7 Insider Tips for Creating a Successful Trade Show Booth

Exhibiting at a trade show requires a large investment of time, effort and money for your company.

That is why it is imperative that your booth is a success.

When exhibiting at a trade show, your company has two options: to be interesting or be boring.

There is no in-between option. 

Buyers will either gravitate toward your booth or walk right past it.

We have been working with exhibitors at trade shows for more than 45 years.

During that time we have learned what it takes to create an eye-catching and entertaining trade show booth.

Use these 7 insider tips to create a successful trade show booth at your next event.

Lock in a Location

Choosing a location for your booth is a very important decision.

It should be one of the first decisions that you make after your company decides to exhibit the show.

A prime location might cost your company more, but the benefits from the extra foot traffic that it will receive can be well worth the investment.

Remember, good locations will often sell out quickly, and some companies are grandfathered into a certain positions.

Insider Tip: If your company plans on exhibiting at a trade show regularly, try to negotiate getting locked into a better location that you can return year after year.


Host a Contest or Game

Everybody likes to win things.

Having a fun game in your booth that relates to your industry will attract plenty of potential buyers.

Also, hosting a contest or game will give you the perfect opportunity to collect your visitors’ information by making them sign up to participate.

Ditch the traditional games like raffles or bingo. Those are for old people.

Instead, for example, your booth could have a miniature race track, where visitors race small remote control trucks against each other.

If your company is trying to attract truck owners at a trade show, then this would be the perfect game.

As long as your game or contest has an element of fun and creates positive attention within your booth, the possibilities are endless.

Insider Tip: Offering a tempting prize is a surefire way to draw in more players.


Give Away Unique Swag

Branded promotional items can be found at almost every booth at a trade show.

However, most of these are usually just the same boring objects: pens, bags, folders, cups, notepads… Don’t be just another company with this kind of swag.

Your company should try to break the mold and have swag that is completely unique to your booth.

Having a unique promotional item can certainly generate buzz around anything at a trade show.

You could, for example, give away something completely digital, such as a free download, a free e-book, or a trial or full version of an app.

Insider Tip: When giving away digital swag, make sure that it is as easy as possible for the consumers to download. Finding a way to capture their information at the same time is an added benefit.


Leverage Social Media

Social media can play a huge role in driving additional foot traffic to your booth.

Staying active on social media during a trade show will not only help you engage attendees: it will also allow you to connect with the people who couldn’t make it to the show.

Every trade show has a hashtag.

For example, the International Consumer Electronic Show’s hashtag for 2016 will be #CES2016.

By using this hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, you’ll be able to tap into a whole network of people who are interested in the event.

Also, posting information about where your booth is located along with pictures of it will help interested buyers to find it.

Posting pictures of the swag at your booth or videos of the game or contest that you are hosting will bring even more people to you.

Insider Tip: This is our recommendation for how many times you should post on social media while at an event:

Twitter: 8 times minimum per day

Instagram: 3 times maximum per day

Facebook: 2 times per day



Have an Eye-Catching Booth

We are a visual society.

As humans, we are attracted to people and things that are aesthetically pleasing.

Having an eye-catching trade show booth can drastically increase the amount of buyers that visit it.

Bright colors are a great way to catch people’s attention, and using lighting in your booth can help set the mood you’re trying to achieve.

A great booth will also have clear messaging that can be seen from all directions. This will help to attract visitors who are nearby as well as far away.

In addition, you will want to make sure that your booth offers a variety of different marketing collateral to appeal to different people.

Some buyers prefer flyers and pamphlets, while others like to view videos on a high-definition screen or engage directly with the product.

Insider Tip: When creating a trade show booth design, make sure that you select a booth that can be modified to different sizes.

This will give you flexibility in case you want to increase or decrease your trade show space. It will also help to make the booth re-useable for several years to come.


Be Approachable

You can have the best-looking trade show booth at the convention, but if it isn’t approachable, no one is going to stop.

Having smiling faces and professional booth attendants is a must.

When a booth’s staff is approachable, buyers will want to engage and ask plenty of questions.

Nothing is worse than having potential buyers leave your booth because they did not feel welcome or could not speak with anyone.

Also, you need to make sure that you always have enough staff present to handle the heavy waves of traffic.

Insider Tip: Hiring professional promotional models, hosts, narrators, sommeliers, costume characters, or interpreters is a great way to stand out from the competition.



Hire Temporary Professional Booth Personnel 

With all of the time and effort that your company is putting into creating a successful booth, hiring temporary professional booth personnel is one of the best investments that you can make.

Professional booth personnel will attract more visitors, and they can be trained to answer simple questions or direct buyers to the appropriate staff members for more complex questions.

Professional promotional models, hosts, and sales associates are trained to move buyers off the floor and direct them to the person inside the booth who can close the deal.

Professional booth personnel is great to have when your booth receives a large inflow of traffic.

A welcoming smile from a friendly face is one of the best ways to draw people off the floor and into your booth.

Nothing is better than having a trade show booth that provides the best hospitality and as welcoming of an environment as possible.

Insider Tip: Look online in your exhibitors kit to find the show’s official staffing agency.



Hiring talent to work your company’s trade show booth can be a time-consuming and complicated process if you don’t know what you are doing.

To help with this problem, we’ve put together a free guide that teaches you How to Successfully Hire the Right Talent to Work Your Trade Show Booth.

In this guide, you will learn:

  •     How to know what type of talent is right for your booth.
  •     How to properly educate the talent about your brand.
  •     The secret to finding the best trade show talent in the industry.

Hiring professional models, hosts, and sales assistants can drastically increase the amount of buyers who visit your company’s booth during a trade show.

Don’t miss out on this free guide that will teach you how to pick the perfect people for your company’s booth!