Are you exhibiting at a trade show or managing exhibitors? Trade shows provide companies with a unique, powerful opportunity to secure high-quality leads and customers, and generate much higher ROI than from other marketing activities. It’s not just an industry trope either: 99 percent of marketers report that trade shows provide their company with unique value that they cannot get from any other marketing medium. But it’s not enough to merely show up, you also have to bring your A-game when it comes to trade show booth ideas.

In order to maximize the benefits of exhibiting at a trade show, planners need to drive traffic to their booth and keep attendees engaged. To help, we’ve created this guide to the top 13 best trade show booth ideas.  Before we dive in, let’s review: 

What is a Trade Show? 

A trade show, also known as an expo or a trade fair, is all about bringing a large number of people in a particular industry together to showcase, demonstrate, and discuss the latest and greatest products that the industry has to offer. Typically, trade shows take place in large convention halls or centers over a few days.

What are the Benefits of Exhibiting at a Trade Show? 

Companies want to exhibit at trade shows because they get to market and host product demos to their target audience. As a result, trade shows present the opportunity for companies to capture many high-quality leads and secure new customers. 

Top 13 Trade Show Booth Ideas 

Although trade shows are a great way to network with like-minded people in the industry and secure new business, with so many trade show booths, it can be hard for companies to stand out from their competitors and other booths. 

Here are some of the top trade show booth ideas to help your booth stand out and get passers-by to stop. 

1. Apply Past Event Data

Data is an incredibly powerful tool, and making data-driven decisions is increasingly becoming the norm among event organizers. In fact, 74 percent of event professionals reported that data drives their decision making. But how can you use event data to drive traffic to your trade show booth? 

If you’ve used on-site event technology to manage your past events, then you can use this past data to optimize your booth design. Past event floor plan data can identify the most popular booth sections attendees visited (e.g. demo station, charging station), identify traffic jams in the layout, show the most popular time and day your booth saw traffic, and much more. All of this information can be used to design and optimize the layout of your trade show booth, and the times when you run various promotions.

2. Incorporate Color 

Although using color in your trade show booth design may sound simple, it is an easy, proven way to grab attendees’ attention. Using a lot of color (like your company’s brand colors) consistently across your booth will help it look on-brand, consistent, and visually appealing. Don’t be afraid to find creative ways to incorporate your brand colors in your booth design, like branded colored flooring or giant branded balloons to capture attendees’ attention. 

3. Product Demos 

To distinguish your trade show booth from other competitors you’ll need to showcase your product(s). What makes your product unique? How can it be used in a way that other products can’t? What problem does it solve for attendees? The answers to these questions should all be incorporated into your demo sessions. You can host these product demos in mini-groups, one-on-one sessions, or stream the demos on TV screens, iPads, or even social media. By making product demos front-and-center at your trade show booth, you can draw attendees and entice potential customers. 

4. Branded Photo Booth

Generating social media buzz about your booth is a great way to drive more traffic during a trade show. But how do you ensure you’re generating that buzz during a trade show? Incorporate a branded photo booth! With RFID wristbands attendees can scan their wearable, snap a photo at your photo booth, and have the images automatically shared on social media. You can even set up your photo booth with eye-catching graphics or branded props to make it more engaging and the photos that much more appealing.  

5. Coffee Station 

Let’s be honest. Trade shows can be tiring, especially for attendees. So charge attendees up by incorporating a coffee station into your booth. Depending on your budget, you can have a DIY coffee station, or hire a barista to brew specialty coffee beverages for your attendees. Some companies used coffee stations as a marketing opportunities by adding their logo, name, or brand colors to the coffee cups, or even going as far as recreating their logo in the coffee foam. 

6. Keep it Sustainable 

Sustainability is a big trend in the events industry for 2020. To keep your trade show booth both trendy and good for the environment, incorporate sustainability. Here are a few ideas:

  • You can get rid of single-use plastics by handing out branded reusable water bottles, coffee cups, or metal straws to attendees
  • You can go paperless with cashless payment technology 
  • You can offer plant-based snacks  
  • You can use recycled materials for your trade show booth design 
  • You can use a mobile event app or scannable barcodes to distribute collateral instead of printing it on paper 

7. Live Music 

With so many different booths and attendees, trade shows can get loud. To stand out amongst all the noise and grab attendees’ attention, consider hiring a live band (environment permitting) or adding live music to your trade show booth. Adding live music to your booth will not only attract attendees, but it will also give your booth an approachable atmosphere. Just be careful that your live music doesn’t drown out your demo sessions!  

8. Cocktails Vouchers 

Who doesn’t love free drinks? Offer attendees free cocktail vouchers for scheduling an appointment at your trade show booth or viewing a demo. You can build a cocktail bar at your booth, and with cashless payments you can load cocktail vouchers onto attendee RFID wristbands. Attendees could then simply scan their wearable at a vendor station to redeem their free drink. 

9. Charging Station 

Although trade shows are all about networking and making in-person connections, chances are attendees will still be on their phones, whether to take photos, look up information on the event’s mobile event app, or simply scroll through social media. You can draw attendees to your booth and keep them there by incorporating charging stations for phones, tablets, and even computers. Think about where you want to drive the most attendee traffic in your booth. If it’s the demo station, then set up the charging station next to the demo area so attendees can listen in while their devices are charging. 

10. Branded Giveaways 

It’s no secret that trade show attendees love free gifts. So why not entice attendees with branded swag? These giveaways can be anything! Here are a few ideas:

  • Reusable water bottles 
  • Branded phone chargers 
  • Cell phone ring holder 
  • Pens
  • Lip balm 
  • Can coolers
  • Notepads 
  • Bookmarks 
  • Reusable tote bags 

Remember that these branded giveaways can be used as leverage. To help your company secure leads, have attendees give you their email or take a piece or watch a demo in exchange for a freebie. 

11. Incorporate Wellness Trend 

The importance of wellness and incorporating wellness factors into events boomed in 2019 and is continuing to grow in 2020. Why? Maybe because happier attendees tend to be more engaged. To keep your trade show booth attendees happy and engaged incorporate some wellness techniques into your booth. 

  • Meditation sessions
  • Massages
  • Screen-free zones
  • Yoga
  • Stretching sessions
  • Healthier food & beverage choices
  • Locally sourced cuisine
  • Alcohol-free drinks 
  • Use your mobile event app to send wellness tips 

12. Photo Backdrop 

Are you looking for an easy way to attract attendees to your booth without breaking the bank or sacrificing your booth’s overall look and feel? Then photo backdrops are a great option! Provide attendees with unique branded backdrops to create opportunities for them to snap and share your booth. Past successful trade show booths have also incorporated branded cutouts to make the backdrop more engaging. Although the backdrop should be engaging, don’t forget to include your company’s name, logo, hashtag, and/or brand colors! 

13. Dessert Stations  

Dessert stations and walls are trending right now. Why? Because they are fun and interactive! So get on this trend and incorporate yummy treats into your trade show booth. Some dessert station ideas are:

  • Donut walls 
  • Cupcake making stations
  • Sundae bars

Not only are dessert stations engaging and eye-catching, but they provide attendees with the opportunity to casually network with other attendees and your company. They also will keep attendees at your booth longer! 

Exhibiting at a trade show presents so many opportunities for companies, like new customers and powerful networking. However, in order to capitalize on these opportunities, companies need to ensure attendees visit their booth. With these 13 trade show booth ideas, you’ll be sure to attract attendees to your booth throughout the entire tradeshow.

Want to learn how you can optimize the other stages of your event for your event staff and attendees? Schedule a demo with us to learn more about the RFID technology behind some of the world’s largest events.