2 Philosophies That Ensure Trade Show Booth Success


Trade shows give you unique opportunities to introduce your company to prospective customers and remind existing ones why they chose you. The problem is, trade shows are often crowded and hectic, packed with demonstrations, classes, and meetings causing many companies to struggle to stand out.

Use your trade show display to distinguish your company from the crowd and persuade visitors to stop by. By following these two philosophies, you can engage with your audience and demonstrate why your brand is the best choice on the floor.

Trade Show Booths Need to be Entertaining and Enlightening

Trade shows may sound boring to the uninitiated, but those who attend them regularly know that they can be quite entertaining. In order to entertain and enlighten your audience, your display needs to avoid being static. A static booth without activities, technology, and personal engagement, will have high bounce rates of visitors.

A few years ago, Wells Fargo created a campaign about "getting your ducks in order" (read: finance in order) by featuring rubber ducky icons throughout a major trade show. Event attendees who collected enough “rubber ducky points” were invited to play a water gun shoot-the-ducks carnival game in the bank’s show booth. This trade show display used gamification and personal engagement to ensure that the audience was constantly moving, talking and competing all while immersed in Wells Fargo branding. "The booth cannot be static," Wells Fargo's events program manager told EventMarketer.

An intriguing (and drier) approach is to add exciting technology like 3D screens, holograms, or virtual reality to your display. Using 3D renderings can help showcase your product or service without requiring the space or resources needed for a live demo. Virtual reality can be used to entice visitors to experience your company offerings in unique ways. But be sure to consider technology that’s appropriate for your audience. Not everyone will be pleased with a hologram of a deceased celebrity or a migraine-inducing virtual roller coaster.

Keep in mind that technology should “wow” your audience, not replace the human element.

People are Still the Centerpiece for Your Booth

Make sure your trade show booth staff maintains pleasant and welcoming faces and body language. SmartTradeShows.com offers a list of trade show booth etiquette that 's worth reviewing.

Do some research to determine the age and other demographics of the people attending a particular trade show. This can help you target your messaging and approach more effectively. For example, millennials have preferences that separate them from the baby boomers. You need to adapt to their expectations.

According to the 2015 Young Professional Exhibitor Needs and Preferences Study, millennials want one-on-one conversations with trade show booth staff to learn about a company and product, regardless of whether a demonstration is included. More than three-quarters said an outgoing, friendly approach is a key way to persuade them to enter a booth.

Trade shows don’t have to be boring, frantic or impersonal. By using technology, experiential strategies and one-on-one interactions, your display can be the center of attention and that’s a good thing!

Browse our blog to learn more about trade show marketing.

Posted by Sally Maturana | Request as a Speaker

Dog lady of the Lake. I'm down to standup paddleboard whenever. Driven to create & eat food. Almost always interested. VP Events @SparksMarketing