How To Stand Out From The Crowd At Trade Shows

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Attention at trade shows

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Exhibitors often ask for advice on how to stand out from the crowd when exhibiting at a Trade Shows. Here are some proven suggestions:

Colors – Every year the trade show industry associations do studies on what color(s) seem to get the most attention at Trade Shows. Every year the answer is the same, yellow wins. Followed by red and then orange. (see how that red caught your eye)

Sound – Any type of unusual sound or sound effects will do, but there are 2 sounds that really seem to grab people. The first is the sound of compressed air being released. This trick has been being used by Fun Houses for years to catch the attention of visitors. The easiest way to get this sound at your booth is by filling balloons. The next the sound (click click) of the prize wheel. Just know that having poor prizes on your wheel like 10% off your purchase or a t-shirt will loose the attention just as fast.

Smells – One of the most successful smells that we have seen is fresh hot popcorn. It reminds people of younger days and of a delicious treat of course. I have seen people wander the aisles blindly simply following their nose to find the popcorn.

Pretty People – Yes we are talking about Trade Show Models. It’s not just about women in skimpy outfits. Although, that definitely draws attention. It’s simply a fact that very attractive, even professionally dressed men and women will catch more people’s attention. This simple addition to your exhibit can provide you that extra moment that you need to stand out.

A Crowd – One of the best ways to stand out in a crowd is to create a mini crowd of your own. People always stop to see what they may be missing when a large group of people are lined up or gathered. So how do you start a crowd, we’ll make that the subject a future blog post and dig in deeper, but a celebrity is easily the #1 way to draw a crowd.

Big Bold Message – At most Trade Shows the exhibit booths look quite similar. Except for a handful of companies who really seem to get it, not many companies make an effort to stand out. All of the suggestions listed above will help you to stand out, but once you get noticed you better have something good to say. You display graphics should feature an offer, a promise or a major value proposition that is BIG and BOLD in their face. Don’t be Your at a Trade Show and that’s the name of the game. There is a reason so many trade shows locate in Las Vegas. You can’t help but notice that the Las Vegas Strip is littered with roller coasters, towering water fountains and live volcano’s. It’s bold, gets attention and it works.

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3 thoughts on “How To Stand Out From The Crowd At Trade Shows

  1. Eric Hatch

    A seasoned event professional should set goals before trying to stand out at trade shows. Yes, I can put “booth babes” and prize wheels in my exhibit, but most exhibitors rent space do not want to indiscriminately attract both decision makers and collectors of free food and tchotchkes. They want Return on Investment (ROI) from their booth or stand costs, leads for sales, maybe some brand awareness, and the ability to meet their clients.

    From my view, a great trade show space always includes two parts, especially for companies with new products.
    1. Signs or exhibit structures with a short, appropriate message — These words and images must tell prospective buyers that the company can meet their need. Simultaneously, It should deflect attention from other attendees. Sure, a crowd can attract buzz to an as-of-yet unknown retail product. However, a company hoping to meet prospects at an event misses many contacts in a wave of gawkers.

    2. Trained booth staff — Prepare at least two (2) employees or contractors. Maybe give them a free, initial attention grabber. More importantly, tell them to get the attendee talking with a short, five (5) second question, which isn’t “How are you?”. Then, begin to qualify the attendee immediately. Then, if a contact is not a prospect, let him or her go! Yet, if s/he is a prospect, qualify his or her interest and part in the decision making.

    With these two parts, a company will succeed at almost any trade show. Without these parts, any money spend on a booth or stand can be wasted. Yes, it might work to create a party for a VERY large campaign to increase brand awareness. Yet, even with those campaigns, you waste so much if you don’t gather information on potential buyers.

  2. Margarita Speidell

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