The Art of Attraction: A Checklist of Tips to Draw People to Your Trade Show Booth

October 8, 2019

Sofia Troutman

Sofia Troutman is the Senior Digital Marketing and Product Innovation Manager for Skyline Exhibits. Sofia heads up Skyline’s marketing efforts in new product development and management, lead generation, exhibitor education, industry relations and market research.

It is interesting to me how many trade show exhibitors are shocked that no one stops in their booth, yet they have done nothing to promote or even attract passers-by to it. In the age of constant visual stimulation, social media and short attention spans, we as trade show and event marketers must plan more if we intend to attract new prospects to our booth at an event. 

Below are some simple steps that you can take to increase your chances of meeting, engaging and connecting with new prospects at your next trade show. Here are some things to consider when preparing to draw visitors to your booth.


  1. Know your assets
    1. You should be able to explain and articulate what makes your company stand out.
    2. Find out if you are introducing a new product or service or promoting existing ones.
    3. Research how you compare to the competition.


  1. Put yourself out there
    1. Send invitations to existing customers or top prospects.
    2. Make sure to have a web presence by promoting your show participation on your homepage.
    3. Consider purchasing sponsorships from the show – just make sure they are brand relevant.


  1. Be friendly when at the show
    1. A simple smile and hello will make it much easier for people to approach you.
    2. Prepare open-ended questions for starting conversations with attendees who walk by your booth. Something as simple as “What brings you here today?”
    3. Offer people a glass of water, some candy or an opportunity to sit down. Doing so is a great way to welcome them into your exhibit.


  1. Gifts get attention
    1. Get small giveaways to offer attendees. Tie them to your promotional message.
    2. Make sure the gifts you purchase are relevant to your audience.
    3. Announce the gifts using your pre-show or event promotions.


  1. Dress up
    1. Staffer attire should be distinctive, brand-appropriate and if possible, fun!
    2. Update your graphics as needed so they are in good condition, clear and brand relevant.
    3. Consider using backlighting or tech in your booth to better highlight your key message.


  1. Add a subtle appeal to the senses
    1. Maybe a light pleasing scent can be added with a diffuser or by bringing fresh-baked cookies or popcorn.
    2. If you have a theme, consider incorporating sound with some low volume music. Make sure to avoid jarring or repetitive sounds and be mindful of copyrights.


  1. Add a little bling – but keep it to a minimum
    1. Consider adding LED strip lights with your brand colors to highlight a key message or product.
    2. Flowers or plants can attract wary attendees who have been stuck inside a show hall all day.
    3. Details that are brand relevant and different will make people stop. A well-lit piece of art, a stuffed animal or beautiful food can make the difference between someone walking by or stopping long enough for you to say hi.


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Partner Voices
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