfall and grab the attention of your target market is to engage with your customers using fun and exciting activities. From demo sessions and games, through to quiz contests and tombola, there are a whole host of ways you can stop your customers in their tracks and get them interested in your product or service.
And don’t forget to give out some prizes to your winners – branded merchandise is always a great idea!
16. Folding bookcases
Ideal for displaying and distributing your merchandise, folding bookcases are an easy way to showcase marketing materials and promotional content for your brand. Easy to transport, they are a great, high impact addition to any trade show.
And remember, if you’re working with a limited budget, you could always think about renting a trade show display instead.
Why choose The Brewery to host your trade show?
Situated in the heart of the capital, we are a premier event and fine dining venue perfectly equipped to accommodate all your trade show needs.
Bringing together a special team of talented experts in the fields of venue management, event production, fine dining and customer service, we are proud to offer a unique and flexible environment for every type of event, including trade shows.
So, if you’re looking for a venue that can host your trade show, look no further than London’s The Brewery. We have a number of different venue spaces in varying sizes that can be tailored to showcase each of the businesses attending. Find out more information about our venue here, take a virtual tour, or contact us to talk about your event.
This article was originally published in October 2019 and has been updated on May 7th 2020.