Trade shows are a type of event based on a certain industry where businesses can gather to promote their product or service. At a trade show, businesses present themselves by purchasing a booth where exhibitors can talk to attendees about their business or whatever they choose to promote. Depending on the size of the show, attendees have a number of booths they can visit and inquire about. This means a booth should be both inviting and informative to entice people to stop and ask questions. In this blog we’ll cover everything about trade shows, from their benefits to trade booth ideas you can use for your own business!
There are so many benefits for a business to exhibit themselves at a trade show, not only for your business, but for attendees as well!
1. Showcase You & Your Product
One benefit of having an exhibit at a trade show is the opportunity to showcase your product and show how it’s used. This gives attendees a more real-life example of your product and will allow them to see how great it is in person. It also allows attendees to see the human behind the brand- so often with most branding and marketing being digital, it’s easy to forget that there are people behind a brand. Through a trade show booth, guests and future customers can put a friendly face to your brand.
2. Evaluate The Competition
At a trade show, you will see a variety of other vendors selling their products and services. Some of them may even be your very own competition - which is a great thing! You can not only get a feel for how your competition is performing, but you can also compare your product or services to theirs. There may even be things you can learn from them and apply to your business - think any cool branding materials, or different marketing techniques they may use.
3. Build Your Network
Along with gaining new customers, participating in a trade show can have another substantial benefit- gaining new professional connections. Since trade shows are often based on either a specific industry or even a niche within an industry, the other guests who attend will be people within that same field. Participating in these trade shows will open up so many new doors that you may not have thought were possible - like meeting your new potential partner or distributor!
When planning out the perfect booth for your company, there are a few factors you should plan out beforehand; you don’t want to plan out ideas that won’t be realistic with your booth objectives!
1. Plan The Layout
Knowing the layout of your booth as a first objective in planning for a trade show will help you decide further factors. You and your team will need to decide things like if you want attendees to approach you from either all, one, or two sides of your booth as well as if you want to offer seating for attendees to sit and talk to you. You’ll also need to decide how you’ll set up team members and how you want the flow of attendee traffic to be.
2. Decide On A Display Type
There are many different options to choose from when it comes to trade booth displays. There are four types of displays to choose from when planning your booth; flat-screen displays, projectors, kiosks, and custom displays. All of these display options come at varying price points, so it’s important to keep your event budget in mind when selecting the right type of display.
3. Choose Your Content
Once you have your ideal booth display figured out, it’s time to choose what kind of content you’d like to present on those displays. You can choose between easy to create graphics that include images, announcements, or product shots, videos, live social media posts using a custom hashtag, industry news stories, or a company blog. The options on what to display in your trade show booth are endless!
We’ve gathered some of our top ideas to incorporate into your booth at a trade show. Keep in mind, these ideas will differ depending on what kind of trade show you’re at and the details of your booth.
The perfect place to reveal new products from your business is at your trade booth! Let customers know they’re receiving a first hand look at your new products and let them experience it first hand. After all, 92% of attendees who go to trade shows say their main goal is to see any new products being featured!
A fun way to get attendees engaged with your business is to incorporate something interactive at your booth! This could be letting attendees try out your product themselves, or even incorporate social media into their booth by having attendees take pictures and use a branded hashtag for your business that you can display on a screen!
If you’re able to, a great way to improve your trade show experience would be to rent out extra space. Renting out extra space will allow your business to include bigger displays for attendees and to improve the attendee experience.
When it comes to showcasing your business through a trade booth, size matters! If you can, add a quirky element to your booth by including your product at a larger-than-life size. Adding this fun and unexpected component will attract attendees to your booth and entice them to learn more!
A recent phenomenon that’s been taking over the digital world is virtual reality. Virtual reality is exactly what it sounds like - a user places a headset over their eyes that allows them to virtually “enter” a completely digital space. There are many different uses for VR in the event space, whether that's showing your products in use or creating a game for your business. Some VR examples for a trade show booth include:
A trade show is a perfect place to incorporate your business into a VR experience if you’ve got the funds. Make it fun with some sort of game involving your business - the Boston Red Sox, for example, set up a virtual batting field in the middle of Fenway Park as a way to give fans a fun VR experience.
Show Your Products In Action
Another great way to utilize VR in your trade show booth is to showcase your products in action. If you’re in the business of selling premium vacuums, for example, you can have users view every part of your vacuum inside the VR set by listing out product facts and showing them how it can be used in real (but virtual) time.
A fun idea that’ll add some fun and interactiveness to your trade show booth is including an opportunity for attendees to take pictures! You can include a photo section with either an entire photo booth or place a custom backdrop including your business’ name somewhere in your booth. Once attendees take their pictures, encourage them to upload it to social media using a custom hashtag that you can later use to share the success of the event!
A trend that’s been popping up in the trade show booth design space is the use of greenery. Companies have either unutilized this concept by either incorporating a shrubbery wall or just including plants as part of the layout. Adding some plants will bring a sense of peace to your booth and leave guests feeling calm and relaxed.
One way to surprise and impress guests at your booth is to bring in some sort of special guest. This could be a speaker who knows a lot about your product or industry or a guest that has greatly benefited from your product. Either way, having someone there to attest for your product or brand will entice attendees to learn more about what you have to offer.
This may seem unorthodox for a trade show, but a great way to boost the impression you leave on trade show attendees is including live music at your booth. If your venue and booth space allows, hiring either a live singer or band could attract more guests to your booth and leave them with a great impression.
If your trade show booth has limited space on the floor, a great way to utilize your space is to go vertical and make use of the space above. This could mean incorporating a multi-story booth, using hanging signs, or an inflatable character. The key is to have your show booth be visible to guests who are not only walking by your booth, but also to guests who are further away.
These days, 3D elements are all the rage! With this feature, you can project any kind of design onto a surface through a projector. 3D projection mapping can be a modern and innovative touch to your booth that will make it stand out from other booths.
Add some fun to your trade show booth with interactive games! Letting attendees play any kind of game at your booth will be a great draw-in and will keep them there for a little while. There’s endless possibilities when it comes to the types of games to play, but some favorites are a prize wheel, trivia, or some kind of game with A video game console!
Experiential marketing is a great way to have guests engage with your booth. Add a spot where they can try out a product or hold an activity where they can build something. Incorporating an element where guests can use their hands is a fun way to keep them at your booth longer while doing something enjoyable!
Trade shows are famously known for any and all kinds of swag that attendees get to bring home after the event. Handing out merchandise with your company logo and branding will allow guests to remember your booth at the event and the value you brought to the trade show. Choose different types of merchandise to include in your bags - we recommend t-shirts, water bottles, pens, and more! You can get as creative as you want with your swag bag items, just as long as it’s something attendees can keep to remember your brand!
Contests are a great way to increase guest engagement at your booth. There are a number of contests that you can hold for your guests- just remember to make it creative and with a prize your guests would love to win! Let your attendees know ahead of time that you’ll be holding a great contest through your advertising methods. Contests are also a great way to gather attendee information so you can reach out to them after the event.
1. Place Your Booth Strategically
If you have the option to select your booth location, go about it in the right way! Placing your booth where you can get the most traffic such as near entrances and exits, restrooms, and concession stands will allow more people to pass your booth, increasing the chances of them inquiring more.
2. Brand Your Booth Out
This may seem like a no-brainer, but in order for people to remember your booth, you’ll need to put a big emphasis on your branding. Have a banner ready with your business’ logo to put at your booth and don’t forget the classic branded pens to give to guests as well! The more branded materials you can give to attendees, the better!
3. Prep Your Swag Bags
Keeping guests’ attention at your booth during the event is great, but leaving them with something that leaves a lasting impression of your business is just as important. The key is to have guests remember your product or business once the trade show is over, so in order to do so you’ll need to leave them with some great branded freebies. This doesn’t just mean pens- you could reusable water bottles, t-shirts, and even a gift card for your business!
There are so many fun and creative ways to spin the traditional trade show booth concept. Not only are trade shows a great way to attract potential customers to your business, but they’re also a great way to network with other industry leaders. With the help of platforms like Hubilo, you can track all the progress you and your company made at a trade show event with advanced analytics, too. Virtual booth analytics help your sponsors track engagement and leads generated (booth visits, meetings conducted, collateral downloads, CTAs, and more) from your event. Using our tips and ideas on how to make your trade show booth stand out to attendees, you’re on your way to new customers and an increase in revenue!