16 Creative Ideas to Attract Visitors to Your Exhibition Booth
Stats show that 67% of trade show attendees can be potential customers as they mainly comprise of senior management who have actual buying power (and will most likely place orders for one or two products they experience on the day). To attract these lucrative customers, your booth needs to stand out from the crowd.
How do I attract people to my stand?
Some basic principles you should stick to:
- Choose natural materials like wood and fabric over clinical looking metal to create a homely, inviting environment.
- Anticipate and provide for their immediate needs – WIFI, charging points and complementary water will be gratefully accepted.
- Yes, your booth represents you and your brand, but it also needs to be a unique experience that can’t be replicated by simply visiting your website.
These steps will help you pull in visitors, but to make your booth unique you may need to go a step further…
How can I make my stand unique?
The most memorable stands will in general use ideas from the following categories:
- Unbelievable giveaways. Items such as gaming consoles, mobiles and £500 gift cards are always going to popular. If you don’t have the budget to stretch that far, all you need to remember is that the prize should be an item that is in high demand and universally appealing. Giveaways are also a great data capture opportunity – consider scanning badges to simplify the entry process for both you and your visitor.
- Performance artists, music etc can all be used creatively by a brand to capture the attention of passers-by.
- On trend industry topics. Provide a freebie related to the current hot topic – it will bring people in as it will be a subject of much discussion among visitors that day.
Now here’s those 16 Creative Booth Ideas…
- Use 3D projection in your booth design.
3D mapping can add a cool, cutting edge touch to your stand. It works well in dimly lit booths and can highlight interesting structures. Keep it entertaining with moving shapes or with something related to your brand such as a logo or hero product.
- Hire experienced staff for your stand.
Why not hire exhibition staff (alongside your own representatives) to help work your stand? They can help with hospitality (greeting guests, providing light refreshments) set up stands/equipment and displays and also data capture. We have numerous staff based round the Birmingham area that are experienced and familiar with the workings and layout of the NEC and are often available at short notice!
- Get people to play on interactive booth games.
Interactive games are a great way to attract visitors and keep them on your stand for a while. You could try:
- Trivia about your industry or a featured speaker
- A game show wheel – players can do fun mini challenges or win small prizes
- Set up an actual video game console and controller in your lounge area for customers to play on while waiting
- Tie in your stand activities with the main event programme.
There is no point announcing your giveaway winners during the main speaker event – study the event programme and schedule accordingly (tidying and cleaning during quieter periods when attendees are at the main seminars and talks). Also ensure your newly captured and valuable prospect data has been backed up or uploaded properly. You are then free to schedule your demos and special events for those high traffic/ busier periods.
- New product launch.
When surveyed, 92% of trade show visitors reported that their main reason for attending a trade show is to see new products. With such a captive audience, why not use the event to launch a new release just for them? You can go that one step further and utilise guerilla marketing strategies (like a flash mob, geofilters, or costumed floor staff) to make the occasion really attention grabbing.
- Location, location, location.
Stand location is key! Choose one in the so called ‘A Triangle’ (where the toilets, concession stand, main entrance, and secondary entrances are). These high footfall areas ensure a steady stream of people passing by.
- Make it eye catching.
According to 48% of exhibition visitors, a visually stunning stand is the most effective way to grab their attention. Use your imagination, but if you need more help there are loads of professional stand design/building companies out there eager for your business.
- Locate your stand with synergistic brands.
By locating your stand and developing a strategic relationship with other companies within your industry, you will benefit from their crowds of visitors close to your trade show booth. If the venue aren’t forthcoming regarding details of what brands have booked what spaces and where, it’s worth knowing that most companies will usually occupy the same spot every time. A bit of detective work will at the very least bring up past photos of the event to give you an idea of who will be attending and where they’ll be.
- Use aromatherapy for ambience.
Human senses aren’t just confined to seeing and hearing. Aromatherapy and scent can add to your stand’s ambience and subtly emphasise your USP! If your product is something designed to relieve stress and make their lives easier a vanilla or lavender scent is soothing and calming. On the other hand if your product is physical, intellectual or dynamic go for an energizing citrus or mint to sharpen the mind.
- Incorporate a branded step and repeat.
Go even further and have a professional photographer to snap visitors against your branded background. If your event organizer is willing, get them to set up event hashtags and use these to post on social media.
- Be clever with your seating setup.
Re-arrange the seats on your stand to allow people to sit in small groups (which gives a sense of privacy amidst the chaos). Ensure your sales team don’t hover around this area and that there are lots of tables so newcomers can join in easily.
- Provide toys to keep them entertained.
Interactive gizmos like touch screen games and VR headsets keep visitors entertained, and more importantly on your stand! Just remember to select content that matches your exhibition stand theme and to end each interaction with a simple call to action.
- Don’t lay out material too neatly!
Straight lines look very tidy and polished so visitors will be reluctant to mess up your display! Make it look more accessible with piles of pamphlets to make everything look more interesting.
- Host your own speaker or VIP guest.
Have your own special event within the event at your stand! Most exhibition organisers are happy for you to add a program of your own to the event. It’s a good time to invite an industry influencer who is free or grab a special guest to do a signing of their new book at your booth. Just ensure your mini event is submitted and approved so everyone knows what you plan to do.
- Add experiential marketing to your event.
Aim to provide 2-3 immersive experiences any visitor can try, for example, using a tablet with your software or interactive screens.
- Utilise the airspace above your stand.
Sometimes you need to think outside the box… A floating sign or inflatable will grab everyone’s attention and also act as a handy location marker!
Hopefully these tips will help your next exhibition at the NEC to be a huge success. Don’t forget, NEC Exhibition Staff have lots of experienced exhibition staff who can be hired to work your event.