Top 10 tradeshow ideas (in no specific order!)

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Top 10 tradeshow ideas (in no specific order!)

A couple months ago I had the opportunity to help with event organization and marketing for KLONDIKE Lubricants, who were setting up a booth at the Atlantic Truck Show at the Moncton Colosseum. Naturally, I wanted to make sure we had the best booth there.

In preparation, I researched what tradeshow frequenters considered to be the best strategies to adopt, and which to avoid. This is what my research, along with my personal experience, taught me about putting together a best-in-class booth: 

 1. Freebies: pens; card cases; keychains; people love swag, and no one is going to grab your freebie without lending you some of their attention. That pen is your chance to grab their attention and communicate the value proposition.

 2. Stand out from the crowd: style commands the attention of passersby. Branding clothing that matches your booth is one thing, but your big ticket item should be powering a wow moment, and this one experience may be at the core of your booth’s overall design.

 3. Keep it simple: chaos is distracting and unattractive. Keep things simple and clean, drawing on your most popular products or your new standout item. With too much on display, the attendee could get flustered, and is likely to walk away.

 4. Create a memory: memories don’t need to be the same as your wow factor, but they should distinguish you from the competition and invite the crowd into your booth. Think bright colours, catchy signage or verbiage, and the like.

 5. Edibles: the show floor isn’t for the faint of heart, and most get hungry or thirsty navigating these conventions. Bring in attendees by offering delicious snacks while you give them the lowdown on your product. Often, common labels can even be branded with your logo, like water bottles etc.

 6. Set the expectation: getting attendees excited about your booth before the show even begins is a great time investment. Lean on social media, promotions, and one-on-one opportunities to make the meeting engaging, meaningful, and rewarding. Excitement is a powerful tool, and having an attendee thinking about you before the show even begins is a huge win.

 7. Consultations: one-on-one with your attendees is the best way to pitch new products or ideas, and makes everyone feel special. This is also an excellent way to build your client base in a meaningful way, by establishing relationships that run deeper than the walk-by.

 8. Contests: fun and enjoyment stem from interactive experiences, which is why contests and promotions are such a hard-hitter at events such as these. Things like ‘best photo’ at the booth, mini golf, product demos are an ideal way to involve your audience.

9. Charging stations: few things are as irksome as having your phone or camera run out of battery during an event. Preempt that need by offering a charging station at your booth! People will flock to the stations, and that opens the door for you to discuss your product, or have someone take a photo and upload it to social media while their phone charges. Food for thought.

10. Visibility: no, you don’t need to have the biggest, brightest, loudest booth at the tradeshow. However, consider how your booth looks from a distance, whether it’s visible, and most importantly, whether it prompts the eye. Remember, people will navigate in the direction they’re looking (or something like that!)