15 Trade Show Marketing Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank

Did you know there were more than 6,000 trade shows and conference planning businesses in the US in 2021? Businesses continue to invest in tradeshow events to market their ventures.

In the competitive market, you need to be agile. Any opportunity that increases brand exposure and customer is worth exploring.

Research indicates that 93% of face-to-face marketers are optimistic about tradeshow marketing. So how do you get value from your booth?

With more than 13,000 trade shows taking place in the US every year, your business has an opportunity for direct client interaction.

Learn more about trade show marketing ideas for your business.

1. Unique Booth Design

First impressions are essential. Your trade show booth is the first thing people will see. Make sure they remember you with one of these unique designs.

Unique trade show booth ideas attract visitors. You need to be creative with your plan.

Your booth design should integrate your logo and show your personality and creativity. Think about what makes your company different from others in your industry. Incorporate that into your booth.

If you want your booth to stand out in a sea of corporate tents and boring white walls, you need to be unique.

Decide what you want to convey. How do you want your booth to look like before you start putting up any graphics or decorations? Make sure that it aligns with the objectives of your brand.

Don't just try to emulate the latest trends.

Create an image that represents your company. We recommend creating a graphic that represents your brand voice. You can use this graphic as the centerpiece of your booth design.

2. Create Photo Booth

The new age of marketing focuses on the visual and not just words. Having a photo booth at your trade show can increase your brand visibility and create more leads.

A photo booth creates buzz and excitement. From print ads to social media, you can use photos to connect with your customers memorably.

The ability to put a face on your brand is incredibly valuable. It’s easy for people to forget about the things they see online and the names they hear on social media. Add a face, and it’s easier for people to remember those things and companies.

3. Hire a Vendor to Offer Free Popcorns With Your Brand

Popcorn is an excellent way to draw people to a booth.

Research shows that 80% of people will stop and try the free popcorn. What’s more, 95% of these people will remember the booth for at least three days. 82% of them will share their experience with others.

It costs almost nothing to make and would be a great option for trade shows.

Popcorn is a tasty and healthy snack that almost everyone loves, and it is nostalgic. It brings back memories of walking around the fairgrounds or watching a movie with mom or dad.

Imagine giving your customers that same feeling at your company's trade show booth. They would enjoy their visit much more.

4. Give away Wearable Accessories

Wearable accessories like bracelets, pins, and hats are always a huge hit at tradeshows. They’re inexpensive, and everyone wears them. What if you had your customers wear such accessories?

If it’s part of your branding, you could have them wear themed accessories. Match accessories with your logo and even give them away for free to promote your brand.

This is a great way to get people talking about branded merchandise. The more people wear your accessory, the more people will see it.

Using wearables as give-aways is a great way to get people excited about your brand. It also allows you to engage with the audience throughout the show. If you give out a fitness tracker, you can send a daily email that provides an update on their activity level.

5. Book Live Music

Attract attendees with live music at your next trade show event. Music draws people in—as long as it’s the right kind of music.

One of the more affordable ways to make your trade show stand out is by booking a band or DJ. It’s a great way to draw attention and promote your brand.

How much it costs depends on several factors. The venue you choose will have one of the biggest impacts.

Booking a band or DJ for an evening event in New York City will cost more than Phoenix, Arizona. You also need to consider the hours of entertainment. Budget for a plan within your means.

6. Hire an Engaging Emcee

Businesses work hard to make their brand voice loud and clear. However, they often neglect the human element of their company. Hiring an engaging emcee for a tradeshow is one way to improve your overall brand experience.

It's essential to choose a great emcee because they are your company's face (or voice).

An emcee is not merely a master of ceremonies. The emcee will keep the audience engaged and entertained. When done correctly, they can be a huge draw at any event.

When choosing an emcee, get someone to put on a good show. The right emcee will keep the audience engaged and help new attendees feel welcome.

7. Allow Attendees to Test Your Products

If you’re like most companies, you probably don’t have the budget to create a booth packed with products and samples. But what if your attendees could test your products in exchange for their contact information?

That's exactly what Dove Men + Care did at their recent tradeshow. They created a mailing list opt-in station. Attendees could test out the product and enter into a raffle for a chance to win a $200 gift card. This was an excellent way to collect leads without spending extra money.

If you've never allowed attendees to test your products, try it to see its impact on sales. Free tests allow you to have prospects come to you instead of chasing them through the event.

8. Hold Fun Contests

People love contests. Contests can get you more leads, followers, and more importantly, tradeshow booth traffic at your trade show.

Most tradeshow contests are boring. They're usually nothing more than a raffle or give-away.

You know the kind: "Visit our booth and tell us what you like about our company, and you could win a chance to go on vacation with the CEO."

When planning the contest, do your research. Know what kinds of things people like to do when they attend events. Then, create a contest that will incentivize people to participate.

9. Run a Contest to Reward the One With the Most Shares and Likes

Are you going to a tradeshow? Are you looking for free publicity and social media attention for your brand or new product? If so, you can run an online contest that rewards the one with the most shares and likes.

The concept is simple: create a Facebook post describing some exciting aspects of your booth. Then, ask people to repost it and tag their friends, who will also repost it and tag their friends. And so on, until everyone in their social circle sees the post.

Or it can be something more intricate, such as who can create the best promotional image.

The larger your audience, the more entries you will receive, and the more people will share your tradeshow details.

10. Demo Your Product

There are 10 million different things for you to do at the tradeshow. You can talk about your product, talk about your company, or take a picture at the booth. Nobody cares.

People only want to see one thing: how your product works. So why not show them?

The best way to be memorable at the tradeshow is to provide a demo of your product. A video of someone using your app will make an impression on people. It makes it easier for them to recall your company when they’re ready to buy.

If your business doesn't have the time or budget for experimentation, you should at least have a demo. This will give you priceless insight into how your customers react to your product.

11. Have a Charging Station

People check their phones 150 times a day. In tradeshow events, people look for places to charge their phones when they are running low on battery. So, why not provide a charging station at your tradeshow?

Put together a charging station that includes all of the most commonly used plug-in devices (iPhone and Android). Keep it near your booth so you can get some extra traffic. You'll likely find that those who stop by to charge their phones will stick around to talk with your staff and learn what you have to offer.

Place your logo on banner stand displays around 'phone charging station.' This creates brand awareness, while the free service creates an urge for loyalty.

12. Hydrate Guests

As the temperature rises this summer, it's essential to stay hydrated at all times.

Take a step further by offering ice-cold beverages to attendees branded with the company logo. This can be a great way for your company to partner with another business. The goal is to get exposure in front of a new audience.

Let’s face it: you can’t keep asking people if they want some water. Especially when the answer is always “yes!” Have a designated area in the tradeshow booth where people can grab a bottle of water.

There are two ways to offer drinking water at your tradeshow: bottled or tap. Both have their advantages. However, if you want to maximize brand exposure, bottled water is the best option.

Brand the bottles to have your logo and brand name. Bottled water is mobile and people may carry it beyond tradeshow premises. This creates more exposure for your brand.

13. Hire a Magician to Create Stunts

A magician is a great way to bring extra attention to your tradeshow booth. Everyone loves seeing magic. Some of the best magicians in the world can create mind-blowing stunts.

If potential customers walk by your booth and see a magician performing. They will stop for a moment and watch.

When people gather around the booth, the social pressure makes them curious about what’s going on. They will approach the booth to find out more.

If you hire a magician, get them to create an epic stunt that gets your brand noticed. You could even have them perform magic around other exhibits. This adds an extra layer of surprise and delight.

14. Set Up Social Media Ahead of Time

Social Media is an excellent tool for promoting your tradeshow. It also keeps attendees informed about the latest updates and changes with the event.

Social media during the planning process will get you more leads before, during, and after your tradeshow. Which are some ideas to make it work for you?

Use Twitter to create excitement before the show. Your booth will be there, so why not start a conversation about it? Use relevant hashtags and interact with people interested in your company or industry.

15. Stand Out with Great Uniform

Opt for a staff uniform that reflects your brand colors. Uniform branding sounds obvious. However, it has a significant effect in creating brand appeal.

A cohesive team creates a sense of professionalism. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to create a positive brand appeal.

Stand Out With Superb Trade Show Marketing Ideas

Organizing tradeshow events are a costly venture. As an entrepreneur, you want to invest in an activity that adds value. Choose tradeshow marketing ideas that increase brand awareness and attract new clients.

You don’t need to be a tradeshow expert to make your booth outstanding. Try the 15 creative trade show marketing ideas.

You can also partner with Custom Banner Lab for awesome tradeshow marketing ideas. We facilitate branding for banners, tents, tablecloths, and chairs.

Get the right display materials today.