Struggling to stand out from the crowd when you take part in trade shows? From hot competition to a booth design that just doesn’t attract attention like you expected, a range of different factors can contribute to lower-than-anticipated performance at a trade show.
As a first-time exhibitor, it’s easy to give up on trade show marketing after a single event doesn’t live up to your expectations. However, the smarter approach is to learn from the experience and develop a booth that not only delivers your message but stands out while it does it.
From bold, powerful design elements to a unique, eye-catching look that deliberately differs from the competition, there are a variety of ways that you can make your trade show booth stand out from the crowd and generate foot traffic.
Below, we’ve listed three smarts, proven and highly effective tactics that you can use to design a custom trade show booth that achieves all of your objectives, from attention to foot traffic, leads, sales and real results for your business.
Host a Fun, Rewarding Competition
Even in the business-focused environment of a trade show, people love to have fun, especially if it potentially involves them winning something.
From raffles to trivia, competitions can be great tools for making your custom trade show booth a more appealing destination for attendees, all while helping you to generate more leads, sales, and revenue.
There are several tips to keep in mind when running a trade show competition. First, check that it’s allowed by the event organizers — not all events allow raffles, trivia games, arcade machines and other competitive exhibit features.
If it’s allowed, make it fun and involved. A raffle in which people simply pick a number and gain a chance to win something isn’t engaging or interesting. Instead, a raffle where customers need to answer five quick-fire questions about your brand to take part is engaging and interesting.
It’s also important to keep it light and accessible. While many attendees would love to take part in a quick trivia game about your product or brand, few are going to be interested in playing your game if it requires a two-page form to be completed in order to enter.
Finally, have fun with it. From giant spinning wheels with pens, coffee cups and branded t-shirts as prizes to simply lucky draw competitions, give your competition a fun edge and you’ll notice a much bigger response from your target audience.
Combined with the right custom trade show booth, an exciting, interesting competition can be an extremely valuable asset in attracting customers to your booth, generating leads and producing results.
Make Your Booth Design Big, Bold and Eye-Catching
There’s no prize for subtlety at a trade show. In fact, the reality is quite the opposite — while it might be best “on paper” to have a booth that’s subtle and reserved, the most effective trade show booths tend to make use of bold, highly visible design elements.
This starts with a big, clearly visible heading. Whether you’re emphasizing a key part of your value proposition or promoting a special offer, choose a large, bold and powerful typeface for your heading to attract maximum attention.
Then, back it up with a color scheme that commands attention. Bold, powerful colors such as red, blue, orange and yellow stand out against the gray and white of most trade show venues, such as convention centers and event halls.
Add lighting — a crucial aspect of custom trade show booths that we’ve covered in a previous guide — and you can make a significantly greater visual impact than your competitors, earning you more foot traffic and better results.
Even if your brand is downtempo and reserved, you can use design to your advantage. Focus on clarity, readability, and visibility and you’ll get better results from your booth, even in a highly crowded, busy trade show environment.
Choose the Right Trade Show Real Estate
The aisles of a trade show floor aren’t all that different from the streets of a busy city — certain locations attract more attention than others, helping them to command premium prices and an extra level of prestige.
As an exhibitor, occupying the best trade show real estate — Park Place, from a metaphorical perspective, rather than Mediterranean Avenue — can help you generate more foot traffic and achieve better results, even with a less-than-optimal booth.
Generally, the best locations within a trade show floor are the corners, which offer your booth extra visibility from two directions. Areas close to the entrance of a trade show are also highly valuable, as they offer extra foot traffic and visibility.
Choosing these locations can come at a premium, but it’s often worth the cost if your goal is to maximize your results from a specific event.
Interested in learning more about picking the right location? Our guide to trade show locations explains the best locations on any trade show floor, with tips to help you maximize your event ROI through smart location selection
Talk to Our Trade Show Team
Are you thinking of exhibiting at a trade show? From custom trade show booths to logistics and event services, our team can help you with every aspect of the process. Contact us now to learn more about how we can help your business turn your next trade show into a successful event.