Top Reasons People Succeed at Trade Shows

Top Reasons People Succeed at Trade Shows

May 7, 2019 | Trade Show Exhibitions

Top Reasons People Succeed at Trade Shows

Have you ever wondered what the key is to being a success at trade shows? After all, these events are high-cost, so it’s crucial to make sure your investment pays off. The problem is that many people decide to have a booth at a trade show but end up with little to no return.

The aim of exhibiting at any trade show is to generate customers, leads and get your name to stand out among the competition. Some businesses are experts when it comes to achieving this. So, what is their secret?


They research their events

Successful booth holders always pick the right events. They will scope out each event before deciding whether or not it’s worth their time. A lot of trade shows promise big things but end up being badly organized or poorly attended.

Always do your research before deciding which trade show to attend. Pick ones that are marketed well, professionally run and guarantee a high footfall. Attend the show as a visitor beforehand to see what to expect.


They leave the hard sell at home

Booths that attract visitors have approachable and friendly staff. People go to trade shows because they are already interested in or love what’s on offer. They don’t appreciate hard sales tactics.

Having casually dressed, smiling, cheerful staff who talk to visitors in an informal, friendly way is essential for doing well. Similarly, don’t have staff pass people over because of the way they look or dress. Everyone at that event is a three-dimensional individual and a potentially valuable customer; it behooves you to treat them as such.


They hold a seminar

Giving away valuable knowledge is a great way to get noticed. Trade show experts know that holding a seminar or talk is the best way to do this.

Make sure whoever holds the seminar is knowledgeable and well practiced in speaking in front of a crowd. Ideally, they should be able to do so in a way that is both engaging and passionate.

Do not use your seminar as a platform to sell your products. Instead, pick a subject that will have value to your audience and inform them.


Give away thoughtful freebies

Freebies are typically the biggest draw to anyone’s booth. Most successful booth holders will have made it a priority to get their freebies on point.

It’s not enough to merely slap your logo on a bunch of stuff that no one really needs or wants. Think about your audience, what they’re into, and make your choices based on that. A decent freebie will be used often instead of tossed, so it’s worth the investment.


They invest in great booth design

A successful booth will have a beautiful, cohesive look to it. It’s true that some booth designs can run into the hundreds of thousands, but even booths on a tiny budget can look good.

Here are some tips for a great booth design:

  • Keep booth colors to a minimum and on brand.
  • Have the space uncluttered and clean.
  • Don’t have an overwhelming amount of information on display. Keep brand messages short and concise. If people want to know more, they can talk to a member of your staff.
  • Have a sectioned off area to hide your equipment and personal items.
  • Make sure your furniture matches. Tablecloths and covers can work wonders in achieving this.


They promote the event beforehand

Any booth holder worth his salt will know the importance of marketing the event beforehand. Using the power of social media or sending out a newsletter to existing customers is a great way to do this.

Giving a reason for people to visit your booth can really help boost the numbers. Inviting people to come and enter a competition or giving exclusive on-the-day discounts are excellent ways to drive traffic.


They have a booth attraction

With so many competitors jostling for attention, successful booth holders recognize the importance of having something to catch people’s eye and draw them over.

This could be something simple like a snack stand or refreshment bar. It may even involve hired entertainers that perform tricks, dance or sing. A large screen displaying attractive graphics or useful information can also work well to attract customers.

The critical thing to remember is to make your attraction fit within the theme and brand of your booth. Otherwise, your attraction runs the risk of looking strange, more like a poorly considered gimmick, and people may wonder why it’s even there.


They make their booths interactive

Touch screens, product demonstrations, and competitions are all ways to make booths interactive. Visitors love to get involved and try things out. Some people prefer to do this rather than talking to someone. Successful booth holders know this and make sure they incorporate an interactive element into their booth design.


They follow up on leads

What you do after the show is just as important as what you do beforehand. What’s the point of generating leads and contacts if you’re just going to put them in a drawer.

Don’t cross your fingers and hope they get in touch with you. Successful people act on their leads. They do it as soon as possible while the trade show is still fresh in people’s minds. This gives them the opportunity to talk about the trade show as a conversation starter and they can start building the customer relationship from their shared experience.


They learn from other booth holders

While other booth holders are your competition, they can also make valuable friends and contacts. Befriending other booth holders is an excellent way to learn tips and tricks of trade shows. Talk about what works for them in regards to their booth.

Befriending nearby booth holders may also mean you’ll have people on hand to help you if required. Some camaraderie can make each show a far more pleasant experience overall.


Having a successful trade show booth requires some effort. Don’t expect to knock it out of the park unless you’ve dedicated a decent amount of time and thought to making it the best you can.

If you make mistakes, that’s okay, as long as you learn from them. Improve your display on an ongoing basis until you’ve got a booth that smashes trade shows each and every time.