Trade Show Ideas

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Successful exhibitors are constantly on the look out for new, creative trade show booth concepts that differentiate their exhibits from the competition and attract large numbers of booth visitors. To identify and evaluate exhibiting show ideas, begin by attending some events within and outside of your industry.

Canvas the exhibition hall and see what others are doing with their trade show exhibits and displays. When you notice exhibits that are drawing consistent crowds, talk with staff when they are free about their techniques to attract prospects.

Companies that produce trade show booths can offer a bevy of creative ideas. Expert display firms stay on the cutting edge of design, exhibiting and promotional trends. The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (ceir.org) and trade show associations are also sources for trade show ideas. 

trade show ideas


Attract Booth Traffic with these Trade Show Ideas

  • To engage customers and prospects who were unable to attend the trade show, use a webcasting service to stream video to your website from your exhibit display. The webcast can take the form of a live "news program" featuring staff members who share the latest news about the industry and your products. Or, you can show product demonstrations and feature interviews with booth visitors.
  • Make the most of your trade show table covers by imprinting them with vivid, photo-quality images. These "dye sublimation prints" offer eye-catching imagery that attracts attention in the exhibition hall. New types of stretch table covers can be printed in any "wow" color and offer excellent graphic resolution to enhance booth impact.

  • Use digital photography at your booth to take photographs of visitors and superimpose the images on unique, appropriate backgrounds such as a news magazine, Hollywood red carpet, surf board, etc. Director chairs for events come in handy for photographing, as well. Position two chairs in front of an oversized logo and snap pictures of your prospects to take home with them. Since people typically keep photos of themselves, this memento acts as a powerful marketing tool long after the tradeshow is over.  

  • Some trade show event managers hire keynote speakers to drive traffic. These sought-after speakers present at scheduled times during the show and give talks that attract crowds to the exhibition hall. Often there are speaker sponsorship opportunities available for exhibitors. Sponsoring a keynote speaker who shares the latest industry trends, valuable research findings and/or success strategies will heighten awareness of your company's presence at a show and drive traffic to your exhibit area. As a sponsor, your company will likely be promoted in tandem with speaker announcements, in show promotional materials, and on venue signage.
  • Attract traffic by providing software-driven handwriting analysis. Give visitors a sentence about your company to write on a piece of paper. Then, perform the handwriting analysis to reveal what their script says about their personality and work style. Not only will this create buzz on the trade show floor, once people write down your company message, they are likely to remember it.

  • Leverage online and social marketing opportunities including Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook to complement traditional marketing methods before, during and after the show.  
  • Give attendees a virtual make-over, if appropriate to your product or trade show theme, through a computer program that imposes new hair styles, clothes and looks. Then print out a before and after photo (with your contact information) for the prospect to take home after the event.

  • Offer aromatic food, candy or coffee in your display area, preferably available at the back of your booth so attendees will have to walk into your display area. This will give them an opportunity to meet booth staff and review your offerings.

  • To make your display area stand out in the exhibition hall, use strong graphics and large signage. Consider using tall hanging display signs that extends over the booth area to help people locate and identify your booth. Unique hanging sign shapes also attract attention.
  • Construct a private, mini-conference area or room in the back of your booth area to talk one-on-one with highly interested prospects. Make sure the meeting area is well-lit and complete with sales materials, paper and writing instruments.
  • Hire a professional service to shine shoes for prospects visiting your booth. This will allow staff to talk with prospects about your company and collect lead information while their shoes are being shined.

  • Feature live product demonstrations that engage booth visitors and create awareness for your product and its distinctive advantages.

  • Have a trade show magician or booth entertainer to attract exhibit traffic. Event performers meet with exhibitors before the show and incorporate the client's product information into their acts to help complement sales initiatives.

  • Have booth staff wear the same company-branded clothing that includes the organization’s name, logo and website. This sends a message that your team is professional and cohesive. Have a drawing to give away the same or similar company shirt with your logo each hour or day-part. This is an excellent way to collect lead information from high-opportunity prospects.

  • Have crowd pleasers such as cash money machines, prize wheels or promotional robots in your display area to draw people in so your team can engage them in discussion about your products and services.

  • Use attractive rugs that have extra padding to enhance the allure of your booth space and provide comfort for those working for hours in the trade show booth.

FOR MORE UNIQUE TRADE SHOW IDEAS, click here >>.

A Word About Promotional Products

The right trade show giveaway can be instrumental in an exhibitor's efforts to draw traffic to his or her display area and mine for prospects. While promotional items are common trade show ideas to implement, the key is to make sure items have relevancy to your company and are useful to attendees.

Effective trade show ideas and giveaways must also be unique from what other exhibitors typically use. Place promotional items out of the way rather than at a front table for any passerby to take. Give them out sparingly after booth staff have talked with attendees and determined they are potential prospects. For more information on promotional giveaways, click here.

To help site visitors find high-impact trade show ideas for giveaways, Trade-Show-Advisor.com has arranged with nationally recognized BuyersZone.com to provide free price quotes from quality, independent suppliers of promotional products. Simply complete the form below detailing your needs.

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Related Information - Trade Show Ideas

More Unique Trade Show Display Ideas
Attracting Trade Show Booth Traffic
Using Software Demos to Drive Leads
Using Personas to Evaluate Exhibit Impact
Trade Show Entertainers
Interactive Presentations that Attract Booth Visitors
Drawings for Promotional Items
How to Select a Trade Show Display Company
Using Games to Attract Crowds



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