We’ve all been there. Sitting in your trade show booth waiting for a prospect to interact with you. It’s the third day of an 8 to faint (8 am until late evening) show, and you don’t have the leads you’d expected. You don’t think the show has paid for itself, and as it stands you’re not coming back next year. It’s no fun. However, have you thought about what you could do to attract more prospects to your trade show booth?

How to Attract More Prospects to Your Trade Show Booth

1. Train your staff

If  you want to attract more prospects to your trade show booth nothing else on this list matters if your staff isn’t trained. Regardless of how effectively your booth has been designed, it’s ideal location, and the wonderful SWAG you have, it will not matter if your staff sits at the back of your booth on their devices ignoring prospects. Unfortunately, this seems to be the plan for most of the booths I walk by at any given show. Here’s more.

7 Steps to Focusing Your Trade Show Staff on the Prize

Who Should Work Your Trade Show?

2. Send Invitations

Sending invitations doesn’t mean stuffing cards in an envelope, although it may. What it means is contacting interested parties in the way they may best respond. It could be a snail mail card o your best customers, an email blast to your database, CTA’s on social media – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. It could even be a phone call, but the key is to invite customers, vendors, employees, and other interested parties a few weeks before the show, and then follow up with a reminder a week or so before the show opens.

Other options include events at or during the show such as an after-show party, sponsoring a speaker, or inviting customers to dinner.

3. Use Social Media

I mentioned sending invitations via social media, but SM can be used to promote the show and your booth beyond the invitation. Talk about what visitors will find at your booth. Share the benefits of putting your booth on their schedule. For example, at TKO Graphix we’ve used social media to promote our installers doing a live demonstration of wrapping a vehicle. I’ve seen others promote a new product, special offer, and even celebrities at their trade show booth.

4. Have an Inviting Booth

If you want people to notice you at a trade show you must stand out from the crowd and one of the ways to stand above the crowd is to have a well-designed booth.

“Your booth should be appealing enough that people passing by in a crowded aisle pause to look. The next show you attend walk the show and observe the booths where people stop. What makes them attractive, what design features add to the display, and how many of those features could be applied to your exhibit at your next show?” — The Keys to Successful Trade Show Booth Design Part 1

“Your display should reflect your brand. Corporate colors, fonts, and logos should be used. If your corporate colors are blue and orange, don’t create a purple and black booth. Your booth should add to your brand image not detract from it.” — Keys to Trade Show Booth Design Part 2

5. Advertise a Special Offer

Another way to bring interested prospects to your booth is to promote a show only special offer. It doesn’t have to be that the prospect buys the product at the show to receive the discount, it can be that they stop by your booth and sign up to qualify for the offer after the show. The special could be a discounted price, BOGO (buy one get one) or an add-on such as purchase a full vehicle wrap and receive a free window cling.

6. Use Attractive Giveaways

Promotional products alone can attract people to your booth. The giveaway can be industry-specific, product related, or it can just be fun. “Have you been to a trade show and it seemed every other booth had the same giveaway products? The same dull branded pens, a bowl of breath mints, and water bottles? Not that those aren’t fine products, but how many does one trade show attendee need? So, ask yourself this, what promotional products would set you and your organization apart from the crowd? It might be something a little out of the ordinary. It might be something … unusual.” — Unusual Promotional Products that Work

7. Run a Contest

It could be a check-in contest that begins online. If you want to make the check-in contest even more fun add a selfie station to your booth. All you need is a banner with areas cut out for a photo opportunity. Last year at a Christmas party we created a selfie photo opportunity of Santa’s Sleigh. There are hundreds of types and variations of trade show booth contests including, spin the wheel, trivia, and sweepstakes drawings.

8. Demonstrate your Product

A couple of years ago I attended a trade show specific to Firemen and fire safety. One of the most popular booths was one demonstrating a new type of fire extinguisher. It was almost irresistible – people were drawn to the demonstration.

9. Entertain

Your entertainment could include show models. However, I’ve seen musicians, comedians, and magicians working in trade show booths. If you want to draw a crowd, to attract more prospects to your trade show booth, entertain them.

10. Create an Experience

Once there was a booth next to the one I was working that was a giant replica of their product. Visitors could walk inside the product and watch it in action. I walked through twice. The experience you create could be a display such as the example above or if you want to impress prospects and gather a crowd how about a VR (virtual reality) experience. Imagine folks flocking to your booth to take part in a VR interactive demonstration of your product or service.

Do Want to Attract More Prospects to Your Trade Show Booth

So, does your booth draw a crowd and even more important is it the people you want to visit your booth? Are you attracting the people who need your help, who have a problem you can solve, and need your product or service? If not, or if you want to take your booth from good to great pick one or two of the 10 ways to attract more people to your trade show booth and make it happen! And if you want to attract more prospects to your trade show booth, Contact Us.