Exhibit Tips

8 Tricks and Tips For Trade Show Booth Design

In a busy trade show environment, the most important thing for your company’s event booth is not only to attract visitors, but keep them there long enough to gather a sales lead.  From holding product demos, to providing chairs for visitors to relax and engage, there are many “tricks to the trade show” when it comes to creating a successful trade show booth.  Some ways are more effective than others, and when all are combined, these tips should help to provide a good return on your investment.

1. Simple Internal Booth Design

A clearly set and simple design layout is pleasing to the eye and truly is all that is needed for success within a trade show event booth.  Typically companies are working within a relatively small area such as 10 x 10 or 10 x 20 square footage of space, so it is best to make the most of it.  By allowing your salespeople to have room for product demos, hosting a raffle, and an area to write to get contact information from visitors, your company will be more likely to meet a sales goal.  Depending on the products or services offered by your company, that should be your overall guide on how to design your booth.  

One easy way to demonstrate any product is with a standard 6 ft. long, countertop height table, with 4-5 barstools all located directly in the center of the booth.  This arrangement can be perfect for your salespeople to take an expert stance demonstrating what your company offers with enough space to move around and for attracting visitors attending the show.  It also gives visitors a chance to sit, relax, listen and engage with them longer than other booths that do not offer a place to sit.  

Your salespeople can have brochures displayed and easily talk about your company or perform product demonstrations so visitors can stop and join.  The staff from your company working at the trade show can also have a bar stool behind the countertop for slower hours so they can also rest their feet until visitors approach again.  When talking to visitors however, it is best for salespeople to stand to show they care and are engaged providing their full attention to visitors and not portray an image of being too relaxed about gaining new business.  

Another internal booth design option is to have up to three smaller countertop stations in a zig-zag within the booth.  Each smaller 2.5 ft. long, countertop height table can easily have two barstools in front and a place for a salesperson to stand behind the counter and even demonstrate aspects of your company.  This allows more of the internal square footage of the booth to be used and opportunity for newly joining visitors to stand and listen to product demos.  This is great if visitors join in slightly after a salesperson has already started speaking.         

2. Use a few Natural Elements Inside

Using a few natural elements within your booth has statistically been shown to bring feelings of warmth to your booth, such as industrial stools combined with a wooden countertop would work or vice versa.  It has been said that using a few elements of nature allows an atmosphere of honesty and integrity within the booth.  Overly bright bold colors everywhere, or too much of the color white can bring a colder feel to the booth and does not make visitors want to stay for long.  The same goes for being a little too warm, over use of the color red and orange or similar colors can bring too much warmth especially on large banners or side walls of the booth.  However using some red, orange, or yellow throughout can be great.  Just look at the logo and design within the internationally successful food-chain operator McDonald’s that clearly uses those inviting colors but does not bombard visitors with them.    

Keeping the design and booth area clean while combining various natural elements can work wonders.  Having a small desk lamp on a countertop with softer lighting next to a computer monitor for product demos can help make visitors at home and more comfortable.  This is key so the salespeople can gather necessary lead information after providing them information about your company, all within the right timing.

3. Good Lighting in the Booth Atmosphere

An important factor that makes your booth approachable to visitors is having good lighting.  This does not always mean having super bright fluorescent lights throughout, but something that is bright enough to see brochures and definitely not considered to be dark.  The most important aspect is to make visitors feel comfortable so they stay for a while.      

4. Eye-Catching Banners

Before we cover giveaways, promotions and product demos, it’s important to finish covering the basics of a great trade show booth. High quality, eye-catching banners are the first part of your trade show displays that any attendee will see, making it important that you get them perfect.

The key to a great banner is high-impact design. Pick a color scheme that matches your brand, then use bold, highly readable text to deliver a punchy, attention-grabbing header that draws in your target audience.

Another key to standing out is effective use of white space. Try to avoid overloading your trade show banners with text and other content, as it can reduce readability. A lot of the time, a short, eye-catching header with brief supporting text is more effective than a crowded banner.

While banners might not stand out as a “traffic magnet” in the way a competition or free product giveaway might, they’re a fundamental aspect of your booth that’s worth getting right.

5. Create A Fun Competition

Giving away your product or service to a few lucky visitors can be a great idea to get way to talk about your product and collect information in the process.  Running a competition is also a fun idea to host a raffle or skill-based challenge.  It is a great way to attract crowds to your booth and generate buzz without using up your budget on free giveaway items.  The key is to keep it relevant to your business.  A bowl full of business cards with people who have no interest in your company is not to your benefit.   

There are a wide variety of competitions that are ideal for trade shows. From quizzes to fun, friendly raffles, any competition that requires attendees to engage with your team and learn about your products can be a useful tool for generating buzz and real interest.

Just like with free giveaways, the best competitions bring your brand and products into the equation. Try a skill-based quiz about your product to draw in prospects and educate them about your offerings at the same time.

Or, combine a giveaway and a competition with a prize wheel or drawing. From t-shirts and duffle bags to vouchers, gift cards and more, combining free giveaways and the competitive aspects of a prize draw can be a great way to generate large, highly motivated crowds.

6. Interesting Product Demos Using Technology

Finally, another great way to draw a crowd is to hold a product demo. If you’ve got a unique or interesting product that stands out from the competition, showing it off to attendees can be an excellent way to produce a steady flow of traffic to your exhibit.  If the trade show has electricity options, having a computer with a good size display screen will be great for eye-catching.  

There are several ways to hold product demos. For smaller products, setting up a demo space in your booth and showing them off on demand can be a great way to engage prospects as they walk into your booth.

For larger products, holding scheduled demos throughout the day can be an effective way to develop buzz around your booth. Often, a product demo every hour can transform your booth into an exciting location within the convention hall and a major meeting point for attendees.

7. If possible, be one of the first booths attendees will notice

One of the most effective ways to generate more leads from your custom trade show booth is to boost your visibility by setting up shop in a busy, high-traffic area near the show’s entrance.

While the area directly around the entrance can often be crowded and chaotic, the key benefit for exhibitors is the level of visibility. Simply put, if you’re one of the first booths attendees see, you’re likely to be one of the first booths they visit.

Another advantage of choosing a location near the event entrance is comfort. Instead of being the 10th, 20th or 100th booth a tired attendee visits, they’ll step into your booth near the start of the event, feeling focused and ready to interact with your sales team and often more willing to give their information before many others also ask for it.

8. Aim for a corner booth or intersection location

Corners, meeting points and intersections are excellent locations to prioritize set-up for your trade show display.  All of these receive lots of foot traffic, and all offer a greater level of visibility that can help you generate extra attention.

Good meeting points include the areas around catering and cafés, where attendees will likely congregate to take a break from the event, as well as the areas around the restrooms.

Both of these options cost less than the prime real estate at the front of the event location, but still provide more than enough foot traffic and visibility for your trade show booth to perform at a higher level than the competition.