How to Set Up a Booth for a Trade Show and Stand Out From the Crowd

Trade shows and conference halls are battlegrounds. You’re competing with every other business and booth in there for the attention and custom of attendees. Fail to make an impact and it’s easy to be overlooked. Here’s how to set up your booth so you make sure you’re the talk of the trade show.


How to Wow Attendees at Events and Exhibitions

Don’t Wait Until You Get There

One of the most common mistakes you can make when it comes to exhibiting at a trade show is waiting until you get there before you start any serious work. The days and weeks leading up to an event are perfect opportunities to generate some early buzz and engage with people and businesses that’ll be visiting.

Find the relevant hashtag for the event that’ll be used on social media and follow anyone who interacts with it. Schedule regular posts that use that hashtag and you’ll position yourself as an authority on the event.

The idea is that when visitors arrive, yours is a name they’ll recognise and they’ll be drawn towards you. This is especially true if you’ve already offered something to followers. Ask attendees what they’d like to see at your booth or post about free goodies that are available to the first 50 visitors.

It’s a simple yet effective way of drawing a crowd at your booth. Other visitors will wonder what everyone’s looking at and naturally be interested in your business.

Entertain and Engage Visitors

The average attendee will view 26 different exhibits in depth at a trade show and casually look at even more. You need to make sure you’re the one business that sticks out most in their mind. Once they’re back in the office, they aren’t going to be able to remember all 26, so you need to work hard to make sure you stand out.

There are different ways to go about doing this and the method you choose should generally be aimed at your specific audience. Having said that, sometimes the most effective thing to do is subvert a visitor’s expectations.

For example, a room full of business executives might not be expecting a booth that lets them play a virtual reality game but it could be something they love all the same. Big displays, music and creative stunts are all great ways of encouraging someone to stop at your booth and give you their time.

Have Something You Can Show to Visitors

Whether it’s your latest product or the most popular service, you need to have something to show to visitors. They’ll be seeing all different kinds of pitches during the day, so yours needs to be memorable and entertaining.

If you’re trying to sell a product, then have it available to see and use at the trade show. Visitors are more likely to have a positive reaction with the product if they can physically see it and watch a demonstration from you.

Videos are great additions to any booth but if the product itself is only available to see in video form, then guests aren’t going to remember it the next day. You’re presenting your product as the best thing they’ve ever seen, so make sure it’s working and that you have replacements available if needed.

Everyone Loves a Freebie

If you’re new to exhibiting, then it won’t take you long to realise that more often than not, the most popular booth is the one giving out the best free stuff. Pens and stress balls aren’t going to cut it anymore. You need to hand out freebies that really cause a stir.

Branded headphones, laptop skins, Rubik’s cubes, balloons, beach balls and notepads are just some of the freebies you should have with you at your booth. It’s up to you whether or not you want attendees to have to do anything to earn these items.

Don’t forget the branded bag too. A good tip is to make sure your free bags are the biggest. This is because guests will always look to put smaller bags in bigger ones, rather than carrying loads at one time.

If yours is the biggest, then all the others have to go inside it and you’ll have free marketing for the rest of the day as people walk around carrying them.

Create the Biggest Display

Bigger is always better, especially when it comes to trade show booths. Large format printing and huge screens grab visitors’ eye and demand attention. Make sure you’re the first thing they see when they walk in and the last thing they see when they leave.

Your displays should be so big that they basically become a landmark for attendees to use. “If we get separated, we’ll just meet at the [your company name] booth”. Visitors will be drawn to your booth and you’ll make sure you aren’t overlooked.

It might be that you don’t have the right booth placement to do this, or it’s just a smaller space compared to some of your competition. Work with the space you do have. Create engaging banners that use bold colours to make sure people can’t help but give you a second glance as they walk by.

See How Large Format Printing Can Transform Your Booth

Large banners and prints can be the difference between your booth being overlooked and having the longest line at the trade show.

To see a few examples of large format printing in action at exhibitions, make sure to download our Success Stories eBook by clicking the link below.