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Tips for a Successful Trade Show Booth

July 24, 2018 • digitalmedia • Corporate PromotionComments Off on Tips for a Successful Trade Show Booth

At trade shows you can get a lot of work done for your business, but only if you put in your share of effort to prepare. Work on your trade show booth so it can work for you.

So what does it take to stand out at a trade show? Here are some tips for getting your booth ready for the big week.

Bring the cream of the crop


Trade shows are prime time for your employees and leaders to shine. You need your “front men” and “front women”—people who genuinely connect to others, are knowledgeable about all of your products and services, are personally invested in your company, and have a good sense of humor. They need to have intuition for when to encourage a commitment, and when to focus on connection. This balance of confident sales skills and tact will help you stand out as a booth that provides an exceptional experience.


Invite your best clients to attend the trade show. If they’re not already planning to come, offer to pay their way and give them the VIP treatment. You’re nurturing some of your top clients while also populating the trade show with people who are most in your corner. When they visit your booth, they’re also likely to speak to others on your behalf. Nothing maximizes your influence like word-of-mouth.

Make a great first impression

A split second is enough to tell someone whether they want to stop at your booth. They want to know whether your booth is:

–       Relevant to their interests – Does it align with their goals in coming to the trade show? Be clear about what you are and what you’re offering visitors. Don’t give false impressions to attract attention.

–       Interesting – Does this booth provide some unique twist on the product or service? What makes you special among your competitors?

–       Attractive – Is the booth offering a design, feel, and experience that seems helpful? Make your booth easy to interact with, appealing to all five senses, and an extension of your brand. Think out how traffic flow will work, and what kind of hospitality you can offer visitors.

This is where design work is crucial, and consulting might be a good idea. A professional partner can help you make an amazing first impression while also making the very most of your budget.

Plan first interactions

Once visitors decide to stop by, what’s their first interaction point? You want each visitor to get a chance to speak to someone, but this may not happen right away if they come during a time when all your staff is busy with other visitors. Interactive, hands-on experience is important to help visitors linger. If a video, touch screen, conversation, product demo, or other visual/tactile experience is not their first interaction, make sure the entry point to your booth naturally and quickly leads to one of these. Comfortable seating and refreshments are an easy and popular way to do this.

Show off your assets

What do clients value most about your company? This is what you need to place foremost at your trade booth. If it’s a new product or service, make that the driving feature of your booth, with a staff member there to explain, provide an interactive experience, or offer a demo and testimonials. If it’s a new approach to a traditional service you want to emphasize, ensure the design of your booth is unique and bespeaks freshness, attracting a clientele who will be looking for something new and inventive. Finally, whatever your best assets, dedicate a section of your booth to a visual “portfolio” of what you’re accomplishing. The goal is to give visitors concrete information and spark their imaginations.


Before the show

As you reach out to attendees before the show, set up pre-show meetings at your booth. At these meetings, emphasize your interest in your guests. Be a host, and show hospitality through listening well, offering coffee or other refreshments, exchanging information, and holding the sales pitch at bay. This gives your booth even more visible traffic and associates your booth with genuine listening and relationships, not just selling and pitching.

During the show

Take time to connect with the people at other booths. Concentrate on those booths targeting similar audiences as you, but who are not offering identical services. Though it can be beneficial in some ways to become friendly with competitors, concentrate your time on non-competitors with audience overlap. If it feels mutually comfortable, send people to one another’s booths. Finally, swap prospect contact information to dramatically increase your reach without overwhelming your audience with identical offers.

Use promo items

Always be ready to give away something for nothing. Every pen, sticker, business card or notepad that leaves your booth is a connection you’ve made. Promotional items extend your company’s influence beyond your booth and throughout the convention center. Their influence is magnified at a trade show since, at a trade show, you’re surrounded all day by people seeking a connection. Try offering additional giveaways each day or at the end of the show for people who are seen wearing or carrying one of your promo items.

Learn and improve ROI

Come to your trade show with a goal in mind, and then assess afterward. As you collect contact information and observe daily interactions with your booth, don’t neglect the measurables that help you decide whether this year was a “win” according to your criteria. After the show, follow up with your visitors right away and lead them to a next step. Creating and tracking a goal and doing the follow-up work helps make sure a trade show results in a positive ROI.

Fontis Solutions meets you at any point of your trade show process, from creative concept to booth building and analytics. For a reliable, inventive partner to make your next trade show your best, contact a Fontis consultant today.

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