Make Your Booth Stand Out at a Trade Show

Deciding to do a trade show is a HUGE decision……big exposure and big bucks!  Everyone wants to make the most of it each time and come out on top for the huge effort you put into it.

I loved doing trade shows when I first started my handbag line.  I faithfully went to NYC 5 times a year for various accessory shows, schmoozed to the max, got lots of orders, stayed for a few extra days going to appointments my superstar PR sister set up for me with editors and went home exhausted ……..but happy!

Have you tried one yet? Thinking about it?   This is a great list of ideas from my Experts and ways to make the most of your booth and bring home the bacon!

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Written by Sarah shaw

There are 41 comments

  • Very good compilation of tips for anyone attending tradeshows – so many great ideas here!

  • These are fantastic tips!

    My former sales rep always had a bowl of CANDY at trade shows that buyers just could NOT resist. 😀

    Simple, but effective.

    Thanks for sharing, Sarah!

  • grace wieber says:

    Wow, wow and wow ~ What an incredible resource of powerhouse ideas. Thank you one and all for your contributions. Special thanks to you, Sarah, for this special compilation. ~ Gracie

  • alissa says:

    I enjoyed reading these ideas! I have the NYIGF coming up and can’t wait to re-read this list and use what I can! ~Alissa

  • Ben Luck says:

    BY FAR the best draw we ever had at a trade show booth was the CHAP handwriting analysis program by People had to write about 35 words that contained the core message of the product (it was a pharmaceutical for Pfizer) and that message was analyzed by a graphologist assisted by computer and gotten back to the potential customer within a few moments. It was a three-to-five page report on that person (in this case mostly doctors) and it was awesome. The booth did record business and detailing was doubled: the writing of the corfe message was self-detailing, and the reps got two shots at potential customers, when they came to give a sample and when they came to pick up the report. The report was so accurate that people were ecstatic, and that’s not too strong a word. If you have a booth that needs a lot of people to come through to make it work, give a look. Ben Luck

  • These are all great tips. One that I remember is that because everyone is so tired walking, they want someplace to stand comfortably. So, we installed the jigsaw rubber mats to keep them hanging around to ease them into conversation and demonstrations.


  • Malorie says:

    WOW!!! i didnt think the tips would come to an end!! loved every single one! thanks!

  • Jay says:

    Nice site & I love the pineapple.
    Even your advertisers with the little circle pop up add is a nice touch, allows one to click out without any BS.
    I am very impressed…
    Thanks, Jay

  • Shawn says:

    Great post!! Thanks for compiling and sharing!

  • Paige says:

    This was sent to me by my PR, so impressed with all of the insightful tips! Rearranged my booth design a bit after this. Thanks Sarah!!

  • So many beautiful Ideas. I can really use them when I am on a trade show. Thank You So Much!Especially mail the pineapple it is brilliant!

  • Great tips and generously given.
    Due to participate in my second homes expo in Kenya.
    Will use these tips to train my team.
    I am sure to blow the attendants socks off!
    Thanx.Moses.C.E.O. Proxima Properties LImited

  • Great article! Thank you so much! If you have a newsletter please sign me up 😉

  • Reuel Smith says:

    Awesome article! There are so many tips and tricks that will be helpful the next trade show I do for ThunderKid! I especially love the notion of opening up your booth, it makes so much sense! In conventions past I had it set up with a table dividing me from the customer. I even had a tiny hut of a shelter table at one time! It makes sense now that opening things up will make the people feel welcome! I wish that artist alley table staff would realize though that they are limiting their buyers by only giving them a table. I’ll definitely think twice before buying a simple table again. Thanks for sharing all of this!

    -Reuel Smith

  • Christina says:

    Great info! I’m going to be a vendor at a local pet event. Lots of great tips!!

  • Shawnee says:

    Very good site you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any community forums that cover the same topics talked about in this article?

    I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get advice from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Many thanks!

  • Sarah Shaw says:


    Be sure to stay tuned for an announcement coming from me about this very topic


  • Zeynep says:

    I love these ideas!

    Read through each and every experts tips!

    I especially love the pineapple idea and plan to use that next week to get grab some attention for our upcoming tradeshow attendance! I also love that ice sculptor idea, I wonder if I can find one.

    Thanks so much for sharing!


  • steven says:

    I have started giving out usbs and it has been well worth it. I use as they are the cheapest I have seen as I am not a tech guy their website is easy to navigate and easy to order

  • Linda Barnby says:

    I searched all over the internet for tips like these! Thanks so much for collecting them all in one place – and from a variety of experienced exhibitors too! I have my first big convention in a month. I’ll be using these tips!

    Linda Barnby

  • I like the helpful info you provide in your articles.
    I will bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly.

    I am quite certain I’ll learn plenty of new stuff right here!

    Best of luck for the next!

  • Amin Karimi says:

    It is a great collection of ideas, I've just joint a company as an intern and they've asked me to prepare some ideas for their next trade exhibition in 2014. I have enough ideas to impress them and credit goes to you all putting these available. I love the tag name idea and you don't get to see many of them in exhibitions now adays and it is true that people like to know who they talk to and I personally prefer people calling by their names and majority of people here might share the same idea.

    Thanks 🙂

  • […] theme and if possible one. However, many new traders do make the mistake of having two or three different themes running at once which isn’t […]

  • […] Banner stands, even used ones can be a great booth design idea to consider. All you really need to do is add your company logo or brand to the banners. You may need to cover up the old designs on the used banner stands with your own but to be honest that can be really simple to do. You can add some material over your banner stands with your company’s special logo, brand or name. This can get people a little more interested. […]

  • […] information easily visible as possible, and this can happen through full use of banner our latest blog post for more detailed […]

  • Ravin Shah says:

    Instead of collecting business cards or forcing booth visitors to fill out a boring paper form for the chance to win a t-shirt, use an iPad with QuickTapSurvey to engage leads and capture their contact details. If you really want to get sophisticated, you can qualify them too!

  • […] Source: Sarah Shaw at […]

  • […] Make Your Booth Stand Out at a Trade Show – Want to learn how pineapples helped one company drive HUGE traffic to their booth? Read this (and the rest of the tips, too!) […]

  • […] helpful (update 12 Nov 2010: TSEA just put those articles behind their membership wall,) and I like Make Your Booth Stand Out at a Trade Show from The […]

  • Rick B says:

    I'm a little late to the draw here, but this is a great list of tips. Thanks for putting these together! 

  • Angeli Yuson says:

    Excellent compilation and very useful tips. My company is doing our first show in Australia at the Fitness Show and we will utilise the tips listed here.

    Thanks for great article

  • Michael Kimbley says:

    Great article, for real! I agree with you that good things happen to those who work and know how to advertise their product very well. For me, maybe the best way to advertise is by using Exhibition displays and banner stands(and things like them). I searched a lot about this kind of stuff and I finally found very good site. It is and it has some great things and quality works! Strongly recommend it!

  • Great job with presenting useful information about booths.  This is a big help!  Something that we've run into as a startup company is that booth visitors expect giveaways.  A $1 koozie is not expensive but when we're passing them out by the hundreds it gets expensive, quickly.  Any suggestions for how to market our company effectively, get our name out but keep the expenses under control? 

  • Jules Sowder says:

    What an excellent list of creative and innovative ideas for trade show marketing and sales.  Plus, this list offers tips that accommodates different sized budgets. 

  • […] Red Thinking, a brand marketing agency perfected this approach when they sent pineapples with a fun brochure titled ‘Ten Things to do with Your Pineapple’ to attendees on behalf of a company with a Hawaiian theme. […]

  • Thanks to share with us this innovative ideas for trade show marketing. This list is really helpfull. Thanks once again.

  • Domonique says:

    This is very insightful! Thank you for posting. 

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  • […] Make Your Booth Stand Out at a Trade Show – The … – Tradeshow Booth Secrets: Standing out at a trade show is paramount to the success one will achieve at a trade show. How can a business stand out and be re-coup it’s …… […]

  • Stacy Singh says:

    How wonderful it was to run across this! Thank you everyone for your input.

  • Gia Tedeman says:

    Wow, great tips ! My first show is coming up and i'm very exited. 

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