How to Drive More Traffic to Your Trade Show Booth

Trade shows have been around for hundreds of years — and for good reason. Over 13,000 trade shows happen in the U.S. every year, and over 90% of attendees say they're looking for new products to buy.

They are a fantastic opportunity to get your product out to new customers, but just participating in a trade show isn't enough to start making the big bucks. This article will cover several strategies you can use to drive trade show traffic, including social media, custom tablecloths, and more.

Keep reading to learn more about successful trade show marketing.

Take Advantage of Social Media

If you're not using social media platforms to their fullest capabilities to bring in more customers, you're not doing it right. Using social media is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your trade show booth.

This can include platforms like:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • TikTok
  • Instagram

You can start generating buzz and excitement for your booth ahead of time. Each platform has different tools that work in different ways, but investing the time to learn how they work is worth it. This includes things like Facebook Events, Twitter Hashtags, Instagram Stories, and more.

Once the trade show starts, it's important to keep the conversation going on social media platforms. You can do this by offering gifts, coupons, or prizes for people who retweet your tweets or post you on their Instagram stories. You can even broadcast your booth live on different social media platforms to show your other followers what they're missing.

If there is an existing hashtag for the event, make sure that you post it everywhere — on your flyers, booth, and marketing materials. You can even create your own hashtag and have a contest to see who can post it the most on their social media.

On the other hand, social media can be really useful to find problems as well. You can keep an eye out for comments or complaints by attendees about your event or booth. By staying vigilant, you can address problems quickly to make sure everyone is satisfied.

Once the event finishes, your social media marketing keeps going. You can keep up the excitement with follow-up posts that show the success of your booth or thank attendees for coming. You can keep posting more pictures of the trade show for those that missed it.

Examples of Social Media Activities Before, During, and After Your Trade Show

The different activities you can do on your social media are endless and depend on your business, industry, and strategies, but here are a few different ideas that can help inspire what you do for your next event.

Before the trade show:

  • Use tradeshow hashtags, city hashtags, or create your own to use for the event
  • Create a Facebook Event and invite all of your followers
  • Create YouTube videos to promote the event
  • Announce what you're doing at the trade show, promote the location, and offer giveaway tickets
  • Share secret code words that followers can tell you at the booth for a prize

During the trade show:

  • Offer prizes to people who retweet or post on their stories about your booth
  • Share social posts that attendees post about your booth
  • Host live casts from YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram to share what's going on at the event
  • Have attendees "check in" and give them a prize for generating buzz
  • Have other ambassadors and influencers live stream your booth
  • Hosting an "info hunt" where attendees search for answers to questions at the booth for a gift

After the trade show:

  • Post videos and pictures about what happened at the event for those that missed it
  • Reiterate the success of the trade show
  • Send thank-yous to everyone that made it to the event
  • Interact with attendees and give them solutions to their problems

The list of social media activities is endless — you can get creative in how you want to interact with your booth visitors.

Other Marketing Technology You Can Use

One cool piece of technology that you can take advantage of is proximity marketing. This sends messages with special offers to attendees that come near your booth, which can bring them over to your trade show display easily.

Another idea to help visitors navigate your online pages is to provide QR codes. They can easily use their phone cameras to direct you to your social media pages and find out more about your business.

Make sure you prepare new content before the trade show so that they have interesting things to view on your feed.

Offer Free Stuff That Attendees Need

Tradeshows can be a lot of work, not only for companies with booths but for the attendees as well. People will get hungry and thirsty throughout the show, and food can be either scarce or notoriously expensive.

You can make your booth one of the most popular stops by offering refreshments. You can provide simple snacks and drinks like bottled water, tea, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, coffee, or candy.

Trade show traffic is like the snowball effect: once you start attracting a few visitors, you'll start to attract even more visitors. No one wants to miss out on a popular attraction.

Give Cool and Unique Swag

Yes, you could give away pens and matchbooks with your company logo on them, but how many of those companies actually get remembered in the long run?

Try to be creative when it comes to what you're handing out for free. The best ideas are utility-based items. This way, people will see your brand every single time they use it. Nowadays, trendy swag includes sustainable products or things related to self-care and tech.

Think phone chargers, reusable tote bags, or fitness gear. Think about what your target market uses daily and go from there.

Keep Your Presentation Short and Interesting

One common pitfall that companies make is that they want to tell their potential customers everything. Guess what? Attendees don't have the attention span for everything. They barely have an attention span for anything.

With this in mind, make sure to keep your presentation interesting, informative, and most importantly, short. Use videos, graphics, and sound to keep their attention. Feeling high-tech? You can even try implementing virtual reality into your trade booth.

Make Your Booth Comfortable

Like any other event, events can be tiring. Make your booth the most comfortable spot in the entire event, which will attract more people.

You can do this by setting up a lounge with cushions, couches, floor mats, and more. You can even offer food and drinks if you have them. Offer charging stations for different kinds of computers, phones, and tablets. You can even build workspaces where attendees can set their computers up.

Another underrated factor during trade shows is the flooring used. Tradeshows are typically held on concrete surfaces, which causes attendees' feet and legs to get tired.

Utilize floor mats to make your booth as comfortable as possible. This will cause people to stick around for longer, whether they realize it or not.

Use Exciting Visual Aspects and a Creative Theme

Not everyone will see every part of your trade show advertising, whether it's your social media posts or your television advertisements. Make sure you make your booth as attractive as possible so that people in the building can see it from far away.

This means using attractive graphics, bright colors, and even music to bring them in.

Want to go one step further? You can create an entire theme for your booth that will be sure to make heads turn. You can play with ideas that are relevant to the location, time of the year, or current social trends.

Some examples of different themes that will turn heads include:

  • Using art installations or living walls
  • Treehouse design
  • Creating an outdoor living space
  • Utilizing creative lighting or chandeliers
  • An overhanging roof

Consider the theme that is already provided by the event. Is there some way you can incorporate it into your booth? Try to make your theme fun but also informative and sensible as well.

Make Your Presentation Immersive

The last thing you want is to have a boring trade show booth. A great way to drive traffic is to make your presentation an immersive experience that will actively engage attendees.

This can be as simple as having a comfortable space that has couches and phone chargers or even a video game section that allows them to experience your product in new and interesting ways.

Some other ideas include:

  • Mini golf
  • Paper plane contests
  • Basketball hoops
  • Bubbles
  • Hiring entertainment
  • Mini massages

Another way to keep your booth immersive is by utilizing tablets to engage with people. You can have them fill out interactive polls, surveys, and videos without having anyone help them. Many attendees or more willing to check out info about your business if they can do it by themselves — without the pressure of a sales rep looking over their shoulder.

Make Sure Your Trade Show Personnel Are Engaging and Fun

Getting people to come to your trade booth is one thing, but keeping them there is another. It's crucial that your booth is run by friendly, welcoming, and knowledgeable personnel that are trained to engage and inform your visitors. You want to make sure they are representing your brand and reflecting the messaging that you want.

One tool that can help your staff work more efficiently is electronic lead retrieval. This allows your workers to capture an attendee's contact info by simply scanning a barcode on their badge. This way, you won't have to worry about writing down info or keeping business cards.

This way, your staff can focus on more important and fun messages to send to the people, which can increase your company's ROI.

Utilize Custom Tablecloths

Every booth needs to have great signage and tablecloths. No one wants to see a bare table, so make sure you invest in a high-quality tablecloth that displays your style and logo on it.

Having a great tablecloth has many benefits, including:

  • It establishes your professionalism
  • It can catch attendees' attention quickly
  • It evokes emotion with color
  • It is reusable and can be used on the go at any different type of event
  • It works great to market your products or brand
  • It can showcase important information

Check out a more in-depth article displaying the many benefits of custom tablecloths for your next event.

Create Interesting Literature and Business Cards

Most trade show attendees don't actually want to have conversations with sales reps. However, they still do want to see and read information about different products.

They'll often drift by different booths to quickly pick up a piece of literature that has information about products or services. Make sure you invest in high-quality brochures, business cards, and reading materials.

Put them somewhere easy and accessible so the "floaters" can quickly come by and grab some information without being pressured by salesmen.

Speak at the Event

Many events allow speakers to make presentations in front of the entire event. If you can, apply to be a speaker and give an informative presentation.

Doing this will establish your authority and will be an incredibly effective marketing tactic to drive more people to your booth.

Start Driving More Traffic To Your Booth

That's everything you need to know about how to up your trade show marketing game. As long as you are proactive and plan, people will be lining up to check out your trade show booth.

Make sure that your booth is appealing and has the best quality visual aspects. If you're ready to create some incredible custom tablecloths with your brand's logo, check us out today!