Small Business Brief


Avoid the Isolation Booth: Get More Traffic with This Guide to Trade Show Booth Design

Do you know if your trade show booth design is bringing you leads and traffic at trade shows?

Trade shows can be an expensive investment for your business. You want to make a splash, so you invest in the booth fee, travel and hotels, staff, technology, and more. Companies spend up to $24 billion a year.

All too often, companies don’t make the splash they were hoping for. That could be due to a lot of reasons. Attendance was down from past years, or people just walked by because your booth space wasn’t impressive.

Read on to learn how you can maximize your booth space at trade shows.

Plan Ahead to Get a Good Spot

One of the first rules of doing a trade show is that you have to plan ahead. Get a group of people together to form a committee.

Together, you’ll outline your goals for the trade show and what you’re there to promote. You’ll need to have a budget for the event, too.

One of the very first things you’ll do is reserve your booth space. Where your booth space is will often dictate how well you do at a trade show. Observe a map of the trade show. Notice where people will enter and see how traffic will flow during the event.

You’ll want to stay away from noisy areas like stages or food lines. While there may be a fair amount of traffic, it can be hard to hear and have a meaningful conversation.

Pick a booth space that can get a lot of traffic. Corner spaces are great as long as you’re not too far removed from the action.

Make a List of Attendees

Trade shows are great because they offer incredible networking opportunities. To make the most of the networking, make a list of the attendees you want to meet.

These can be potential partners, customers, or people who are influencers in your industry. You may be able to access the list of attendees through the trade show organizers. One way to start drumming up interest in your company is to send a postcard to attendees inviting them to stop by your booth.

Trade Show Booth Design

The look and feel of your trade show booth have to be inviting and personable. The booth design also has to match your brand.

You want to have a high-quality design that grabs attention. Map out a 3D rendering of the experience people will have at your booth. What will they do? Who will they interact with? Each step should be mapped out in advance.

Booth lighting and graphics also play a role in the overall experience. The lighting can set the mood of the experience and can be used to highlight certain areas. For example, a strategically placed spotlight can draw attention to a demo area where people can try your product.

Depending on your space, try to incorporate a meeting area where private conversations can happen. It can also double as a lounge to let visitors relax and recharge their phones.

You should consider enlisting the services of a company like EventDisplay. They work with companies to design trade show experiences that generate attention. 

That can save you time and energy, and you know that your design will be quality.

Make Your Offer Enticing

People need a reason to stop by your trade show booth. You can offer incentives like special trade show product pricing, or you could launch a brand new product. There has to be exclusivity in the offer that’s available only for trade show attendees.

You’ll see many exhibitors have a spin the wheel contest or take business cards for a free iPad drawing. While these are good incentives to collect names and business cards to follow up with, you’re not creating real relationships with potential customers.

Not everyone at the tradeshow has a need for your product or service. They may just want to get a free iPad without having an interest in your company.

Instead of focusing on collecting business cards and names, focus on creating quality business relationships. Have a conversation with people at the show without coming across as desperate or scammy.

Your Staff at the Trade Show Booth

How many times have you walked into a business and saw people behind a desk looking at their phones? They could not appear any more disengaged.

Trade shows are social events. They’re meant to get you in front of your audience. That means you have to talk to them.

What you could do is get a clean look for your employees that match your brand. Employee uniforms can be worn to make a statement.

The Follow-Up Campaign

Your business just spent thousands of dollars on a trade show. You want to make sure that investment pays off.

As soon as you get into the office following the event, your number one job isn’t to catch up on email. It’s to follow up with the leads and people you made contact with during the show.

A surprising amount of leads don’t receive any type of follow up at all. That’s throwing money away. 

Your follow-up campaign should consist of several emails as it takes more than one follow-up to close the sale. You can also connect with them on LinkedIn to further the business relationship.

Trade Show Booth Design to Generate Business

There are a few reasons to attend a trade show. You want to meet people in your industry, generate leads, build relationships, and close sales down the road.

Going to a trade show is a big use of resources, and you want to make sure your investment pays dividends.

By planning ahead and getting one of the best spots, you’ll get traffic, and your trade show booth design will get attention and leads.

Find out more about getting leads to your business by reading this article about promotional materials