how to drive traffic to your trade show booth

How to Attract Trade Show Visitors to Your Booth When Traffic Slows Down

According to the Events Industry Council, global business events in 2018 generated $2.5 trillion in business sales. If you’re participating in trade shows, you have a major opportunity for increasing sales if you do it right. Trade show exhibiting has many moving parts, but one of the most critical things you need to do is drive traffic to your trade show booth. Without prospects to talk to or visitors to your booth, all your other preparation can easily go to waste.

When it’s lunchtime, or there is a special event underway, the traffic in the trade show hall slows down. This is why you need to get creative to drive people to your trade show booth. Here are some tips on how you can make your booth a visitor magnet.

1. Make Your Booth Welcoming and Unique

The layout of your booth will have a big impact and will indicate how attracted and comfortable attendees feel about walking into your sales area. Visitors may be hesitant to enter your booth if it’s not attractive or inviting enough for them come and visit. Here are some things you can do to make your booth more welcoming.

Make sure your booth design is innovative and colorful enough that it stands out from your competition, but that it also provides a nice open area for attendees to walk thru comfortably. Consider using bold colors or a unique design that only you can have at the event.  Using tradeshow displays the light up or using some that integrate videos are not only entertaining but also grab you more foot traffic. You can also use printed feather flag that can be seen from far away to draw visitors to the video, and save the formal technical video for qualified leads.

Eliminate the cold look of your booth with home-like accents. Put plants on the floor or the tables, include arrangements of fresh flowers or plug in a lamp to make reading literature easier. And, what could be more home-like than comfortable seating? Anyone who has ever worked at or been to a trade show knows the toll standing for hours can take. Use custom-printed inflatable furniture (chairs, couches, and ottomans) to tempt visitors to rest their weary bodies. Odds are your competitors won’t provide that type of comfort.

2. Offer Creative Enticements

Serious trade show visitors spend hours at the trade show hall. Food and drink are always welcomed. Keep branded giveaways of cookies, candy, or mints on hand. And, if you have room, set up displays of cheese and crackers or other more complex snacks that will keep people from leaving quickly. Once you’ve satisfied a visitor’s hunger, they’ll be thirsty. Cold bottled water is always a good draw.

Additionally, visitors at the show will have a cell phone, and you can help them make good use of it. Set up a phone charging station to help people stay in touch when their phone is running out of juice.

This will be an excellent time for you to talk to the prospect while they wait for their phones to be charged. You may also use this time to take photos of the attendees and use these to post on social media to create excitement and attract more visitors.

3. Make Your Booth Interactive

The sheer volume of activity around them can mesmerize visitors to a trade show. You can break that eyes-glazed-over look by getting your visitors involved in a challenge. These ideas will help you get your visitors involved in your booth.

Challenge your visitors to a trivia game. Test their knowledge on your industry and your product, and then give a prize to the winners. Make sure you have a consolation prize for those who don’t get the answers right. Drawings are another way to get visitors involved.

Hosting a drawing for one, or even better, several prizes related to your business. Obtain a minimal amount of contact information to encourage visitors to participate. Use this as a promotional opportunity by sending an email naming the winners to your entire contact list, as well as those who entered the drawing.

You can also give your visitors the chance to get involved through virtual reality experiences and demonstrations. Virtual reality is still new enough to be a big draw. Take your visitors on a trip through your showrooms, or get behind the scenes to show how customers use your products or services.

Hands-on demonstrations are an easy way to get your visitors involved and asking questions while you’re reinforcing the value of your offerings.

4. Offer Show-Only Deals

Show-only deals are helpful because they attract qualified leads. Your show special should have real value, not a free audit, discount, or another offer the visitor could get on your website.

You can require that the visitor make a purchase decision at the show. However, if your business offers things with a more complex approval process, provide those deals for visitors who make a non-refundable deposit at the show. Then, make an appointment for a telephone or in-person call to keep the sales process moving.

Make the Most of Your Trade Show Experience

Attracting visitors during slow times can be a challenge, but using a bit of creativity will let you achieve that goal. And, forget greeting visitors with the worn-out “How can I help you” introduction. Come up with a question that generates a thoughtful response.


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