3 Trade Show Designs That Probably Won't Get You Arrested

amplify Jun 12, 2018

Most trade shows aren't worthless, but most trade show booths are. It's no mystery why the average trade show design isn't working. In order to succeed at a trade show, you not only need a better display but, also, better strategies for getting people to your display. The thought of running around the room with a giant butterfly net scooping up prospects against their will might have crossed your mind, but that is considered false imprisonment in 49 states which is a felony. Here are three ideas to capture leads at your next trade show that probably won't get you arrested:

  1. Butterflies of a feather flock together. Never mind the fact that butterflies don't have feathers and scientifically speaking they don't actually "flock." People flock to crowds just like birds and butterflies. Always have something unique, creative, interesting that captures people's attention and holds their attention, yet keeps it professional and legal. Yes, this last point eliminates a lot of fun options, but as we mentioned above this post is about capturing leads without getting arrested. Here are a couple of general thoughts:
  •       Bring something (e.g. an animal, a celebrity, a celebrity dressed up as an animal, etc.) that everyone will gladly wait in line to have their picture taken with, and then keep them at your booth while you print/frame their picture in a frame with your logo.
  •       Have the latest hottest gadget (e.g. a drone, Oculus Rift, the newest golf driver with a practice area, etc.) that everyone will want a chance to play with and be talking about during dinner later that night.
  •       Provide an active challenge or competition (e.g. sumo wrestling suits, fencing, karaoke, etc.) that will draw a crowd of participants and spectators.  
  1. It's all fair in love and trade shows. Be proactive about getting a crowd to your booth. It's always a good idea to have more than one person at a trade show booth; one strategy is to take 30-minute shifts sending one person out on recon and having the other person guarding the base. The person out on the trade show floor can mingle with your top clients and prospects in order to get them to migrate (like a flutter of butterflies. . .yes, a "flutter of butterflies" is the scientific term) to your booth. One idea is to have the person running recon hand out tickets for your activity or the line for your photographer.
  1. Don't let them escape. Getting them to your booth is half the battle, the other half is having a trade show display that keeps them at your booth long enough to capture a quality lead. There are always a few companies at every trade show that expend a great deal of effort and money to get people to their booth, but then they have nothing of value at their booth. A well-balanced approach will lead to success: capturing quality leads. One quick solution is to divide your trade show budget in half; spend equal parts on getting them to your booth and keeping them at your booth.

So the next time you're sitting around at your trade show booth twiddling your thumbs thinking about the giant butterfly net you have hidden under your table… stop! Take a deep breath, reconsider the consequences of your actions, and try one of the above ideas. Capturing quality leads at a trade show usually isn't worth getting arrested.



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