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Bold Ideas to Be “Popular” in the Trade Show World


If you want your trade show exhibit to be the one that every attendee is talking about online, to their colleagues and among those they network with at the trade show, it’s going to take some well-thought-out planning. And it will definitely take more effort than what you’ve been putting in show-to-show.

Do what others aren’t doing.If you’re going to stand out, you have to do what others aren’t willing to do. To be the one red leaf among hundreds of green leaves or the yellow umbrella in a sea of black ones, here are some tips to get you going:

  • You’ll need a great design that highlights your exhibit from the crowd of other booths. Here are some tips to prevent yourself from blending in with your booth neighbors.
  • Stepping outside of the norm might mean spending more money than you would typically spend to give your booth guests an above and beyond experience. Here’s a list of interactive methods that will get your trade show attendees engaged.
  • Anyone can show up with a small popup. If you are hoping to stand out with a bigger presence, here are some useful pointers to help you decide if it’s time for a bigger display.
  • Interactive ideas could include a game with a digital scoreboard, photo booths or Snapchat filters.
  • You’ll need a strategy that’s going to really get people talking, which you’ll want to start planning for far in advance. Here’s a trade show planning timeline that will help you decide when you need to start doing specific tasks.
  • To make sure that your strategy is going to work, you’ll need to test some ideas out beforehand.
  • Distribute surveys to make sure it’s on point with what your audience wants. This may take some surveying at your smaller shows. Here are six tips to make sure you’re gathering quality surveys from your trade shows.
  • Throw something out there on your social media and watch how people react to it.
  • Find out what resonates and what doesn’t move people as much.
  • Think deeply about what your clients care about and what types of things would matter to them at the trade show. What types of things do they love?
  • What would be an amazing and memorable thing that they could win or receive from your booth?
  • Resonating on a deeper level with your audience before the show will translate over to your event.
  • Use the insights you gather to strategize a plan.
  • Start giving hints on social media and your website about a prize or discount you’re offering. There are a lot of ways to engage your audience before, during and after the show on social media.
  • Create a conversation online that people can add to and spread the word about.
  • Get people excited to find out what you’re giving away in your booth.
  • Make them wonder what they can expect to experience in your booth and make them feel the need to attend the show just to see you.
  • By asking these questions and gaining customer insight, you avoid the assumption of what people might like mixed with the intention of saving money. To stand out, your booth experience needs to be an investment on your end, or it will just blend in with what everyone else is doing.
  • Don’t forget to customize your exhibit so that it parallels your brand.
  • A great booth staff will also be a deciding factor for trade show attendees on whether or not you stand out to them. Assembling a cohesive and successful booth staff takes time and thought, and it’s something that’s often overlooked in the planning process. Make sure your staff has all of the qualities needed to make your exhibit the one that people are talking about.

Trust that your research and the quality of your product or service will bring the right people to your booth with the right investment. There’s no surefire plan that can give every business success in the trade show world, or everyone would be doing it. Craft a strategy that makes your trade show presence stand out from the crowd and gets people talking.

Getting Booth Visitors Via Online & Social Promotions White Paper

In this book Skyline has compiled 26 blog posts originally published in the Skyline Trade Show Tips blog. The posts combine information about social media tools and tactics, pre- and at-show promotions, digital marketing tools and general marketing tips.

From experienced trade show consultants, traditional marketers and digital marketing practitioners, these authors know Trade Shows and how to leverage modern marketing tools to help draw new and returning visitors to your trade show or event.

About the Author

In her experience at Skyline's corporate office in St. Paul, Minnesota, Briquelle Neyens immersed herself in trade show research and the ins and outs of exhibit sales firsthand. She also engaged with Skyline's wide-array of products and services from an insider's perspective. Her blogs portray her expertise on what it takes to be a successful trade show marketer. She enjoys generating information that will help all trade show marketers in their decisions to become successful on the trade show floor.

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