5 Ways to Drive Trade Show Traffic

All About Trade Shows: Attraction

In this series we talked a lot about specific products and services to help maximize your effectiveness at trade shows. The topics helped you better attract people and maximize the efficiency of the time you have with potential customers so you can generate leads. In this article we’re going to take a step back and talk about one general topic, attracting people to you. We will discuss trade show booth ideas to attract visitors not just from the standpoint of products and services, but also what you can do before in terms of both preparation and design. The goal is to make people actively come to you, or want to come to you when passing by.


Presentation is a topic we brushed on multiple times when talking about products you need to have. To recap, you need to look professional and there are certain minimums you need to look professional enough to attract passersby  who don’t know you. The basics that you need are listed in our Trade Show Starter Pack, from promotional products to banner stands, but we want to expand more on design. One extremely common design flaw is not making what your company does obvious. Very few people will take the time to enquire about your business without being able to at least get somewhat of a grasp beforehand. Not to mention the business you might miss out on from people who might actually be interested in what you have to offer but end up obliviously walking by.

If you have more room to work with, there are two things you might want to consider. Having a place where people can sit or stand to talk face to face with someone about something specific can be greatly beneficial in both generating and converting leads. This area can look more professional and welcoming with a small curved hop up. If you have even more room to work with, consider having a seating area just outside or inside your reception. This is a simply and extremely successful tactic for engaging potential customers as people always tend to look for a place to rest at trade shows. If that place just happens to be filled with some items that reflect your company, all the better!

Raffles, Giveaways and Mini-Games

Never underestimate the power of simplicity. We have talked about using social media giveaways and other ways to engage people previously. Raffles are somewhat unique in their simplicity. Of course you can make entering and qualifying as complex as you want, but at the end of the day, the easier it is to participate in something, the more likely people will participate in it. The most successful raffle we’ve seen was in a fair where a company had a raffle for a $100 American Express giftcard. You just had to sign up with your name and e-mail at the booth and your name would be entered, near the end fair a winner would be picked and they would be given the prize there and then. They were easily the most popular booth at the venue! Of course if you wanted to make sure that they aren’t giving you fake e-mails or if you wanted to narrow down the winners to leads that have a higher chance of being converted into customers there are a number of different options. For example, you can make the winners be announced later and require them to interact with at least 1 of 3 e-mails targeted towards the leads generated at the tradeshow.

Another example is having a venue mini-game or puzzle. This could be as simple as a fill in the blank puzzle with clues located at different booths. We have seen hosts create this type of game and ask the participating booths to sign up but this is something you can do yourself. You don’t have to be limited to the hosts of the fair! If you know a few people participating in the fair, collaborate with them to generate prizes and you will end up significantly increasing your traffic at minimal cost! There are two major points to consider when choosing who to work with in such mini-games,

  1. Are the leads you are going to be generating from your partners similar to your target audience?
  2. Is there a risk with the chosen partner? (i.e. are they competitors?)


Food is a sure-fire way to attract people. Using food to drive traffic towards you is seen less often in the US but it is an extremely popular technique in other regions! We’re not saying dish out a full buffet at your booth, but if you’re a catering company, bring in a few samples. Your company does not even have to relate to food to use this technique, for example if you are a company that’s originally from Switzerland, have a plate with some swiss chocolate bites. This will not cost much and is a tested method of driving traffic towards you.

Floor Decal

Kendall Press Floor Graphics

This method might not work all the time since you are limited by the venue and their restrictions, however it’s always worth it to ask if you can use floor decals around the venue. This method is extremely low maintenance as all you have to do is set it up and let it work for you!

Before the Trade Show

This is an aspect that is often overlooked. There is more that you can do to prepare for your next showing than just having the proper equipment. Reach out to your customers and let them know that you’re going to be having a booth. It’s important to use all your channels together. Beyond just preparing your booth and making sure nothing is overlooked, create trade show specific offers. Make sure to use your channels to reach out to your customers to let them know about the offers and discounts that they can receive if they come to your booth. In addition, make sure that the design of your booth has space to promote any trade show specific offers!

This article is part of a series designed to help companies prepare for trade shows called All About Trade Shows. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave one below. In addition, Kendall Press offers many services beyond just print material to help you prepare for trade shows and similar events. If you would like to learn more about how we can work together to ensure the best presence for your company, please contact us by clicking on the button below! 


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