Our Best Trade Show Ideas

We put together a list of our best trade show ideas that are sure to help make your next trade show a success.  The following tactics are proven to be the most effective at driving booth traffic, and providing a trade show experience your attendees are sure to remember.

 

Trade Show Promotion

A whopping 75% of trade show attendees pre-plan their visits to a trade show floor, yet only 25% of exhibitors use pre-show promotions, such as invitations or appointment scheduling. There are many different ways to ensure trade show success*:

  • Promotions increase booth traffic by 33%.
  • Sponsorships increase booth traffic by 104%.
  • Hospitality events increase booth traffic by 86%.
  • Advertising increases booth traffic by 46%.

Here are a few examples of the best trade show ideas for promotional tools:

  • Pre-show marketing that gets noticed: Go old-school with phone calls, handwritten notes or invitations.
  • Media relations: Send press releases announcing what’s new, invitation the media to planned demonstrations in the booth, dedicate one of the booth staff to media relations. Know the color of the press badges at the show, and have your PR staff greet media personnel and show them around the booth.
  • Sponsorships & advertising: Pay for the show’s totes, shuttle bus wraps, education sessions, lunches, etc. Host a speaking session or roundtable conversation. Sponsors have a lot of opportunity for exposure.
  • Booth attractions: Product demos, samples and hands-on interactions are popular with attendees and can create a buzz around your booth.
  • Social media: Get social before, during, and after the trade show. Don’t sell. Rather, engage, provide a resource, entertain, and create curiosity.

 

Great Booth Design

When you’re considering the design of your display, think billboard not bulletin board. Capture attention in 3 fleeting seconds or less. More does not equal better. A well-designed booth should increase the length of time prospects stay in your booth.

A great booth design is:

  • Inviting, organized, open with ways to enter the space, eye-catching, and staffed with friendly faces.
  • Entertaining through design, layout, interactions, activities or overall booth experience.
  • Educational about your products or services and why your company is a good choice.
  • Memorable, unique, creative, inviting, unusual, and stands out from the other booths.

 

Amazing Booth Staff

Compare the booth staffer to how a waiter affects your overall impression of a restaurant. The food may be great, but if the service is poor, you probably won’t go back… or recommend it to your friends. Staff the correct people and the correct amount of people. Two people for each 100 square feet (i.e., a 10×10 space). And some important facts to consider*:

  • Booth staff influences 85% of overall first impressions.
  • Booth staff influences 80% of final decisions to do business with the exhibitor.
  • Booth staff should spend 80% of the time listening, and the other 20% providing solutions (not selling).
  • Sadly, 80% of trade show leads are not followed up.

 

Marlys’ 10 Commandments of Booth Staffing
© Exhibit Marketers Café

  1. You shall not sit.
  2. You shall not create barriers to booth traffic.
  3. You shall not eat at your booth.
  4. You shall not accost people in the aisles.
  5. You shall not have conversations with your mobile phone or other booth staffers.
  6. You shall not pack (overstuff) your booth with staffers.
  7. You shall not stand around with your hands in your pockets.
  8. You shall not put out tons of literature and giveaways.
  9. You shall not leave early or arrive late.
  10. You shall smile.

 

*Statistics from CEIR (Center for Exhibition Industry Research).

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