4 ways to attract attendees to your trade show booth

trade show hall with blurred vision of booth

Trade show attendees today are different than they were in previous decades – and they expect a lot more out of you as the booth holder.

Attendees today are busier than ever and don’t have time to waste. Digital engagement prior to the event is almost a guarantee for all attendees, and they will continue to monitor, engage and receive information regarding the event solely online as well. In addition, they are likely to plan ahead and know exactly who is at the show and which booths they want to visit.

If you aren’t on an attendee’s list, you still have the chance to catch their attention but it’s not as simple as waving them over or asking them a simple question as they walk by. You must catch their attention and keep it, drawing them to your booth – without pressuring or misleading them.

However, it’s much simpler when you’re already on their “must-see” list. So, how do you position yourself to be sought out by attendees?

You can plan for success with the following tips:

Create a booth that is interactive and engages attendees
Attendees want to experience something; they want to leave with a lasting memory.  How? The list is endless. Offer virtual-reality sessions, host a contest, invite a celebrity or industry expert, offer tests and trials of products.

Did you know that clients using virtual reality have cited up to a 33 percent increase in acquired leads? Engaging and interactive booths are immersive so people are more likely to remember the event – you’ve just created a memory.

Offering attendees a way to give back to society or volunteer is a great way to get attendees involved – specifically millennials. You could do a blood drive at your booth or you could announce a group volunteer effort that evening at a local charity and have sign-ups at your booth. Get creative!

Offer attendees something when they come by your booth – who doesn’t love a good freebie?
While booths have changed over the decades to offering things like high-tech or unique experiences, one thing has remained constant in the trade show booth world. Attendees love a freebie.

As a child attending trade shows with my dad, I would get so excited to run around with my bag and collect all the freebies I could – pens, lanyards, erasers, cups, etc. Guess what? That hasn’t changed.

The freebies have improved, though – most of my childhood freebies broke before I made it back to the hotel room.  Now, attendees can leave a trade show with a bag full of items like USB flash drives, branded mugs and even customized games.

Besides high-quality freebies, attendees also enjoy booths that offer food and beverage freebies.  Attendees are guaranteed to get hungry and thirsty, so why not use that as a tool to bring more attendees to your booth?

Stay social – not just during the show but also before and after
In 1990, you engaged with the attendee while they were at your booth, exchanged contact information and then followed up when back in the office. Not today – you never stop engaging, and you should be engaging before you meet.

If you only digitally engage in one way, make it social media.  According to Corbin Ball, incorporating social media into your event strategy  will increase booth traffic and cut costs by up to 80 percent.

In general, Facebook and Twitter are the best places to communicate and engage with attendees online. Create a Twitter hashtag campaign or use the events to engage regularly and potentially attract more attendees. Don’t forget to follow-up. You don’t want to be constantly active with regular posts, interactions and engagements during the event and then fall off the face of the earth. Social media engagement eases the transition from the event back to the office for new partners or clients.

Don’t forget the old-school method – decorate your booth to visually stand out
It might sound simple but it doesn’t have to be. Decorating your booth is a simple way to physically catch the eye of the attendee. Not all booths need to be physically eye-catching but if you need to get more attendees to your booth, it can be a major help. Use large, colorful decorations. Have your booth hosts dress up to match the theme of the booth (or event). Do what it takes to make your booth the visual focal point of the event.

Attendees expect more from trade shows and booths today than in decades past. Today’s attendee wants more than just a pamphlet with your organization’s information – they want to create memories and make an impact. It’s not just about promoting your company’s product or service, it’s about getting involved and creating a more personalized experience for the attendee – and your potential customer, client or partner.

Still not sure how you can you stand out from the crowd and get more booth traffic? MultiView has the answer. Using our advanced geo-location technology, we can put your brand directly in front of event attendees on their mobile devices. Find out how, and contact us today.


MultiView Team Expert Danielle Manley

Danielle Manley

Assistant Executive Editor

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