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6 Display and Setup Ideas for a Killer Trade Show Booth

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | Comments (0)

Positive ROI is what any business wants to see after spending thousands of dollars on a trade show booth. 

Unfortunately, maximising your investment is easier said than done. But if you do it right, a killer trade show booth can yield benefits that go well beyond any marketing or advertising strategy. Just the sheer number of business deals that happen at conferences and trade shows around the world is enough proof of that. 

But what makes a great trade show booth? Focus on these 6 steps when setting up yours.

Make a Solid First Impression

Everyone knows first impressions are important. In a trade show, you’re competing against several dozen other booths, which means that making a solid first impression is even more important if you want to attract attention.

Creative booths give you an edge over your competition. If you can only splurge on one thing during your trade show appearance, it must be your booth’s design. If you can, consult a designer when prepping your booth. 

A few things to remember: 

-       Focus on creating visual impact.
-       Large images, beautiful videos—these are great at generating reactions
-       Make sure your displays are actually relevant to your brand

Be Smart with Your Gift Bags and Giveaways

Marketing should come into play when trying to generate interest in your trade show booth. Anyone who’s ever been to a trade show knows that almost any booth will be giving away promotional materials, gift bags, and other freebies.

Don’t take these items for granted. Instead of assembling the usual assortment of brochures, USB flash drives, and branded pens, use giveaways that people will actually like and find useful. Plus points if you can tie in a promotion or contest to incentivize their use (think glowing bracelets with numbers that you can use in a raffle at the end of the show).

For ideas on what to place inside your gift bags, check out our guide: The Anatomy of a Useful Trade Show Gift Bag.

Seed Interest in the Event Weeks Before the Day Itself

Contrary to what many businesses believe, marketing your trade show booth doesn’t have to happen during the event itself. In fact, laying the marketing foundation for your participation in the show should happen several weeks before the day of.

If you want to schedule meetups with potential clients or customers at the show, set meetings weeks in advance. And you don’t have to just focus on selling. Make this activity about networking and genuine exchange of ideas and information.

A quick and simple way to start is by creating a sign-up page on your company’s website. This allows you to collect email addresses (read: leads!), letting you measure interest in your booth.

Create an Interactive Environment

Imagine yourself as a tourist in Europe. You want to go to a pub for drinks, and see one establishment packed with people. You think to yourself, “Hmm, must be a good place to have that many people.” 

That right there is called social proof, and it can be pretty powerful stuff when applied in a trade show setting. When attendees see people flocking to your booth, they’ll naturally think something exciting must be happening.

Your job is to think of something that will act as a magnet for people. It can be an interactive display, awesome gift bags, a celebrity speaker, or free stuff.

No budget? No problem. One of the oldest tricks in the book is to get employees or people you know to dress up as attendees and surround your booth. Have them look at your marketing collateral, your displays, and samples. 

The trick is to find ways to make your service or product as interactive as possible, giving people a reason to stay in your booth. 

Of course, not all products and services are easy to display, especially if the product is not actually a physical product (think consultancy service and the like). But again, it all boils down to how you approach the challenge. 

Touch screens are a great way to coerce attendees to interact with your displays, so consider having a handful of tablet devices around. And if you can have one giant touch screen, go for it.

Whatever you do, make sure you have the staff ready to engage passers-by and onlookers. 

No Interactive Displays? Tell Stories Instead 

If your service or product is hard to integrate into an interactive display, you can try another approach instead: storytelling.

Stories are all about creating a distinct experience in your trade show booth. 

If your organization is a maker of organic produce, for example, you can break down your displays into different sections that encourage people to walk through each step you take to grow your products organically. In this case, we would use videos, vivid imagery, and even product samples, tools, and raw materials to show how your company grows food. 

This approach isn’t about selling your brand. It’s about making people want to connect with it on an emotional level, making them see the kind of hard work you put into your product/service. 

Let Your Biggest Clients Act as Ambassadors 

Let’s go back to the concept of social proof. Again, people are more likely to be interested in your booth when they see other people do the same. But people are even more likely to give you their attention if they see big names acting on your behalf.

And who better to talk about your brand than the clients who actually benefitted from your product/service? If they can’t make it to the show, take a video of them talking about how your brand helped their respective organisations. 

Closing Thoughts on Trade Show Booths

More often than not, unique concepts often get the most buzz at trade shows. But creative booths don’t have to be expensive. With planning and clever execution, you can still create a booth that’s relevant to both your brand and industry. 

If you need to order reusable bags, tote bags, and other custom packaging materials, Smartbag has you covered. As an online packaging specialist and one of Australia’s leading provider of custom printed bags, we have a wide array of packaging solutions built for retail, events, and promotions. Visit our contact page to get in touch with the Smartbag team.

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