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Distractions are Everywhere- How to Get Your Visitors Full Attention

Studies show that we have 7 seconds to capture someone’s attention. That means your trade show booth must be designed with the correct intentionality. In this blog post, we’ll discuss a few ways you can become a better “attention grabber.”

Define your goals

What are the goals of your booth? Are you looking to distribute giveaway items, trying to get direct sales, or simply collect information of the visitors? No matter which it is, understanding what your goals at the trade show are will help you dictate the appropriate ways to grab an individual’s attention. Here are a few examples:

  1. Giving away items: If your goal is to distribute items as a giveaway and to build your brand voice, try making it a game. Maybe something with lights, sounds, or by providing individuals who encourage passersby to engage. You could try the following games: Pachinko – Immediate gift giveaway, Raffle Tickets – Announcement of winners each hour.
  2. Getting direct sales: If your goal is to get direct sales, give a discount for individuals who purchase at the show, and provide a means of which them doing so.  You could also try the following concepts: Announce a new product – Special-opportunity just at the show,  or schedule “next steps” appointments to close the sale in your office.
  3. Collecting information: If your goal is to just collect information, provide some sort of a trade for their information. Some trade ideas you could use to collect include giveaways, discounts, contests, etc. You can collect information via surveys, a Business Card Scanner or by using lead retrieval.

Engage them in the booth

Great, you got people into the booth (or to stop out front of it). Now what? Well, you must be able to further attract your audiences as they are engaged in what you have to offer. The main elements that you need to have in your booth include:

  1.  The correct people: As we have discussed in the past, it’s crucial to have the correct people in your booth. This includes individuals who are:
    1. Warm and welcoming
    2. Passionate
    3. Understanding and willing to listen

Once you have the ideal audiences in your booth, it’s up to the people to engage them appropriately.

Create & distribute appropriate collateral: Guess what? Not everyone will be looking for a large conversation. So, make sure you have collateral that’s available to be digested at a later time. Some of this data includes:

  1. Business cards
  2. RAC Cards
  3. Minizines

Engaging people in the booth should be personal and emotional. This is the time you are allowed to be a little more informal (still professional) in engaging your potential clients.


How do you let them leave

How people leave your booth can really determine how they remember the experience. Was it exciting, unique, or just plain awkward? Make sure that you’re intentional about having a “walk away” strategy.

Think about Jimmy John’s for example. Part of their branding is yelling “hello” and “goodbye” in a friendly way. Because of this, you leave Jimmy John’s with a good sandwich and a memorable experience.

What’s your “Jimmy John’s” goodbye for your trade show booth?

Grabbing the attention of your trade show audience is completely up to you. Go ahead and be intentional, you know your audience better than anyone.



About the Author

Greg Johnson is the Managing Director at Skyline Exhibits Utah. He has 20 years of industry experience with more than 12 of that spent within the Skyline network. Greg previously held the position of Sr. Director of Global Marketing and Events at a global technology company. With his expertise in marketing, design and customer service, Greg has an unquenchable enthusiasm for your trade show success. For more information on trade show displays, trade show booths, and trade show exhibits in the greater Salt Lake City area of Utah, please visit

One response to “Distractions are Everywhere- How to Get Your Visitors Full Attention

  1. Great post, Greg.

    We’ve thought long and hard about the process of capturing B2B leads at events, and we’ve spoken to a ton of industry pros. From our research, most exhibitors fall into one of two camps.

    On the one hand, you have teams who prioritise scanning as many badges as possible. And some can be pretty strategic about it too, estimating how many potential prospects will attend and then creating goals for what percentage they want to scan. On the backend, they often use lead scoring techniques to filter the best leads up to their sales guys. They’re all about volume, and it works for them. There’s a bunch of case studies showing companies doing this successfully.

    On the other hand, you have exhibitors who need more than a badge scan. With long sales cycles and a need to uncover insights that can help their team sell to multiple stakeholders further down the line, these guys aren’t solely driven by volume. Perhaps they already have a pretty comprehensive database of prospects in their industry, and so “new leads” are a rarity for them. Sure, they still want to capture lots of leads, but they’re also motivated to capture insights which can help push prospects down the sales funnel.

    We’ve developed Captuvate ( for this second group. If your sales team need more than a spreadsheet full of names and numbers to call after your trade show, then check us out using the link above. Our app lets you schedule appointments for sales guys while on the event-floor. Even if your sales team aren’t all at the event, you can book prospects into their calendar so the prospects don’t go AWOL after the event. We’ve also included a feature to add voice notes to any lead, so that you don’t have to spend a ton of time writing down why the prospects is of interest. Just tap a button and talk into the app, and — with our Salesforce integration — your team can be listening to your notes within seconds.

    Speaking of Salesforce, the way we’ve integrated means that if you meet a prospect who you already ‘know about’, you can append that information to their contact record instead of creating a new lead. Why is this useful? Suddenly, you’re not only able to take credit for sales that are generated from your leads, but you can also show how your events influenced prospects who were already in the pipeline. If you can show that you spoke with a dozen existing prospects (and have the voice memos to prove it), then they closed business with you a few weeks later, that’s awesome. Few marketers have worked out how to prove the influence their events have on existing opportunities, so we think this is a step in the right direction.

    Apologies for the shameless plug. We just feel there’s a lot more companies can do to boost event ROI if they take these things into account. If you’re interested in learning more, let me know!


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