Tips to Make Your Trade Show Booth Work Harder

trade-show-boothTrade shows provide great opportunities for you to get great exposure for your products and services. Maximizing that exposure is the key to success. You don’t have to feel overwhelmed, even if this is your first time out. Here are some tips to help optimize your tradeshow experience.

  1. Location, location, location: The key here is to book early so that you can get first pick of the high traffic areas on the floor.
  1. High cost draws: When your budget allows it, make the most of the caricaturists, costumes, give-aways, bottled drinks, and snacks.
  1. Be approachable: Be selective when you are choosing which members of staff to work the exhibition. Make sure you don’t have too few or too many – this will depend on the size of your booth. It’s important to make prospects feel comfortable and welcome when they approach your booth.
  1. Sex doesn’t sell: While you’re taking advantage of clever gimmicks to draw traffic, don’t forget that these days, scantily clad women, known in the trade as “booth babes” do not lead to increased sales. So take a fresh approach and you will get a better response.
  1. Be selective with your incentives: You don’t want this tactic to pull in random traffic, s when you’re thinking about incentives, come up with something that is specifically relevant to the clients you want to attract. Trade show offers, price promotions or a gift certificate offering a discount on a purchase of your products or services all fit the bill.
  1. Look the business: You’re dealing with current and prospective clients here. Put on your sharp attire as well as your professional demeanor.
  1. “Walk a mile in their shoes”: If this is your first trade show, don’t try to wing it. Visit a couple of other trade shows related to your industry and check out the competition. This will give you a better perspective of how trade shows operate, and who you’re up against.
  1. Make a checklist: This may seem an obvious point, but it can’t be overestimated. Planning ahead is key to your trade show success. Create a list of steps you need to work through, from sending out your contract to the trade show to dismantling your booth and getting it back home. Exhibitor magazine provides a free trade show planning guide to help you with this.
  1. Develop a unique look: If you want to draw traffic, you have to make your booth stand out above the rest. To do this, take advantage of bright colors, unique lighting, interactive displays, and allow your visitors easy access to everything.
  1. Stay ahead of the sway race: Leave the pens and key chains to the novices. If you really want to optimize your foot traffic, offer them something a little different like an iPhone stand, smartphone wallet or even lip balm.
  1. Host a game: Invite your visitors to participate in a game or challenge. A TV style quiz is a good way to encourage interaction even if your booth is relatively small.
  1. Demonstrate your product or service: There’s nothing like a live demo to show visitors how they can benefit from your product or service. You can also use a demonstration to get visitors to spend more time at your booth.
  1. Use technology: Take your sales videos on the road. Give a pre-loaded tablet to each of your staff members and encourage them to share the videos with visitors.
  1. Stay social: stay active on social media during your show. If your prospects smart phones are buzzing with your latest tweet, they are more likely to come to your booth.
  1. Offer a special/contest: This creates a great opportunity to collect visitor’s email addresses, so you can add them to your mailing list for future newsletters and offers.
  1. Move safely and reuse: Go easy when you’re transporting your apparatus and products to and from the trade show. Make sure everything stay in one piece so all your gear can be used again next time. If your budget allows, consider hiring a logistics company that specializes in transporting trade show booths.

Now you’ve got your first successful trade show off the ground, don’t forget to follow up with new leads as soon as possible. Whenever possible, contact details, and business card information should be entered into your system immediately. If you can’t make appointments with your visitors during the show, call them at your first opportunity.


  1. Planning is essential. Planning, and budgeting.
    If you are not a trade show expert you will easily drown under the amounts of details and tasks you need to consider: booth location, decoration, staff training, carpet color, electricity, internet, samples, logistics, plane tickets, etc. it is easy to overlook an aspect or overspend due to poor planning.

    I strongly encourage companies to use tools to plan and manage their booth efficiently, that’s the only way you will manage your event properly.

  2. I think that booking in advance to get a prime, high traffic spot will really help you in the long run. Offering industry specific incentives is also a good way to entice visitors in to your booth. Thanks for sharing the tips!

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