Trade shows can generate a great deal of interest in your company, but businesses invest a lot of resources by sending teams to trade shows to promote services and products. So, it makes sense to plan to attract the most attention possible when you exhibit! In order to get the most ROI, you need to make sure that you are seen and heard appropriately. Here are some key components to consider when designing your trade show booth.


1. Draw attention with well-placed motion or entertainment

Using video displays at a trade show is nothing new, but that doesn’t mean everyone uses them effectively. Video displays should not be placed at eye level, but rather above head level and in a location that can easily be seen from at least 10-20 feet away. If you really want to grab attention, however, ditch the flat screens and hire real people. Flat screens are only able to project 2-D images and these days they have to compete with thousands of other 2-D images. Make sure that your display shows the audience something novel that they can’t easily find on your website. Going well above and beyond, unique features like jugglers and sign spinners can create eye movement as well! Not only that, but they also create entertainment. You could make your display interactive; let visitors walk away with an experience that they will actually remember. Nothing draws a crowd like a good show, so if you really want to be seen and noticed, put on a good show!


2. Host contests and giveaways

Everyone loves free stuff and nothing draws in a crowd like a giveaway. To get the most ROI for your investment, you have to determine your goal up front; you know what you are giving, but do you know what you want in return. What you want is going to determine how you structure your contest. If you want people to stay and listen to a sales pitch, then you should do giveaways every hour, but winners have to be present to win. If you want email addresses, then be sure everyone knows they will be notified by email if they win. If you want business cards, then do a drawing from business cards. You don’t have to give away a large, expensive prize for a contest to be successful. Smaller prizes given away hourly will do just as well. Just make sure the prizes are something people really want. You might be surprised how much more fierce the competition might be over a $10 Starbucks gift card versus a $200 bottle of wine.


3. Utilize smart storage

Operating a trade show booth for a weekend requires a huge amount of supplies. From pens and clipboards to t-shirts, brochures, and other giveaway swag, you will need a place to store all of your extra materials somewhere that they won’t create an eyesore. In addition, you may also need to store away purses, laptops or other valuables while you are working on the floor. Smart storage turns table bases and other booth components into lockable storage to keep your valuables safe and your booth neat and tidy.


4. Use a theme or color scheme

You want your booth to draw attention, but you also want it to be aesthetically pleasing. Themes can include decorating with elements from a local sports team or tie-ins from your giveaway, such as a beach theme if you are giving away a trip to a tropical location. A color scheme can either coordinate with your branding, or you can choose one that will simply make you stand out from the crowd. There are also certain psychological elements to consider, such as colors that will make people more inclined to purchase. For instance, red conveys urgency and demands attention, whereas blue conveys trust and fidelity (SOURCE: There are a number of great trade show booth ideas available online, so do your research and be sure and choose carefully.


5. Provide seating and meeting areas

One of the most important elements of booth design are elements that will draw people into your booth. Seating is often at a premium at trade shows, largely because the goal is to get people to keep walking through the booths. Providing seating in your booth, however, can be a huge draw. While they are taking a breather, it provides you an opportunity to talk to them, get to know their needs and see if they might be interested in your product or service. If you need to create meeting areas, you want to design them appropriately to your needs. Do you need to meet with individuals or with teams? Do you need a quieter corner to have a longer conversation and show materials or make a presentation, or do you just need a few minutes and the center of the action will do?


6. Utilize good booth design

There is a science to good trade show booth design, the same way there is a science to good home design or restaurant design. Businesses as far ranging as retail stores to Las Vegas casinos spend a great deal of time and energy designing their floor plans very strategically and specifically for maximum impact. If you have seating, where you place it matters. Where and how you place displays matters as well. Where you place business cards or iPads to collect email addresses matters. Every element in your booth matters so enlists the aid of a professional designer to get the most from your trade show booth design.

There are hundreds of trade show booth ideas available on the internet, but the most important thing to remember is you want your booth to be memorable. Don’t be afraid to try something unique and different.