Need some inspiration for your next trade show? Thinking up new ideas for your custom trade show exhibit can be tough, especially when you’re focused on the financial and logistical sides of taking part in your next event.
Below, we’ve shared six unique exhibit ideas to help you discover different ways to stand out, attract attention and get noticed at your next trade show.
Hold a unique, fun competition
Trade shows are usually full of giveaways — free pens, notepads, coffee cups and other cheap, simple branded items given out by participants. However, it’s far less common to see a unique, fun competition.
Holding a competition is a great way to attract attention and stand out from the crowd of other exhibitors giving their promo items away for free. Try a raffle or prize wheel, combined with a variety of cool prizes that offer more value than the usual pen or mousepad.
One of the best aspects of a competition is that you can afford to give away higher-value prizes, letting you attract more motivated, engaged and interested participants.
Turn your booth into a charging station
It might sound silly, but turning your booth into a mobile device charging station can help you get a lot of foot traffic. Trade shows are busy environments for mobile phones, with plenty of selfies to snap and numerous Wi-Fi networks competing for battery power.
Adding a charging station to your booth is a great way to attract attendees that need to charge up their mobile devices. Stop by to say “Hi” when they walk into your exhibit and you might be surprised to discover how many turn into valuable leads and prospects.
Let visitors sit down and feel comfortable
Sometimes, the best trade show accessories are cheap and simple. Since trade shows can be an exhausting environment for attendees, adding a sofa or set of armchairs to your booth is an easy way to generate foot traffic and win over participants.
Instead of the usual desk-style booth, try turning your trade show space into a comfortable living room environment in which attendees can rest, relax and hang out. This way, you’ll attract more than just passersby — you’ll also win over attendees interested in “talking shop” with your team.
Try a money (or voucher)-blowing machine
In a crowded, busy trade show environment, few things attract attention like a money-blowing machine.
As silly as these machines can seem, they can be highly effective for helping your booth stand out and attract attention. People love challenging themselves, and the promise of free money (or free vouchers) is always an attention-grabber.
One way to really amplify the effects of this approach is to combine a money-blowing machine with social media. If a participant isn’t successful, you can offer them a consolation prize if they share a photo of the machine on Facebook and tag your exhibit.
Showcase your products in action
Do you have an interesting, unique product? If so, make it a focal point of your exhibit by doing a live product demonstration.
Product demos are the perfect way to attract attention at trade shows. Not only will a unique or interesting product generate attention on its own — it will also generate highly targeted traffic to your booth, as the people that stop by after will have already seen your product in action.
The best product demonstrations are short, sweet and designed to intrigue attendees instead of selling to them directly. Before the event, rehearse and perfect a five-minute product demo that you can repeat throughout the show — done right, it can be a great source of interested leads.
Try giving away food and drinks
Finally, one of the best ways to attract attention at a trade show is to appeal to people’s most basic senses: thirst and hunger.
While branded pens, notepads and tote bags might be the most popular giveaway items for trade show exhibitors, they’re rarely attention magnets. Food and drinks, on the other hand, appeal to attendees on a more basic level, making them great tools for attracting attention.
From fresh espresso to candies, cookies, food samples and more, trade show attendees will always appreciate a free taste of something delicious. Plus, food can be the ideal icebreaker, letting your sales team easily strike up interesting conversations with hungry prospects.