5 Tried & True Tips for a Buzzworthy Exhibit Booth
POV: There’s no one at your exhibit booth…there hasn’t been all morning. You glance at your phone—it’s 11:30 a.m. You debate getting another coffee or taking a lap around the show floor. You decide to take a lap. Walking down the aisle, you pass a few buzzing booths. You round the corner and are back at your booth, where it’s empty and quiet. You settle back behind the draped counter and look at your phone again. It’s 11:33 a.m. It’s going to be a long show.
Sound familiar? Exhibiting at a trade show can be a real drag when you’re not getting any booth traffic.
Here are five tips to drive traffic to your booth and create a memorable experience.
1. Location, Location, Location
Location is important on the show floor, and reserving your booth space early is key, since spaces go quickly. Being near the front/main entrance offers great visibility as visitors enter the show. However, entrances can be crowded, so you might consider a location a few aisles back from the entrance. If you have the choice between a corner booth or an inline booth, choose the corner. You’ll get more foot traffic from people coming in multiple directions. Avoid the outer perimeters of the show floor. Also, keep an eye out for columns or anything that could potentially obstruct the visibility of your booth.
Lastly, think about who’s around you: This is one of those rare occasions in life where you can choose your neighbors. Maybe you want to be near a partner company, or maybe you want to keep an eye on your competition—the choice is yours.
2. Get the Word Out
Let your customers—and others—know what shows you plan to attend as an exhibitor. The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) found that 76% of trade show attendees use pre-show information to schedule their agenda. To build momentum and drive traffic to your booth, send e-blasts, include an event calendar on your website, post on social media, include next event details in your email signature, or send out mailers. Are you launching a new product or giving out a special promo item at your booth? Let people know! And don’t forget to include your booth number so they know where to find you.
Lastly, take advantage of the show’s promotional resources and advertising opportunities. Share the show’s hashtag and see what sponsorship opportunities are available, such as a luncheon, badge/lanyards, hotel room keys, or lobby signage.
3. Go Beyond Pipe and Drape
According to CEIR, 82% of trade show attendees have the authority to buy. With a show full of decision-makers, this is your chance to capitalize on that opportunity! The right booth design will attract attention and draw in visitors. Make your booth stand out with custom-made functional displays, graphics, impactful messaging, high-quality carpets/flooring, video walls, aerial elements, lighting, furniture, and florals. Better yet, incorporate interactive elements like a game or live product demo. In a recent CEIR survey, 59% of trade show attendees wanted interactive demonstrations and hands-on time with products.
A welcoming, eye-catching booth will not only command attendees’ attention but make a lasting impression and make them want to stick around. Check out the showstopping booths we designed for New Jersey Travel & Tourism and Opteev Technologies.
4. Bring the Goods
Don’t forget the leave-behinds! Be sure to bring plenty of product samples, collateral, business cards, and yes—branded giveaways. According to a study by Promotion Productions Association International (PPAI):
- 89% of people remember where they received a promotional product gift.
- 85% who receive a promo item end up doing business with the company.
- 89% said they could recall the company’s name for 24 months after getting the promo item.
- 41% said they keep the promo item for 1–4 years.
What’s more, promo items draw a whopping 500% more referrals from customers who are satisfied with the items.
5. Put the Action in Interaction
Combine tips #3 and #4 for a double boost of impact! Invite show attendees to participate in an engaging activity in order to get a promo item, whether it’s spinning a prize wheel, a game, or a hands-on activity like customizing the giveway themselves (e.g., if you’re a printer or design company, invite people to create a design and print a sticker or decal). The longer people are in your booth, the more time you can chat and earn new customers…plus, the take-home item will continue to get your name out there in the world. You can even incorporate data capture for future sales outreach by asking visitors to provide their name and email prior to creating their items.
With an optimal location, pre-show outreach, a stand-out booth design, giveaways, and engaging activities, you’re sure to have a buzzing booth in no time.