9 Creative Ways to Attract Visitors at Your Next Trade Show


9 Creative Ways to Attract Visitors at Your Next Trade Show

Showcasing your existing product lineup with banners and displays? Amazing. Introducing a new product or service? Stressful, but rewarding. Networking with higher-ups in neighboring industries? An absolute blast.

Now, imagine doing all of these things at the same time. Presto, you’ve got a successful trade show, ladies and gentlemen. 

But it’s the making-things-successful part of the equation that many companies and organizations get wrong from the get-go. In any given expo or gathering, there may be thousands of competitors in your vertical vying for the attention of consumers or consumer-facing business partners. Standing out in a crowd that size is difficult. Difficult enough to make anyone in their right mind want to flip their tabletop display over, or tear their hair out.

But this isn’t a marketing venture you can just ignore: 82 percent of trade show visitors are directly involved in making purchasing decisions, and  over half said they intended to purchase exhibited products or services within 12 months of attending a show. So, how do you tap into the buying potential of these high-intent visitors? We’ve compiled a list of unique attention-grabbers that will have customers flocking to your trade show booth in no time.

1. Have more people at your booth.

Right now, you might be saying: “What do you mean, more people? If I knew how to do that, I wouldn’t be reading this blog!” But we’re not talking about holding a random assortment of visitors at your booth, against their will.

What we’re referring to is called Social Proof.

Think about it: if you see two burger joints side by side, which one would you walk into – the restaurant packed full of lively people, or the one that’s empty? Most people will drift toward the former. After all, everyone couldn’t possibly be wrong (at least, most of the time).

So, get a few of your employees into the show, and have them stand around your booth in plainclothes. As an added benefit, they also can also engage onlookers who are on the fence or appear interested.

2. Floors are for more than just standing.

Indoor floor graphics are an unconventional way of leading customers in and out of your designated trade show area.

Sure, you can use them as directional or wayfinding signs, but they also provide a great opportunity for branding and custom messaging. Promotional typography is a great way to transition people from staring at the floor, to mentioning the 20% off sale at your trade show booth.

3. If you’re going to go with banners, go with fabric.

Everyone and their parents are going to be hanging vinyl banners high. And those banners are perfectly adequate – in fact, we sell a lot of them – but you’re going to want the most vibrant option available to reach potential customers.

Why? Dye sublimation printing of cloth banners creates a full-color, textured look that practically screams elegance. Not to mention don’t crease or wrinkle nearly as much as vinyl banners, allowing you to store and transport more of them for an upcoming trade show.                                                                                                                                         

4. Let wearables be a constant reminder of your product or service.

Promotional giveaways have been popular for decades, but for good reason: they turn people into walking advertisements, and remind the wearer of your business far after the event is over.

The key here is to give people an incentive to try on your wearables. Make sure your trinkets, wristbands, stickers, shirts, etc. provide actual value. For instance, a plastic ring with your logo on it will probably be tossed in the junk drawer, while a functional watch might see continuous use.

5. Let them eat cake. Or whatever the caterer is bringing.

Free food will draw people from across different industries, clientele who may not have stopped by your trade show display otherwise. Make sure to pick something with an aromatic scent that’ll travel across the room, such as coffee, baked goods, popcorn, or pizza.

Food can be a great conversation starter, particularly if you have staff serve the food individually to each trade show attendee.

6. Tents and pop-ups should be custom-made.

This usually goes without saying. Why would anyone waste all that beautiful, vinyl advertising space on nothing? These days, come in any color imaginable, along with computer-designed graphics.

And if you really want to go for gold, add tent-top custom inflatables to your display. Puppets, large animals, hot air balloons, you name it – almost any shape is possible at Signs By Tomorrow.

7. Integrate social media into your pre-event hustle.

Through platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, you can see who’s RSVPing to an event, weeks before it takes place. Use this to your advantage by sharing a little more about your business on the event page, and adding the trade show’s hashtags to your Twitter updates.

Facebook Live is an excellent way to get in front of thousands of people instantaneously. For the time being, we consider it free airtime for marketing your company.

8. QR Codes. Place QR codes everywhere.

We are living in the computer age. And until we move past living in the physical world (hopefully in something a little less depressing than The Matrix), there will always be a gap between digital marketing and tangible advertising, such as event signage, pamphlets, brochures, and more.

How do we bridge that gap? With . If a customer is interested in a product or service, they can simply scan the code on display, and their smartphone will take them right to your website, where they should be able to place an order in minutes. No hassles, no fuss.

9. Have fun.

Visitors want memorable experiences, and they’ll naturally gravitate towards those who provide them. Industry events can be boring and bookish, especially for newcomers and outsiders.

Draw people in with balloons, music, and free drawings. After-parties are an effective method of networking while still maintaining a level of professional courtesy.

For more professional tips and tricks involving your next trade show, you can rely on the experts at Signs By Tomorrow®.

“What signs will work best for my exhibit display?” you ask.  Find out with an expert site assessment courtesy of Signs By Tomorrow®. We have a variety of Trade Show Booths for all applications and budgets. And if you’re looking for a high-quality solution to your event, we offer Indoor Fabric Banners. We invite you to learn more about what Signs By Tomorrow can do for you. To get started, contact us today.