Practical Ideas for Engaging Your Trade Show Display Visitors

August 15th, 2016

As a trade show exhibitor, you know you should use unique trade show displays to engage your visitors. However, creating an engaging environment in your exhibit might seem easier said than done. So—how do you get people interested in your particular business? The key is to give your visitors things to do that will ignite all of their senses, spark their sense of fun, make them feel better, and give them insights into your brand. Here are just a few practical ideas that you can build into your next custom exhibit. 


Give them things to touch.

Trade shows are often intellectual affairs. Lectures, demonstrations, presentations, graphics, and text dominate most attendees’ trade show experiences. That is why providing your booth visitors with things to touch can pique their interest, and by doing so, you are satisfying that complex, tactile, part of the brain and in this, you give your guests an all important opportunity to experience something they may not get much of during the rest of the trade show. Think about what you can have for your visitors touch in order to enhance the experience of your brand. Can you give them a sample of your product to try out for themselves? Can you design museum exhibits that include built-in opportunities to touch? The opportunity to touch will help you create a more unique trade show display, and should yield more engaged visitors, solid leads, and profitable conversions.

Provide fun photography.

A successful custom trade show exhibit typically boasts beautiful, large images throughout. While these images should attract visitors to your booth, your competitors’ booths might very well have their own impressive display of graphics. However, by offering fun photography inside your booth you have the chance to make your brand more interesting—and more memorable—than your competitors’.

Fun photography will probably include allowing visitors to take photos in your booth, and then adding a fun twist. For example, imposing their selfies on brand-appropriate background images can make their time with you both fun and memorable. Or, add a photo booth that fits the overall theme of your display. Not only will your visitors have more fun, but any photos they post to social media will immediately mean more exposure for you.

Feed them.

Attending a trade show can be a physically taxing endeavor. After spending several hours listening to presentations and walking the exhibit hall, your booth visitors are likely to be hungry and thirsty. So, if you want them in your booth along with their full, obliging, attention—give them something eat and drink.


Feeding your visitors does not mean you have to lay out a full buffet. It can mean providing light snacks, coffee, candy, tea, and water. If you place these items in the back of your booth, and advertise them in the front, you encourage visitors to walk through your display to get to the refreshments. Not only will they be energized by the food, and impressed by your thoughtfulness, they will see your custom trade show exhibit on the way to the refreshment table.

Hold a product demonstration or product launch in your booth.

While you can garner leads and conversions through a static display, you are likely to enjoy even more success by actively utilizing the space. One of the best ways to do so is to hold a product demonstration or product launch in your booth. These events tend to draw crowds, keep visitors’ attention, and give you the chance to highlight your brand’s greatest successes.

SEE ALSO: 6 Tips for Standing Out from Your Trade Show Competition

If you plan these events ahead of time, you can have your exhibit company’s design services build in the space for them. For example, they can create seating for the event or add other details that will make the event easier. The result will be a unique trade show display designed to engage your visitors at a new, and deeper, level.

Add comfort.

People are drawn to comfort, especially when they are away from home. If you can build comfort into your custom trade show display, you will be more likely to capture the attention of your booth visitors. For example, soft carpeting can draw people in whose feet are tired and sore after a day of walking on the hard floors of a conference space or an exhibit hall. Plush seating might be more appealing than your competitor’s more severe furnishings. Charging stations, tables, and soft lighting can remind people of home or give them a reason to enter your booth. By adding these kinds of details, you create a warm and inviting trade show display where people can relax while learning about your brand.

Create a brand-appropriate game.

Gamification is an increasingly popular trend in the trade show industry. The term refers to the practice of turning non-game endeavors, such as trade show displays, into games. In practical application, it often refers to adding games to your custom trade show exhibit. The exact game varies by display. The common factor is that the games give visitors a reason to stop by your booth and interact with your sales staff while having fun. If you choose to pursue this route, you can allow for the addition of a game by asking your exhibit company to add furniture, space, or signage to your display to accommodate the games.

Creating unique trade show displays means creating displays that engage your visitors. When they enter your booth they will immediately have their minds, senses, and interests captured by what you have to offer, and they will remember your business. When you connect with them by meeting their needs and providing a space where they feel welcomed and comfortable, you build a relationship that will generate leads and conversions.

When you begin the design process with your exhibit company, think about the ways in which you can do these things for your booth visitors. Give them things to touch; provide fun photography; feed them; hold product demonstrations and launches; add comfort; and create brand appropriate games. You will be surprised by how active and vibrant your trade show display becomes.