Trade shows offer a number of distinct advantages for exhibitors: the audience is relevant to the industry, is likely to have deep pockets, and is attending the event to make an important purchase and partnership decisions. Hence, a trade show is your best bet at introducing your business and offerings to people who are likely to show an interest.
However, exhibiting at a trade show demands a great deal of time, money, and manpower. Hence, it is vital that you take every possible step to maximize your event ROI (Return on Investment) – of which attracting booth traffic is a crucial aspect. So, how do you attract people to your trade show booth? This is the question that this guide will attempt to answer.
How to Drive Traffic to Your Trade Show Booth?
Use Social Media to Drive Traffic to Your Trade Show Booth
Unsurprisingly, social media has become the primary mode of getting the word out about your trade show event and encouraging people to visit you.
Reaching out to your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest audiences is the first step towards drumming up interest in your trade show booth. Use YouTube videos, Twitter hashtags, and Facebook live events to trigger hype and excitement around your trade show presence. Share plenty of new content around a month before the showdown, so that your followers have plenty to be intrigued about in the buildup to the event.
Use social media in a way that will keep the conversation going even during and after the trade show. For instance, you can announce lucky draws for people who retweet your tweets, share your Facebook posts, or subscribe to your YouTube channel. You can also set up a live newscast from your booth to update your social media audience about the show’s goings-on and future events.
You can make your social media marketing campaign more effective by combining it with proximity marketing. For instance, as soon as an attendee is close to your booth, you can send them a text on their phone about a game that you would like to play or a special offer that they can benefit from simply by stopping by. Also provide QR codes throughout the booth to make it easy for the attendees to locate you on social media and discover more about your business.
Once the show is over, do not forget to thank the attendees for visiting your booth. Make sure to share plenty of pictures and videos for anyone who may have missed the event.
Choose a Unique Theme to Drive Traffic to Your Trade Show Booth
If you want to incite the interest and curiosity of the attendees, you need to get creative with your trade show booth theme. The theme can be central to your message, or just add a bit of fun and liveliness to your booth. You could also pick a theme relevant to the location, time of year, or an ongoing trend.
When deciding on a booth concept, focus on the general theme for the event and if there is a way for you to integrate it into your booth design or structure. Some of the ways to merge your branding with the event theme is through the booth construction materials, color, key phrases, and decoration.
The more creative you are, the more visitors you will draw in, and the more conversations you will spark. If an attendee can associate your booth with the event, even days after the trade show, your aim to create a memorable impression has been achieved.
Pick the Right Location & Attract People to Your Booth
Use the map of the trade show location to pinpoint all the high-traffic points (for example: exits, entries, charger booths, restrooms, and snack stalls).
Sometimes, you can get a high-traffic booth at a surprisingly low cost if the location is not close to the entrance. In fact, more often than not, the entrance spot is a double-edged sword: sure, it is the most high-traffic area, but it is also the most chaotic and notoriously-crowded one. Besides, the primary goal of most entering attendees is to escape the entrance and find a quieter spot ASAP; they may not be interested or comfortable in learning about your business while fending off shoves and pushes from other entrants. That said, it is important to have your booth close to the entrance. This way, your booth will be one of the first that the attendees will notice once they have cooled down and are ready to explore.
Other than that, also consider if you want to set your booth up on the right side or the left. According to studies, attendees in left-driving countries tend to start on the right side of the exhibition hall, and vice-versa. Since America is a right-driving country, you should try getting a booth on the left side. The left v/s right decision is often overlooked, but can have a profound impact on the number of visitors you attract.
Fulfill the Attendees’ Needs to Attract People to Your Trade Show Booth
Attending a trade show means lots and lots of walking, causing the attendees to feel hungry, thirsty, and develop sore and tired feet.
Naturally, booths, sitting areas, and free or inexpensive refreshments are likely to be more popular. Bottled water, tea, coffee, cupcakes, and muffins are all very much appreciated. Seating is particularly appreciated by older attendees, those with leg or back issues, and those carrying heavy bags.
You might even want to dedicate one corner of your booth for charging ports and stations – people never say refuse an opportunity to charge their phones, especially when they have been out all day and are running low on battery.
How Do You Drive Traffic to Your Trade Show Booth? Offer an Immersive Experience!
Another great way to increase your booth footfall is by providing an immersive and engaging experience. There are many ways to do it – ranging from sitting lounges that we just mentioned, to using gamification tech to offer a visual experience.
In addition, you can use your tablets and laptops to offer surveys, polls, and videos. An attendee is more likely to want to learn about your business if they are allowed to do so independently. Conversations are good, but not every attendee appreciates having a sales representative breathing down their necks.
Another great way to maximize visitor experience is by creating a separate space – full with an impressive backdrop and fun props – where they can take pictures. Also, like we mentioned earlier on, you can use your social media profiles to go live, providing an overview of the event and the reasons that people should visit your booth. Not only will this allow you to spread word about the event, but will also give the attendees a chance to feature on your pages/profiles.
Create a Dress Code
Having your booth representatives dress up smartly and identically will make it easier for attendees to distinguish your booth amongst the crowd of exhibitors.
We recommend going for a unique color that is aligned with your brand and logo. For instance, if your logo is blue, you should go for blue shirts with the logo displayed in white (a black or white shirt displaying a blue logo will be much harder to distinguish).
Other than that, a common exhibitor mistake is dressing up in an attire that is not aligned with the overall event environment. For instance, trade shows in the wholesale and tech industries have more relaxed dressing expectations than those in, say, medicine or finance. If you are exhibiting at a trade show in a different country, learn about the climate and temperature during the time of the show, and dress accordingly.
A crucial but often ignored aspect of trade show dressing is footwear. Keep in mind that exhibiting at a trade show means long hours of standing and walking. Hence, make sure to use footwear that you can easily spend 10 to 12 tiring hours in. You want to conclude the event with sales and leads – not with blisters and bunions.
Choose the Right Personnel
Attracting traffic is one thing; engaging and informing the visitors is another. It is crucial that your trade show representatives are welcoming, friendly, knowledgeable, and capable of portraying you and your brand in the correct light. Ideally, your trade show representatives should possess the following qualities:
- Ability to handle one-to-one sales situations/
- Industry expertise (technical knowledge is a huge added bonus)
- A friendly and approachable demeanor
- A well-groomed appearance and professional behavior
- Stamina (trade shows can be physically and mentally draining)
Prepare a well-rounded team, with some representatives adept at booth managing (should have excellent one-to-one sales skills), while others specializing in interaction and networking (should be great at making cold calls). This will allow you to close prospects in your booth while simultaneously seeking out business or partnership opportunities across the sales floor.
Final Words on Driving Traffic to Your Trade Show Booth
Whether your objective behind exhibiting is to close sales, generate leads, or spread awareness about your product or service, booth traffic is the common key. The more you can make yourself stand out, the likelier you are to draw people towards your booth.
To learn more about designing the perfect trade booth, please feel free to check out our website.
It’s in the name! Everything Tradeshows is your one-stop shop for all things trade shows, including booth purchases, booth rentals, and complete brand management services. Ready to get started? Have questions? Get in touch by calling us at (954) 791-8882 or by filling out the form below. We can’t wait to hear from you!