14 Must-Know Trade Show Booth Ideas That Will Help You Drive More Foot Traffic

If you’re an exhibitor at an upcoming trade show, congratulations! Investing in an exhibitor booth is a fantastic way to help your company stand out from competitors.

With the right mindset and creative ideas, you’ll be able to set up your booth for success–which means driving foot traffic, engaging potential customers, and leaving a lasting impression on attendees.

In this article, we provide 14 trade show booth ideas and tips for everything from selecting the perfect booth location and decorating your booth to attracting a crowd and building goodwill for your brand.

Whether it’s your very first show as an exhibitor or you’re a seasoned pro looking for tips to make your trade show booth more popular than ever, we’ve got something for everyone!

What Are the Benefits of a Trade Show Booth?

There are plenty of reasons to invest in a trade show booth. Some of the biggest benefits to setting up a trade show booth include:

  • A great trade show booth allows you to show off your services or merchandise.
  • Having face-to-face time with potential clients, buyers, or customers is a valuable networking opportunity and can help you build stronger relationships.
  • Plus, if you’re running the booth yourself, it allows you to spotlight yourself as a business owner. It helps gain new business and at the same time shows current clients that you are committed to growing your company.

If you’re going to the trouble of booking and setting up a booth, it should be done properly to get your biggest return on investment. So, let’s dig into those trade show booth ideas so you can start planning how your booth will help you achieve these goals!

Trade Show Booth Tips: Choosing Your Location

As they say in real estate: “Location, location, location!” The placement of your booth within a show floor is important and you have to select the perfect position. 

So which are the best areas? Here are the top considerations when choosing a location for your trade show booth:

Tip #1: Nabbing a Corner Spot is Ideal

You’ll want a spot with heavy foot traffic, but not the heaviest. What does this mean exactly? While many businesses like to grab a booth location close to the entrance of the event, that’s not necessarily the best spot in the house!

Choosing a corner booth or a spot at an intersection guarantees lots of eyes on–and foot traffic to–your trade show booth. However, a spot right at the entrance of the show may be too crowded and chaotic to grab the attention of showgoers. 

Tip #2: Proximity to Amenities is Always a Bonus

You might want to choose a location near coffee stations, restrooms, or other popular areas. Not only will this type of location have the desired foot traffic for successful interactions, but trade show attendees are more likely to be in good spirits when they’re near your booth.

Tip #3: Think About Neighboring Booths Strategically

If possible, find out who is renting the booths around yours. Depending on your trade show strategy, you may want to avoid your competitors (or maybe you want to be directly beside them!) or search out the largest, most popular companies so you can piggyback off their booth traffic.

Trade Show Booth Decorating Ideas

Once you’ve committed to your booth space, it’s time to get working on your actual booth design and decor–and there’s plenty to keep in mind as you plan!

Here are a few ways to make your trade show booth stand out from the crowd:

Tip #4: Select Appropriate Décor

Create the right mood and draw attendees into your booth with the right décor. Start by choosing a color scheme. Naturally, this should reflect your brand, but you don’t have to go overboard with company colors. Identify yourself with the main colors that represent your business with a few pops of color to add interest. 

While your main goal should be to stay on brand, you could also play around with decorations, accent colors, and signage designed to draw in attendees.

Tip #5: Think About Lighting

Lighting plays a huge role in creating the perfect vibe at your trade show booth. That said, we recommend balancing practicality with creativity. For example, if you have products at your booth, you’ll want to highlight them with spotlights, overhead lighting, or accent lighting. 

Aiming for a homey feel to make attendees feel welcome to come in and have a chat? Consider setting up a few floor lamps or softer lighting. On the other hand, if you’re looking to draw attention or create a high-energy party vibe, you could use strobe lights or a neon sign. 

Tip #6: Add the Right Furniture to Your Booth

Much like lighting, your choice of furniture signals to attendees the type of experience they can expect from your booth. For instance, if you’re hoping for visitors to do a quick pop-in, excessive furniture isn’t needed. Just a tall table or bar, and you’re set. 

However, if you’re hoping to encourage more in-depth conversations–possibly leading to a sale or signed contract–consider going for a welcoming living room vibe. Bring in a few comfy chairs and maybe even a coffee table to invite your visitors to take a load off, relax, and spend some quality time with your staff.

Trade Show Booth Ideas for Attracting a Crowd

Whether you have the smallest booth on the trade show floor or the largest, you need to make yourself stand out if you want to draw people in. 

Here are a few ways to create a memorable experience at your trade show booth:

Tip #7: Set Up a Demo Space

Anyone attending a trade show is looking for more than a booth just distributing dry information–they’re looking for an event experience

It may seem obvious, but if you’re at a tradeshow to promote a product, you need to ensure it’s on display and accessible. Ideally, your booth would include dedicated demo space–whether that’s a tabletop, open area, or some other setup that allows your staff to demonstrate the product properly.

Remember, attendees would rather see your product in action than sitting around in its packaging. At the very least, you should have your products available to hold, touch, and interact with.

Tip #8: Host a Giveaway

Everyone likes free stuff–and many attendees will make a beeline for your booth if there’s a promise of swag! Be sure your giveaway items are useful and of decent quality. You don’t want to be remembered as the booth who distributed the pen that doesn’t work or the calendar with two Januarys. 

Your best bet is to offer a sweet treat or savory snack (branded with your logo, of course). Food items are appreciated after a long day on the show floor and won’t go to waste.

Tip #9: Include Interactive Activities 

Inviting attendees to play a game or engage in other interactive activities is one of the best ways to spark interest in your booth! After all, we all have a competitive gene somewhere and plenty of attendees enjoy the fun that games bring to a trade show. 

  • If you’re near the entrance, create a scavenger hunt, with a prize at the end for anyone who returns to your booth after the hunt is completed
  • A spin-and-win wheel is always fun
  • You can also try simple carnival games (like a ball toss), trivia quizzes, or even a simple survey
  • Photo booths or photo walls are also a great idea (be sure to have branded props on hand!)
  • If an event offers gamification through an event app, make sure your company gets in on the fun! Gamification is a great way to drive engagement and encourage attendees to visit your booth

While these ideas will generate foot traffic, be sure they are also delivering on your other goals–such as gathering customer feedback, allowing people to try or sample your product, or collecting names for a mailing list.

Tip #10: Be Mindful of Body Language

The first thing people respond to is the person or people manning your booth. Whoever is working at your booth is representing your company. In order to attract visitors to your booth, your staff must be open, friendly, and approachable. This means smiling with lots of eye contact–and most definitely not stuck behind a desk playing on their phone!

To truly invite people into your booth, it’s important to be mindful of body language. Stand toward the edge of the booth to greet attendees and show them you’re interested in having a conversation.

Trade Show Booth Ideas to Help You Build Goodwill

Sustainability may be a buzzword, but it’s also a valid goal for your organization–and it’s something you can embrace when coming up with ideas for your trade show booth. Plus, making an effort to be eco-friendly will give your attendees another distinguishing factor to remember you by! 

Here are a few tips to help you reduce the environmental impact of your tradeshow booth–and build goodwill for your brand!

Tip #11: Consider Biodegradable Name Badges

When designing name badges for your staff, look for environmentally friendly options. For example, you might opt for biodegradable materials or badges that can be reused multiple times instead of for one specific event. 

Bonus tip: Use compostable materials for your signage, too, when possible.

Tip #12: Rent Instead of Buying Furniture

When it comes to fixtures and furniture for your trade show booth, rent instead of buy. Many companies like to switch up booth décor from show to show to keep things interesting and match the space. 

By renting a table and chairs, for example, you avoid a stockpile of furniture you won’t use often and give your team the freedom to customize the booth for each event.

Tip #13: Choose Sustainable Swag

Handing out conference swag can be a great way to attract visitors, but it’s important to consider the types of swag and materials you’re handing out. To leave the best impression of your brand, be sure any items you hand out are useful and environmentally friendly. 

For example, reusable water bottles are always a hit. Another safe option to go with is food. No one will waste or toss out a good snack (just be sure it is in paper packaging!).

Tip #14: Use Digital Lead Capture 

Flyers and brochures are nice to put in the hands of your audience, but digital marketing and QR codes can work wonders, too–plus eliminate all that waste. 

So, instead of asking visitors to fill out a form or write their name on a paper list, ask the show organizer if they’ve considered using an event app that offers digital lead capture. This would allow you to simply scan an attendee’s QR code (on their badge or phone) so you can capture lead info faster and easier than ever

A Successful Trade Show Booth Begins with a Great Idea

The bottom line when it comes to your trade show booth? Focus on ideas that ensure your booth is original, informative, and approachable! If you can nail these three characteristics through your trade show booth setup, design, and experience, you’ll be rewarded with more traffic, more leads, and more exposure to your company.

Want to learn more about EventMobi? Book your personalized demo of EventMobi’s Event Management Software platform today!

 This post was contributed by the CMEExpo Show Management team.