Trade Show Booths: Good, Better, and Best Booth Ideas from ASI Chicago 2012
A well-organized, noticeable trade show booth isn’t as easy to pull off as you’d think.
How is it possible to stand out among the aisles? What does it take to draw people in, make a connection, and ask for the business?
Besides the relevance of the products and services themselves, a stellar trade show booth all starts with an impeccably planned layout and strategy.
Today, I’ll show you a few examples of nicely done booths, assigning points for organization, placement of products and signage, and overall decor. All of these booths tickled my fancy at the ASI Show in Chicago this year; let’s take a look.
Organize your offerings in a pleasing fashion.
What makes it good:
An organized booth has moneymaking potential, because people can find exactly what they’re looking for (and maybe even find something they didn’t know they needed until that moment). Think about it: How will trade show attendees see what you sell if your booth is laid out like a last-minute garage sale?
This layout works especially well if you have a wide variety of products available, but it’s just as effective with a limited selection. These vendors chose to attach their offerings to the booth walls, which was not only visually appealing but also a space saver for heavy foot traffic.
Organize your offerings in a pleasing fashion, provide additional information for passersby to take, put up eye-catching signage, and encourage customers to interact with your booth.
What makes it better:
Even though I liked the layout of the booths in the “Good” section, they did make me think of a science fair — it must be the boards. The booths pictured below used the same type of organization, but with shelves instead of wall attachments. That way, people could walk up and touch the product that interested them without worrying about knocking down an entire display in the process. Quite a relief for someone as clumsy as I am!
Organize your offerings in a pleasing fashion, provide additional information for passersby to take, put up eye-catching signage, and encourage customers to interact with your booth, and tie it all together with a theme to create a welcoming atmosphere.
What makes it the best:
As I’m sure you’ve already figured out, the booths I’ve selected for the “Best” category use all of the decorating elements and tips I mentioned in the “Good” and “Better” categories, as well as something extra. Don’t EVER underestimate the power of a theme! Trade show booths are prime advertising opportunities, and you’ll want to create an environment that keeps people interested for longer than thirty seconds. Whether you sort your products into logical categories like a grocery store aisle (see the top two pictures below) or go all out with a comic book theme (see the third image below), your efforts will attract visitors like crazy.
Just look at these booths; aren’t they inviting? I felt like I was inside of a store when I checked out their offerings, and for a second I almost forgot about the rest of the trade show going on around me.
Trade Show Booth Add-Ons:
Some of the booths went even further with their decor and accents by including little extras like mascots (in full costume), demonstrations to gather a crowd, and celebrity likenesses to get people’s attention.
You can’t go wrong with a cuddly mascot or a signed Iron Man helmet giveaway, right? And if all else fails, you could always try handing out Mad Men hand fans. That Don Draper is SO hot right now…
It’s recap time. Here’s what you need to do if you want a trade show booth as conspicuous as the ones I featured above:
- If you have tangible products to sell, then display the crap out of them!
- Don’t be shy about your signage, product literature, or freebies (if applicable).
- Use a theme that brings your booth together and invites people to come in and browse.
- There’s no shame in using drawings or giveaways to increase traffic. For maximum ROI, though, be sure to follow up!
Which one of these trade show booths is your favorite? What draws YOU into a booth? Have you ever won anything at a trade show?