32 Trade Show Tips to Attract More Visitors
Written By: Griffin Miller | Graphic Designer + Customer Care Specialist &
Cruez Luera III | Graphic Designer + Customer Care Specialist
Fact Checked By: Andrea Gibbs | Digital Marketing Coordinator + Graphic Designer
32 Trade Show Tips to Attract More Visitors
Are you tired of spending hours setting up your booth at a trade show, standing out in all sorts of weather, only to watch the attendees walk past without giving your booth a second look?
Do you want to stand out at your next trade show?
At most trade shows, there is a massive number of competing businesses, all vying for attendees' attention. You need to separate yourself, and innovate your trade show advertising in order to attract more visitors, and turn them into leads before they move on to the next booth.
So, how do you capture people's attention at a trade show and increase the number of visitors to your booth?
Our complete trade show checklist will teach you how to attract engaged customers, capture more high-quality leads, and boost revenue.
Be sure to read this through before your next trade show and implement some of these tactics!
Watch Our Video on the 32 Trade Show Tips to Attract More Visitors
1. Attend as many shows as possible!
Increasing the number of shows you attend is one of the best trade show tips to boost revenue. You need to get in front of potential customers as often as you can to expand your professional network.
2. Ask for a specific display location at the Trade Show
When booking a trade show spot, ask for a specific location. Monitor the trade show deadlines for claiming a space to ensure you score a prime location. The majority of the time when you ask for a specific location, you are typically granted a spot on the Island or Peninsula of the map.
3. Accept debit and credit cards for Purchases
Keep in mind not everyone at the trade show will have cash on them. Businesses see a 20% increase in sales when they offer customers the choice to pay with debit or credit cards. Trade shows are no exception.
4. Enhance your display with Custom Banners, Tents, and Flags
Your trade show booth must stand out from the competition to attract more potential customers. Custom trade show banners, tents, and flags are crucial elements to boost your brand’s exposure and success on the day. Invest in a Custom Pop-Up Tent and Banner Stand that matches your brand and style. This will make sure your booth and signs are representative of your business and help you leave a good first impression on customers.
5. Schedule electrical work before the event
When planning for a trade show, there are lots of components to organize. One thing that you should not overlook is any electrical work needed when setting up a trade show booth. Arrange the electricity, internet, and signs of your booth the day before the event starts. Many shows will not spell this out for you, but you can still do this.
6. Test your equipment before the show!
A key step in any successful trade show checklist is to test all equipment before you ship it to the location. This includes AV equipment, event tech, and any other activations. Ensure the following in the days leading up to your event:
7. Bring printed approvals with you
Remember, preparation is the key trade show tip for success. The last thing you want is any miscommunication about where your trade show display is located, or whether your business has been included in the show at all!
8. Sound the Alarm Before the Show!
Incorporate pre-show mailers, emails, and phone calls into your trade show marketing strategy. 80% of exhibitors do not use pre-show promotions, but it can increase your qualified booth traffic by 33%.
9. Ship Display Materials in Advance
Consider the shipping time frame of your display exhibit. A good trade show tip is to ship any display materials in advance to the show location. This is very important if you have a complex display exhibit, such as a Large Space Booth. If you do have a large trade show booth, it is a good idea to get it prepared a month before the show.
10. Cut Costs by Shipping Items Together
10-30% of your trade show budget is usually spent on shipping and transportation. An excellent trade show tip is to consolidate as many materials as possible. Avoid shipping any unnecessary items to the show and focus on only those that convey your brand message. If you must send your things in multiple boxes, shipping pallets and a shared carrier are great ways to save money on handling costs.
11. Use quality shipping cases for valuable items
Quality shipping cases are a must-have in any trade show checklist. Shipping valuables in a cardboard box is asking for trouble and broken goods! If you have a large flat-screen monitor in your booth, try shipping it in an AV case. For your exhibit displays, use a Trade Show Shipping case to prevent damage and fraying. If you have a large display, try out this Large Shipping Case with wheels.
12. Follow up on leads!
Once you’re back in the office, contact your leads after the show. This is a vital trade show tip that so many people neglect. 75-80% of trade show leads are never followed up on. Don’t let these high-quality customers slip away. Establish a follow-up strategy in your post-trade show checklist. Categorize your leads and decide what follow-up strategy is best suited to them, whether that be a phone call or an email.
13. Send Video Emails and Post on Socials!
Send a video email the night before the event to attendees. Share your booth number and tease any giveaways and prizes that you are offering. Film a video standing in front of your trade show fabric display. This will not only excite your customers but help them find you when they arrive.
14. Seek Marketing Help
Allow someone to help you develop and achieve your marketing objectives. If you don’t have in-house marketing support, then consider working with a marketing agency or your exhibit company. This will allow you to create a Trade Show Display that is on-brand and showcases the most important aspects of your offering, business, and presence.
15. Pre-Set Appointments
Increase the percentage of attendees to your booth by booking pre-set appointments. Ensure you have the cell phone number they will have on the show floor. Call them half an hour in advance of the appointment. As you speak, assume the appointment is going ahead using a clear and confident tone of voice. Give them a clear incentive to attend the appointment.
16. Do a theme for your exhibit
Incorporate a theme into your trade show display and outshine the competition. When planning for a trade show, ask yourself what theme fits your product or brand. For example, you could do a New York café theme serving pastries and coffee, a Halloween theme handing out candies to visitors, or a Superbowl theme with hot dogs and football activities. Seasonal and location-specific themes are effective because they are immediately relevant to your visitors.
17. Match your pre-show promotion to your at-show experience:
Create continuity between your marketing and your trade show exhibit. This will incentivize customers to attend the trade show and find your booth.
18. Finding Lost Freight
Missing freight for your trade show display is any exhibitor's worst nightmare. With large quantities of deliveries to one trade show location, your delivery may likely end up at another exhibit. So, if you have missing freight and know it was delivered, look for the booth with transposed numbers, e.g. 211 could be in 112. You can also ask the show to palletize your small boxes, saving you money and lost items.
19. Think outside the box!
Don’t discard a creative idea because it’s not in the rules. Unless it violates the show rules, ask for forgiveness, not permission. Trade shows are an opportunity to stand out from the crowd and set your brand apart from the rest. Custom Trade Show Booths can bring your vision to life with a variety of options.
20. Boost your Staff’s Attitude
Show some love and appreciation to your staff for their time and energy. Put a gift basket together to say that you care. This could include a pair of gel inserts, hand sanitizer, energy bars, caffeinated drinks, a nice pen set, or a mini notebook. The more they feel valued, the better they will serve your customers, and the more success you will have. It’s a win-win!
21. Don’t Just Pay Commission
If your exhibit staffers are solely commission-based, consider ways to boost their morale when they are not directly getting leads. One effective trade show tip to achieve this is to pay your staff to work the show separately from their commission fees.
22. Wear Comfortable Clothes And Bring A Spare Pair Of Shoes
Change your shoes at least one time during the show. It creates different pressure points for your feet and saves your knees, back, ankles, and legs. Wear clothing that will feel comfortable and regulate your temperature throughout the day. This will ensure you are on top of your game and can focus on drawing in more customers.
23. Hold a Pre-Show Meeting With Your Team
To ensure your team works effectively at the event. Always have a pre-show meeting to discuss key points of the show. Go through the trade show checklist with them
24. Set Clear, Actionable Goals for Staff Members
Give your staff specific objectives and assess their progress in a specified time frame. Each staff member’s objectives should work towards a bigger goal you have for the trade show, such as increasing new leads by 30%.
25. Use Crowd Gatherers to Encourage More Visitors
Designate one or more people as crowd gatherers in your trade show checklist. Crowd gatherers should staff the aisle and engage people to participate in your booth activity or register for your high-end giveaway.
26. Ensure Your Staff Members are Engaged
Your staff members are the most powerful ambassadors for your brand at a trade show. Provide pre-trade show training, set clear objectives, and offer breaks to keep them engaged and smiling. Staff talking on the phone or texting can discourage potential visitors.
27. Improve your Sales Strategy!
Every trade show checklist should include an overall sales strategy. Maximizing your sales tactics will equip your staff with the right strategies to close a sale and boost revenue.
28. Give updates to your staff during the show
Provide updates at the halfway point of the day to provide feedback on how the team is doing as a whole. Provide feedback individually to your staff about how they are progressing towards their goals. Don’t embarrass them or tear them down, but provide constructive feedback.
29. Offer an Exciting On-brand Giveaway
A popular trade show tip is to offer giveaways. Giveaways can be used for rewards, appreciation, recognition, and communication. But how do you use giveaways correctly to draw in more visitors?
30. Ask prospects to do an exit interview
Trade shows are the perfect opportunity to get more face-to-face information from your audience. Maximize this opportunity by asking them questions about how they view your brand, what is most important to them, and any pain points about your company.
31. Manage your Budget Effectively
You want to maximize every dollar you put into your trade show booth, so you need to budget accordingly. Consider leveraging your exhibit house to help ease the load. Ask them to take care of marketing, show services, and shipping. This will help you focus on delivering the best performance at your next trade show.
32. Have fun!
Face-to-face interaction is one of the most powerful marketing tools that a business can use when trying to generate new leads. Enjoy your time at the trade show and have as much fun as you can! Chances are that if you’re having fun, the crowd will take notice and follow your lead!
Need help designing a custom display for your next trade show? Here at Lush Banners, we want to help you maximize the number of visitors you receive at your next event! Our extensive range of high-quality, custom-made trade show products can be completely customized to powerfully showcase your brand on the day. With quick turnaround times and outstanding customer service, get in touch with Lush Banners today for a free, no-obligation quote!