Putting together a successful booth at a trade show complementary to your industry can be an incredible benefit to your company. It can put your business on the map among your competitors, ultimately increasing your profits and generating a large group of loyal customers.

Consumers attend trade shows to view a variety of businesses. Oftentimes, your booth will be surrounded with dozens of booths by your competitors. Each will be vying for the attention of your target audience—so how can you stand out?

Business trade show
photo credit: Produce Marketing Association / Flickr

Getting consumers to your booth is the key to boosting brand awareness and your profits. Here are some tips to making a grand appearance when surrounded by your top competitors.

1. Use Backlighting

Backlighting can be a simple, powerful tool to draw the eye to your booth.

“You’re going to be competing with dozens, or possibly hundreds of other trade show attendees, each with their own signage and their own ways of attracting attention,” says an article from the trade show experts at PosterGarden.com. “If your signage blends into the background, people aren’t going to visit your booth…Installing backlighting will make your display radiate with brightness.”

Plus, it’s unlikely that many other booths at the trade show will have backlighting. You can effortlessly capture attention with this simple design tip.

2. Hand Out Useful Swag

People will stop at your booth if you’re giving away something that they need. It’s okay to have pens and notepads like everyone else, but think of items that all the other booths won’t have. Do research on trending swag items that you can afford and that will make a great impression on attendees. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Reusable water bottles

  • Wireless earbuds

  • Reusable straws

  • Power banks

  • Insulated lunch boxes

  • Personal care kits (because someone always forgets something while they travel)

3. Offer Snacks and Drinks

There’s nothing like a bag of popcorn or a sample of a product to refresh a trade show attendee as they walk around. They’re probably not used to getting this much exercise, and if you provide a place for them to sit while they eat, individuals will flock to your booth.

“Your drinks or snack offer should be in line with your company culture or theme,” states Richard Larson, writer for BrandWatch.com. “Water bottles and any packaging should come with your branding or business card attached to help remind them where they received it.”

Trade shows effective offline advertising method
Image Credit: popculturegeek/Flickr

4. Show Multimedia Presentations

Set up your booth with a television or projector to show various presentations in the background. This presentation could be a commercial reel of your company or the company’s executives discussing the role and mission of your brand. Sometimes people don’t like to stop and talk with a real person, but they don’t mind learning all about your company through a visual presentation.

Audio enhancements can also draw attention to your booth. For example, you could play a popular song that could be associated with your brand (with copyright permission, of course) to draw attention from all over the trade show.

5. Connect to Social Media

One of the biggest mistakes that brands make is forgetting the power of online networking. Social media is a great way to keep the momentum of your booth going long after the show ends.

Timothy Carter of SmallBizTrends.com suggests several methods for trade show success including using event pages to get consumers excited for the event, blogs about the booth and all that’s offered, special promotions after the show ends, and QR codes to keep consumers informed.

“Integrate your social media marketing strategy and your trade show event for a seamless promotion that will draw in lots of new customers,” Carter writes. “Never underestimate the power of a well-managed social site.”

When used together, these tips can make your booth unstoppable. When the show ends, other booth owners will be approaching you to learn your secret for designing and operating a popular booth.