32 Creative Trade Show Booth Ideas to Attract Visitors and Leads

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32 creative trade show ideas to attract visitors

If you’ve been fortunate enough to secure your spot at the hottest upcoming trade show for your industry, you’re bound to be excited. You get a 10×10 trade show booth reserved just for your brand use… but how do you pull in the visitors so that they want to notice you? 

Of all the attendees that tour around trade shows, a large majority of them are potential future customers. This means that you have a chance to get in front of new people with your brand, and it also means that it’s time for your business to stand out. It’s time to start planning and thinking outside the box for your trade show booth design.

Trade show exhibits are the perfect place to expose your business to people who are looking for the thing that you offer, so you need to dress to impress – so to speak. Decorating your booth with everything you offer as a brand and implementing some of the most creative exhibition booth design ideas that you see below, you’re going to turn your generic display into one that makes a stand!

Branding and Messaging

20x30 custom lead video exhibit

1. Share Your Brand Message

The one thing that every business understands is the importance of a strong brand strategy. It’s the way that you convey your message to others and your brand that makes your business unique.

When it comes to your trade show booth design, branding is vital. Generating an atmosphere that encompasses your brand in your trade show booth design can set it off entirely. Eye-catching, interactive trade show booths often get more attention than ones that only invest in a table skirt. Go outside the box and splash your brand with style.

2. Think Big

Have you considered your visibility at the exhibition? Think about how tall your display is, and then go a little bigger than that. You want to be seen across the trade show and get noticed, so go big or go home!

Silicon creations trade show booth

3. Showcase Your Company Culture

Another way to stand out on the trade show floor is by showcasing your company culture. Use the opportunity to highlight your brand’s values, mission, and vision. You can do this through videos, photos, or interactive displays.

This will give visitors an inside look at your company and help them connect with your brand on a personal level. It also allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors and show what makes your brand unique.

Pre-Event Preparation

4. Start Early

The success of your trade show displays is going to depend on the PR you manage to drum up for your booth. Your presence at the event is a big deal, and you want to generate as much excitement for your booth as you can – and you want to do it long before the event begins. 

Promote trade show on social media

Social media is the perfect place for big hints about the exciting additions you will have at the trade show. Circulating pictures from the event coordinators can really generate interest. Add in some hints and sneak peeks about the loot bags and giveaways that you plan to do at the event, too, just to get people interested further.

5. Leverage Your Existing Leads

Seeking new connections at your trade show booth is a great idea, but don’t forget about your existing leads. Leverage your email list and invite your valued customers to join the event. Just send a newsletter reminder with a synopsis of the trade show and the activities taking place at your booth.

It’s a good idea to include the location of your booth in the email, as well. At least include a map, but if you can share a live location, that’s awesome! The point is to get them as involved in the event as possible. They can also act as great word-of-mouth for your brand, helping you reel in new leads.

Visitor Engagement

6. Selfie Station and Photo Booth

We are living in a world that is dominated by selfies. Wherever you go, people are posting selfies, and you can bet that there will be many of them at the event itself. So, why not harness this? 

Photobooth selfie station
Image source: https://snapbar. Com/selfie-station

Adding a selfie station or a photo booth to your trade show display can pull in a lot of traffic. If you add some exciting props and the right backdrop, with the right hashtag, you can interest others at the same exhibition to come along and get their photo taken. Want to go one step further? Commission a picture frame with your logo and brand so that guests can be the Instagram square they’ve always wanted to be!

7. Create an Educational Experience

Trade shows aren’t just about showcasing your products or getting leads. Many people come to trade shows to learn about new products, services, and trends in their industry. If you can offer an educational experience to your target audience, they will be more likely to come back for more.

However, you are going to need an interactive and informative setup for this. You can rope in industry experts or thought leaders to talk about your products, the latest trends, or even your brand.

Invite a speaker to your booth

8. Get a Contest Going

Who doesn’t like to participate in a contest? This is one of the most effective ways to increase engagement at your trade show booth. You will need a proper pre-show promotion to draw the crowd. You can start sending out weekly newsletters at least a couple of months before your trade show. Don’t forget to talk about it on your social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. You should also check with the organizers if you can advertise your contest before the trade show begins. That should get things rolling. There is no shortage of trade show contest ideas – but focus on in-booth activities because you will have limited space. 

Also, think of ways to get your potential customers to engage with your employees. Remember, your goal is to create engagement that leads to conversions. It is better if your contest revolves around attendees using your product or service. Also, create a contest that makes it easy for you to collect contact information. Tailor the contest to fit your buyer persona. You don’t want unqualified leads occupying your booth while the qualified leads go to your competitors.

9. Let People Test Your Product

Product demos are great, but letting your visitors test your product is way better. One of the main reasons trade show attendees visit shows is to try and test new products. They want to get their hands on it as soon as possible. In fact, an exclusive launch at the trade show is an excellent way to draw the crowd to your exhibition booth.

Staff assisting customers testing samsung phone

Start by promoting your product on social media, email, and other marketing channels. However, you will need to be ready with a prototype at the show. If you don’t have a prototype or can’t bring it into your booth, you can use VR or AR. Ask your employees to interact with the visitors and note their reactions to product testing. A quick survey can help you understand what they think and collect their contact information. After the show, you can keep your target audience updated on the new improvements in your product. With this approach, they will be more inclined to purchase your product.

10. Engage with Gamification

Incorporating games into your trade show booth is an excellent way to engage with attendees and make your booth more interactive. You can have prize wheels, trivia questions, or even raffles to get people involved and excited about your brand.

Spinning prize wheel

Not only does this create a fun experience for attendees, but it also allows you to collect valuable information from potential leads. For example, you can have attendees fill out a quick survey or provide their contact information in exchange for participating in the game.

11. Host Demos and Workshops

Holding demos and workshops at your trade show booth is a great way to attract visitors. It can be a live demonstration of your product or service, or it can be a workshop on a relevant topic in your industry.

This will not only draw attendees to your booth but also give them a chance to interact with your brand on a deeper level. Make sure to promote these demos and workshops beforehand through your social media channels, email marketing, and other promotional materials. This will create buzz and increase foot traffic to your booth.

Comfort and Accessibility

Trade show attendees seated comfortably

12. Create an Inviting and Refreshing Booth Experience

One thing that you will notice about trade shows is that there are not many places to stop and relax. If you add a box of something delicious (branded doughnuts, anyone?), you can engage people who are just looking for a few minutes to take a break from all the walking around.

13. Provide Comfortable Seating

Having comfortable seating in your booth is a simple but effective way to make it stand out. Trade shows can be tiring for attendees, and having a place to sit and rest will draw them to your booth.

Consider adding some comfortable chairs or even bean bags to create a casual and inviting atmosphere. You can also use this space as an opportunity to engage with visitors and have conversations about your brand.

Embrace Technology

14. Bring on Social Media

Tweet social wall
Image source: walls. Io

From interactive Tweet walls to photo ops that we mentioned earlier, social media is the perfect platform for drumming up traffic. Facebook Live from your trade show booth and use your hashtags correctly – and for the younger audiences, utilize Snapchat to draw in the crowds. You won’t be disappointed!

15. Use Virtual 3D Technologies

Virtual 3D technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are becoming increasingly popular. Running a virtual 3D experience at your booth comes with many benefits. It attracts the attention of the crowd and keeps your visitors glued to your booth longer. Most importantly, VR or AR makes it easy for you to explain what your product does or how it works through an immersive experience. It’s no wonder 71% of consumers say they would shop more often if they used AR, while 61% say they prefer retailers that offer AR experiences. 

3d vr experience

This doesn’t mean you won’t need a trade show booth design. Of course, you need a display because it will be the first thing your potential customers will notice. However, VR or AR can be an added element to your event kiosk. The goal here is to educate as well as entertain your visitors.

16. Host a Social Media Contest

As mentioned before, trade shows are a great opportunity to increase your social media presence. One way to do this is by hosting a social media contest at your booth. This will not only attract visitors to your trade show booth – but also encourage them to follow and engage with your brand on social media.

Be sure to offer a desirable prize that is relevant to your target audience. Make it easy for participants by having clear instructions and using hashtags for easy tracking.

17. Utilize Technology with QR Codes

Pheedloop event management and lead capture app
Pheedloop event management and lead capture app utilizing qr code

QR codes are a great tool to use at trade shows. They allow attendees to quickly and easily access your website or social media pages with their smartphones. You can display QR codes on banners, brochures, and even business cards.

But don’t just stop there – get creative! You can also use QR codes to host contests, offer discounts or special promotions, and collect valuable data from interested leads.

Design and Aesthetics

18. Use Creative Lighting

Tencent 20x20 booth

Lighting can play a significant role in attracting visitors to your trade show exhibit. Using creative lighting techniques, such as colored lights or spotlights, can help make your booth stand out from the rest.

You can also use lighting to create a particular mood or highlight specific products or displays. Be sure to consult with the event organizers regarding any lighting restrictions before incorporating it into your booth.

19. Incorporate Greenery and Plants

The wood veneer hub booth design
Vk-5172 double-deck island display

Adding some greenery and plants to your trade show booth can help create a more inviting and fresh atmosphere. It also adds visual interest, making your booth stand out from others. Consider using potted plants, hanging plants, or even incorporating a living wall in your booth design. This not only adds aesthetic appeal but also promotes a more eco-friendly image for your brand.

Unique Attractions

20. Get Your Company Mascot

Chances are your company already has a mascot. If you don’t, consider getting one before your next trade show. Mascots stand out in a crowd. They quickly draw the attention of people walking by your booth. They are also more approachable and likable for particular age groups, such as kids and pre-teens. Plus, your mascot also differentiates your brand from the rest. Mascots can also keep your potential customers engaged, especially when your sales reps are busy attending to other customers. They can engage and entertain guests. This is a great way to keep your potential customers occupied until someone can speak to them.

Besides, people never seem to resist taking a snap with a mascot and posting it on social media. That’s free publicity for your brand. You can also have people hold a prop with your website, contact info, and a hashtag while taking selfies with your mascot. This will help you reel in more leads into your booth.

21. Get Live Music

Live music dj on event

Although this is a bit difficult to incorporate, it’s a crowd-pleaser. You can book live music (a band) or even a DJ. For starters, this helps you cut through the noise – literally. With so many booths and visitors, it can get loud. Live music can help you create a fun atmosphere and make people stick around. It doesn’t have to be expensive – you can always find local talent. This saves you from travel expenses. Plus, local talent will often charge less. You can also hire up-and-coming bands in your area. They are usually willing to perform at a far reasonable price. You will save some money, and the band will get publicity. It’s a win-win for everyone.

There is one downside to this trade show booth idea: you will need to keep the sound level reasonable. Also, you will need to seek permission from the organizers to feature a live band. Some trade shows may not allow live music or might have arrangements of their own.

22. Make It Fun

Create educational experience

If you have been to a trade show, you know it can feel redundant after a while. Going through brochure after brochure, display after display is quite boring. In other words, your brand needs to break this monotony by adding some fun elements to your booth.  

Trade show attendees want to learn, but they also want to have fun. Try to think of how to incorporate it into your trade show booth idea. Make sure their visit is a joyful and memorable experience. Let you and your staff be enthusiastic and engaging. Hire a good Emcee to effectively capture the crowd’s attention and interests, or assign a charismatic team member to engage with the attendees. People are more likely to remember a fun experience and associate it with your brand.

Logistics, Operations, and Lead Capturing

23. Bring the Loot

Booth staff with souvenir bags

Freebies, loot bags, swag, and fun – trade shows are all about the booths that have something to entice the masses. If you’re offering swag bags, make sure everything within them has your brand splashed on it. Play games and hand out prizes. Offer competitions where you gain email addresses on a list and pick from a hat. Not only do you get a new email list, but you get to drum up a lot of interest in what you’re offering.

24. Smart Bagging

While we’re on the topic of trade show booth design, think about how big you want your freebie bags to be.

Smart bagging at trade show

Handing out the biggest bag that people will carry around all day will be sneakily advertising your brand name – without even trying. Doing that will draw in the masses, and not only that, but people who carry a lot of smaller bags tend to stuff them into the biggest. So your name will be on display!

25. Tap into Guest Needs

Bottle of cold water? A cup of coffee? Phone charging station? You want to be the trade show booth that has something that everyone needs.

Refreshing experience at trade show

People are walking around a trade show all day, which means that they are going to get thirsty and tired. Be the booth that has something that they need. Opt. for a charging station that they can use, and watch the traffic flow into your booth space.

26. Get a Bigger Trade Show Booth (If Possible)

A standard 10×10 trade show booth sounds nice, but can you go for a bigger booth? Perhaps a 20×20 trade show booth, even 30×30 or 40×40 custom exhibit rentals?  

30x30 trade show booth

More space usually means more products on display, more in-booth activities, and a spacious seating area. That’s bound to attract more attendees to your booth. However, if you are going for a bigger booth, make sure to fill up the space. Empty displays and walls will never attract visitors. 

Art & Displays large exhibit rentals can help you create a bigger custom booth that can lead to increased foot traffic and, ultimately, more opportunities for sales. Investing in a larger booth may require a bigger budget, but the return on investment can be significant. By standing out from the crowd with a bigger and better booth, you can leave a lasting impression on attendees and make your brand more memorable.

27. Grab the Prime Spot

Another great way to set up your trade show booth for success is to grab the best possible location. Let’s face it: no one wants to get stuck in a corner booth with no seats. Try to get the best possible spot for your booth. Also, consider the location of restrooms, entrances, and the main display or reception area. The closer your trade show booth is to the action, the more footfall it is likely to get.

Most importantly, don’t position your booth near your direct competitors. This will do more harm than good. If possible, get your hands on the trade show booth arrangement. Get an idea of who’s going where and position your booth accordingly.

28. Pay Attention to Your Booth Staff

Staff with loot giveaways

This is a critical factor in setting up your trade show booth for success. You will need dedicated booth staff. It can be your in-house employees or hired help. Whatever you do, make sure to divide up their responsibilities. At least one person should attend to visitors’ questions all the time, even if it means getting an extra pair of hands. You will also need enough booth staff to avoid long wait times.

You are competing for visitors’ attention in a crowded and closed space. If your staff fails to engage, they will walk to the next booth. You will probably never see these potential leads again. Think of the booth staff ratio. Usually, a 10×10 trade show booth requires at least 2 to 3 staff members. Moreover, dress your crew appropriately. You can go with branded clothing (t-shirts, blazers, caps, etc.) or matching formal attire. It’s easier to spot your booth staff when they are dressed properly. It also helps your crew look professional.

29. Utilize Tools to Track Results

It’s essential to track the results of your trade show booth. You want to know if it was a success or not, and what you can improve on for future events. Thankfully, there are many tools available in the market to help you with this task.

Track trade show success

Lead-capturing apps, for example, can provide valuable insights into your booth’s performance. They allow you to track metrics such as the number of attendees, leads collected, and even social media engagement.

Promotions and Partnerships

30. Offer Special Deals and Discounts

Customer buying product on a tradeshow

People go to trade shows to get discounts and spend money on products for a better value than they would usually. You need to make your regular offers more lucrative, and the best way to do that is to create special trade show offers just for attendees.

31. Collaborate with Other Companies

Another great trade show booth idea is to collaborate with other companies. Find complementary brands and work together to create a themed booth that will attract visitors’ attention. You can also share space, reducing costs for both companies.

Collaboration allows you to offer a more comprehensive experience for attendees, as well as cross-promote each other’s products or services. It also helps to diversify your booth and attract a wider range of potential leads.

32. Partner with a Pro

A sleek, stylish, and out-of-the-box trade show booth design will help you stand out from the rest. However, it also needs to be practical and inviting. A lot of brainstorming goes into designing your trade show booth. The question is, do you have the skills to create a booth like this? No? Don’t worry! That’s where a professional comes in. 

You can hire a competent, experienced, and innovative tradeshow and display company to do the creative work. Their marketing and design experts can help you design a branded trade show booth. You should find a professional trade show booth design expert as soon as possible. 

Top creative trade show ideas

In Conclusion

This list is not exhaustive, and there are probably fifty more ways you can attract people to your booth. Still, this is a start and will bring people to you in the best way. Make the most of your exhibition with these trade show booth ideas, but also feel free to get creative. 

Are You Prepared to Transform Your Next Trade Show Experience?

At Art & Display, our expertise lies in crafting custom trade show displays, eye-catching and functional designs, and flexible rental booths that set you apart from your competitors. We invite you to connect with our dedicated team to explore our distinctive offerings. Together, we’ll collaborate to create something truly extraordinary. Call us today at (831) 427-4700.

Published on: Jan 11, 2019

Updated on: April 18, 2024

Avatar of loren gundersen

Loren Gundersen

Loren Gundersen is the owner and visionary behind Art & Display, a Santa Cruz-based company specializing in innovative trade show displays and exhibit rentals. With a passion for creativity and a deep understanding of the power of face-to-face events, Loren has transformed Art & Display into a leading provider of custom-designed exhibits that help businesses stand out from the crowd. His commitment to quality craftsmanship, personalized service, and cutting-edge design has earned Art & Display a reputation for excellence in the industry.