You’ve secured your spot at THE upcoming trade show – the one everyone in your industry attends. There’s a 10×10 trade show booth with your name on it. But how do you make those potential clients stop and notice you?
Forget the generic table skirt and boring curtain background. Why spend money on a spot if you’re not going to stand out? People aren’t drawn to a dull booth that looks the same as all the others. By infusing your booth with your brand and implementing some of these creative trade show booth ideas, you’ll turn your display into a beacon that draws crowds.
1. Infuse Your Brand
You know strong branding is important in your marketing strategy. It’s how you share your message and let people know what makes your business unique. Branding can be just as important in your approach to creating a trade show display. By labeling every element of your display, you create a cohesive look that’s memorable. You also help your potential customers learn about your product or service at a glance.
Branding your trade show display goes beyond your logo and colors. Is your company playful and lighthearted, or serious and professional? Do you focus on being eco-friendly? Is it important that you give back to your community?
Bring your brand to life by generating an atmosphere that embodies your brand. For example, DoubleClick’s clean and simple design allows conversations to be the focal point. In addition to their modern trade show booth design, they add eye-catching bikes along with a QR code, allowing potential customers to connect on a technical level and keep the conversation moving online.
Great branding is simply the first step to creating a trade show booth that will both spark attendees’ curiosity and be remembered.
2. Create a Photo Op
In a world dominated by the “selfie,” a photo booth or similar photo op at your stand can pull in some major traffic. The photo helps break the ice, which can get the ball rolling with a new client.
Incorporating a perfect backdrop for photos turns your booth into an interactive experience and a source of entertainment. A retractable banner or point of purchase display are two options – they easily set up anywhere and incorporate your logo and business information. Another option is to commission a picture frame that uses your company’s logo and branding colors.
Have a brainstorm session with your team about out-of-the-box ideas for a design that would prompt the average trade show attendee to stop by for a picture while aligning well with your brand.
Make your photo op even more appealing by incorporating fun props or costumed characters. Who wouldn’t want a photo with a bodybuilder at a fitness-themed booth, or with a video game character representing a gaming business? Think beyond the glasses and funny hats. For example, turn one of the fun elements in the banner design into a real-life object for people to interact with and give their picture a 3D-feel.
Snapping photos is simple. Use an iPad or even a phone to take the pictures. Get the most from this experience by having the passer-by type in their email to receive their photo digitally. You can also have checkboxes asking them to subscribe to your email newsletter for product discounts and for permission to use their photo on your brand’s social channels. Post the photos on your Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter accounts to show a personal touch to your brand. Use a unique hashtag to encourage followers and fans to join the fun.
Want to reach beyond your current audience? Tag the people who are in the photos so their friends are exposed to your brand. You can reach new prospects beyond the event with this simple, interactive trade show booth idea.
3. Integrate Social Media
We already touched on incorporating social media with your photo ops, but there are other ways to use your social media accounts to attract people to your booth. Start long before the day of the event to build excitement. Use various hashtags to make your social media posts easy to find. Make sure you see if the trade show you’ll be going to has a standard hashtag, and create a unique tag for your booth as well.
You might tease some of the amazing things you’ll have at your booth, share a little more about your business or convince people why they should visit you at the show. Sharing the social media posts from the official trade show accounts can also help get people excited about the event and visiting your specific booth.
At the event, continue using your social media accounts to generate excitement. Use hashtags specific to the event, and post throughout the day to give updates. Do a Facebook Live post from your booth, and invite anyone who couldn’t come join you on camera. An exciting, high-energy Facebook Live broadcast generates excitement online, but it may also attract people at the event. They’ll want to investigate the source of all the excitement. You can also encourage booth visitors to use the same hashtags you’re using to help spread the word.
For younger audiences, consider using SnapChat or putting together a geo-filter that includes the conference title and your logo. Geo-filters are low-cost Snapchat frames that can be completely unique to your brand, and are powerful in attracting selfie-takers to your booth.
Have your social media account information printed on your banners so trade show attendees can easily find and follow you. This helps you build a relationship with potential customers, even if they don’t buy, sign up or otherwise make a decision at the trade show.
4. Invite Them In
The layout of your booth can affect how inviting it seems. A long table running along the front of the booth keeps people at a distance; you stay on one side of the table while your potential clients stay on the other. This physical separation can sometimes create an emotional distance as well.
A personalized point-of-purchase display is an easy way to present information without cutting off traffic flow. Incorporate shelves with adjustable height options on the display if you have products, pamphlets, freebies or other items for people to see. Another functional option is an integrated tablet stand or kiosk. This gives you a functional base during the trade show without the need for a traditional traffic-blocking table.
5. Offer Something Everyone Wants
Have you ever found yourself on the hunt at a tradeshow for an intriguing item you spotted someone else carrying?
There is an art to swag. The perfect free giveaway will not only make your brand stay top-of-mind, but also attract others to your booth. If you’re in the gardening or landscape business, think rooted cutting, flower or seed packets. For the auto industry, consider sunglasses, bumper stickers or a car air freshener.
In the age of technology, a free charging boost is another major attraction. Trade show attendees spend a lot of time on their phones checking email, calling the office and engaging on social media. All that activity drains battery power quickly, creating a bothersome hurdle.
Attract more people to your booth with a convenient remedy for those common tech issues. A charging station for various devices is simple enough to set up, and keeps visitors in your booth for long enough to learn more about your business. Create a high-top charging station with cords for different types of devices. Cover those tables with custom table toppers that bear your company’s logo and key message. While guests charge their devices, they gain exposure to your company.
You can also use this time to engage with visitors. Set up a screen with a video presentation that explains your business, or provide iPads with an interactive experience related to your company. Ask them questions about their current problems and needs as they relate to your products and services.
6. Think Big
You can create an attractive trade booth display at the standard height, but going big makes your booth visible long before attendees reach your aisle. Incorporate components that stretch high above your booth to create a beacon for your business.
Overhead displays are visible from a distance and make visitors want to find out what’s below. Incorporate large-scale vinyl banners suspended from a high ceiling, for example, or suspend a large display showing your logo that seems to hover over your booth. Suspending large display pieces over your booth requires some logistical considerations, so make sure the trade show organizers can accommodate these types of displays.
At SpeedPro Imaging, we have large format printers to accommodate all your printing needs. Find a SpeedPro location near you to begin creating your Great. Big. Graphics.
Add a custom flag to the front of your display to generate interest in your booth. Position the flag to stick out from your booth, if possible, to make your display more noticeable. A tall flag that stretches vertically draws attention from afar, and can be particularly useful for people trying to find your booth through a crowd.
Different shapes also help customize your look. SpeedPro offers blade, teardrop, feather and flutter flags with single- or double-sided designs. SpeedPro’s flags are suitable for indoor or outdoor use, so you can transport them to any event or use them at your main location between trade shows.
Why stop with just the booth? Think about other big elements that might be doable, such as custom-wrapped cars or bikes.
Take full advantage of your trade show space from the ceiling to the floor. At SpeedPro, we can create attention-grabbing floor graphics for your trade show booth.
7. Offer a Specific Trade Show Deal
A special offer designed just for trade show attendees is a great way to close deals that day. Specials generate excitement, which draws more people to check out your business. People who might buy anyway have a greater incentive to jump on board at the trade show, rather than waiting and potentially forgetting about your company.
However, you don’t want your “sale” to look like a bargain-bin thrift-store situation. Present the deal in a professional way that aligns with your company’s overall image. An easy way to do this is with digital signage. You can turn almost anything with a screen into a billboard for your trade show special. Because it’s a digital design, you can easily change the message to fit different trade shows you attend.
8. Demo Your Product
If you have a physical product, take the opportunity to demo it at the show, if possible. Talking about your product is all well and good, but letting people see it in action lets your product speak for itself. You can perform demos as people approach, or you can generate excitement and create a crowd by doing demos at specified times. A digital sign is an easy way to post the times for your demos while using a branded background.
The way the demo works depends on the product itself. If it’s feasible, let potential customers test the product instead of just showing them how it works. If you sell something industrial or something too large to bring to the show, a video of it in action is a suitable alternative. Incorporate a screen into your background display with the video on loop, so visitors can jump in to see the video at any time.
9. Bring Your Own Lighting
General overhead lighting at the venue is fine for most purposes, but integrating creative lighting into your display makes your booth more visible and appealing. Lighting also helps emphasize particular parts of your display, so you can influence where visitors focus their attention. SpeedPro’s point-of-purchase displays come with the option of integrated LEDs, spots and other lighting with adjustable positioning to customize the illumination.
You can also use lighting to create a warm, inviting atmosphere, if such a vibe fits your business branding. For example, you might set up comfortable chairs positioned next to a table with lamp lighting. Customize the table with a branded cover to incorporate your business into the seating area. Guests can take a break in comfort while still seeing your branding message. You also have a captive audience, so you can get a feel for what visitors need and how your company can fit that need.
10. Make It Interactive
An interactive trade show booth gives visitors something to do. It also makes your business memorable. Testing out the product is one way to achieve that interactive design. Another option is a game, contest or giveaway. There are several simple trade show game options that promote your brand without being overly cheesy. The game format adds an entertaining element and gets people to relax, which makes it easier to transition into making sales.
Try these game options for your next trade show:
- Easter egg hunt: Before attendees arrive, strategically place postcards or other printed materials around the venue. The postcard should let whoever finds it know they won a prize. To redeem it, the winner must go to your booth. This gets more people to your display, and it provides a natural conversation starter. Order a customized retractable banner or other signage that lets finders know they’re in the correct place to redeem the postcard. Don’t forget to post about the game on social media using the trade show’s hashtags.
- Check-in contest: Expanding your reach beyond attendees is always a good thing. Get the attendees to help by checking in at your booth or tagging you in a post. Everyone who completes the task receives an entry into a drawing. Make sure the prize is worth it, so you increase the number of participants. Have a custom sign printed with details about the contest. You can also create a QR code and have it printed on signage to alert visitors to the contest easily.
- Trivia: A simple trivia game based on your industry is a great way to engage visitors. It also initiates a conversation and lets you easily transition into talking about your product or service. One option is to incorporate little hints or images on your booth background that relate to the questions. Visitors have to scan the background to find the answer.
Easily Create Your Great. Big. Trade Show Display.
The additional tips below will help you create a visually stunning booth people want to visit. Have a question about what’s possible for your trade show display? Don’t hesitate to contact SpeedPro’s expert team in your area.
- Start early: Start your booth design early to ensure you have plenty of time to organize everything. Give yourself several weeks to order custom backgrounds, tents, flags and other materials for your booth.
- Research the competition: How do your competitors perform at trade shows? What can you do better? How can you set yourself apart? Researching the competition isn’t about copying their ideas. It’s about figuring out what they’re doing well and improving on it. You can also learn from your competitors’ mistakes.
- Be consistent: An easy way to tie together the elements in your booth is through consistency with color, fonts, overall style and other elements. Those consistent elements make a major visual impact and help support your branding.
- Invest in quality, custom pieces: Looks do matter when it comes to attracting potential clients at a trade show. Investing in quality materials is essential in creating a professional-looking booth. Quality, custom items are reusable at future trade shows, so you get more mileage out of those materials.
- Do a test run: Set up your booth in the office ahead of time so you can get a visual on the arrangement. This is your chance to make changes or add other components to make your booth special.
- Train people for the booth: If you plan to have multiple people staffing your booth, hold a training session to ensure everyone has the necessary information. Explain your goals for the trade show. Practice being engaging and inviting. No matter how great the visual display, people in the booth who are grumpy or unapproachable will ultimately scare off potential clients. Being uninformed on the product or service also reflects negatively on your company. Ensure everyone in the booth represents your company well and promotes your branding.
- Choose the right partner: SpeedPro has over 130 custom printing studios that listen to your vision and bring it to life. We have extensive experience in the large-scale printing world and are your one-stop solution for all your visual communication needs.
Be seen. Be heard. Be chosen. Big, bold graphics still matter in today’s tech-savvy world – SpeedPro can help you take your trade show booth to the next level. Find a SpeedPro Imaging studio location near you to get started today.