The fall usually kicks off a flurry of trade show opportunities both locally and nationally. Over the years, trade shows have evolved from just showing up with a covered table and business cards to now with full-scale productions. These days, much more is expected from trade show attendees – they want to see eye-catching exhibits, large screen TVs, games and prizes, and entertainment.

While not every company has the budget for a show-stopping exhibit, here are some tips to step up your game for your next trade show:

  • Create a fun game to giveaway prizes that will be memorable. Don’t just have a basket at your booth with free pens. The game should attract attention such as spin the wheel, counting contests, or photo back drop, that allows attendees the chance to win a great prize like an iPad or cool headphones. In order to play, make sure attendees fill out a contact form or drop in a business card. Give everyone a decent prize for participating. Do spend some money on a memorable or useful giveaway with your company logo. Water bottles, bags, and gourmet food or candy can help attract attendees.
  • Make sure your exhibit staff are trained to interact with attendees and can answer questions and generate sales leads. If you only have temporary workers or shy coworkers handing out brochures, most attendees are likely to bypass your booth or throw the brochure away without a glance.
  • Exhibit Booth. Attracting trade show attendees to your booth is one of the most important parts of a successful trade show. Depending upon your product, get creative. If your product is fun and entertaining, make sure your booth is the same – add colorful lights, have matching crazy t-shirts or hats for the staff. Music can also attract attendees if it’s not too disruptive. Think what will create interest and a line at your booth. Videos are great if you have a large screen TV and it’s professional produced. Remember, attendees are potential customers so you want to make a great impression!

Every year, The Barter Company presents its annual Holiday Barter Show – this year on Saturday, November 11. In the past, we’ve had singers, circus performers, and live auction items to create a fun and entertaining day. Barter clients create their own exhibits and the ones who plan and prepare have the best response of the day. Remember, attendees come to trade shows to find out about products but also to have fun.