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10 Convention Booth Ideas You Must Try

10 Convention Booth Ideas You Must Try


2020 was a bad year for trade shows and conventions. Due to COVID concerns, many were canceled outright, and those that carried on were almost entirely virtual. Companies that depend on these gatherings to drum up business found themselves in a tough spot. 

 Thankfully, with vaccination efforts proceeding, many conventions are looking to bring in-person shows back, which means your respite from booth design, as unwelcome as it was, is coming to an end. An eye-catching booth will help draw attention back to your brand at this year’s shows to help you start making up ground. 

 These ten convention booth ideas are a great place to start. Pair them with a few welcoming faces, and your booth is sure to start closing deals.

SEE ALSO:  10 Proven Ways to Market Your Business in 2021

An example of projection mapping in an enclosed room.

TRY YOUR HAND AT PROJECTION MAPPING

You can see the vertical dividers that bound your booth and break up the space as walls, or you can see them as screens. Large-scale projection displays can create a dynamic sales environment, whether you add projected imagery in one area or throughout your booth. They take your product and make it larger than life, turning walls into moving art and powerful marketing channels. 

 Just remember to balance aesthetics with purpose. A booth with an overabundance of projected imagery could be disorienting for some, causing convention attendees to avoid your booth instead of filing inside.

GARNER VISITORS WITH LIVE MUSIC

Long before convention-goers see your booth, they’ll hear the three-piece string ensemble you hired to play in your space. Live music is a great way to pull distant visitors in your direction. If your booth is large enough to accommodate them, add a few chairs for people to sit in as they enjoy the performance. 

 One caveat. Choose a musical style that’s loud enough to transcend the din but quiet enough to allow unfettered conversation inside your booth.

A guy in a suit leading an informational session.

OFFER FREE TRAINING SESSIONS

The same way that free blog content establishes you as an industry expert online and helps drive leads to your website, providing free informational talks in your booth can attract attendees and kickstart conversations. 

 Post a schedule of your sessions in a prominent location in your booth and stack schedule flyers that people can carry with them. Focus on topics of interest to your target audience and make sure your sessions offer real value. If all you’re providing is a cloaked sales pitch, you won’t get the results you’re after.

SEE ALSO:  5 Strategies to Increase Customer Loyalty

BOOST ENGAGEMENT WITH GAMIFICATION

Tradeshows can be a chore. Give visitors something to break up the monotony, and they’ll reward you by spending time in your booth. Gamification can be as simple as including thematic games in your booth to give people a diversion (and an excuse to enter your booth.) Trivia games, feats of strength, and games of skill are all excellent choices. 

 Alternatively, you can gamify your booth experience. You might design an app that leads people on a hunt through your booth, taking actions to earn points that they can exchange for merch or discounts. Just make it fun!

A woman wearing VR googles.

INCLUDE VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY

Both VR and AR technologies have evolved to the point that creating content can be done affordably. This makes either or both great convention booth ideas that can elevate your visitors' experience. 

 With AR, you can have interactive elements and on-demand explanatory text overlaying reality as visitors peruse your booth. With VR, you might create a 3D, interactive product demo that plays out in a virtual world. In short, AR provides more tailored information, while VR lets your booth be anywhere and do anything.

INCLUDE A UNIQUE CENTERPIECE IN YOUR DESIGN

Think eye candy! You want to give your visitors an experience — something they’ve never seen before — something startling, exciting, or visually arresting. You might include a massive, themed fish tank at the center or your booth or cover one wall entirely in plants.  

 If experiences are more relevant, you could add a small climbing wall, include built-in video game consoles, or display a wall of holograms. Look for something that ties into your product or service, and that will pull eyeballs in your direction. The possibilities are endless.

SEE ALSO:  What is Customer Experience? Tips and Examples

Create a Contest

Do you sell a valuable, high-ticket item? Consider creating a contest, giving one or more away to a few lucky attendees. The prospect of a big win can be a strong enticement to tour your booth. 

 Pulling business cards from a collection basket is the simplest contest to sponsor. This has the added benefit of presenting you a trove of new contacts. However, it’s best to involve extra steps. Not only does this force additional participation within your booth, it also weeds out people that are only interested in your product if it’s free. Those contacts will only waste your time.

A pair of people posing and laughing in front of a giant cardboard shark standee.

PULL PEOPLE IN WITH A PHOTO OP

Depending on the sort of convention you’re exhibiting in, a well-placed celebrity photo op can bring considerable traffic into your booth. Of course, celebrity fees are often too high to have them appear in person.  

 Instead, get permission to use a cardboard cutout as a stand-in. The fees associated are significantly lower while still providing fodder for your attendees’ social media feeds. Better yet, choose a celebrity you don’t have to pay. Have a logo mascot? Let them fill in. Or choose something random, like a dinosaur or a giant chicken. Have fun with it!  

 Extra bonus? If you take the photos for your visitors, you can put your logo on every image they post!

PROVIDE PLENTY OF COMFORTABLE SEATING

Trade shows and conventions are tough on people’s feet. Convention booth ideas that provide areas to sit and rest will help your booth appeal. That might include creating small conversation nooks or interactive displays paired with stools. Seating offers a welcome oasis for long-walking attendees and gives your salespeople places to chat with prospects.

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HAVE A SMALL BOOTH? GO BIG WITH YOUR GRAPHICS

Small booths tend to melt into the background. That means you need to work harder to catch people’s eyes. Large-format images, big, bold text, and integrated wide-screen video monitors can create a visually arresting booth in a small area.  

 Remember, you only have a few moments to generate interest in someone as they stroll past. Make your booth as dramatic as possible so that they have no choice but to wander in.

A thank you card featuring an illustration of a squirrel holding a flower.

BONUS IDEA! SEND HANDWRITTEN THANK YOU CARDS TO EVERYONE CONTACT YOU MAKE

Even the best convention booth ideas only start the conversation. Once you have someone’s contact information, it’s up to you to convert them and create a relationship. Sending an automated, handwritten card is an unexpected way to establish rapport. 

SEE ALSO:  10 Ways Custom Business Thank You Cards Can Make You Money

 Simply Noted uses real ballpoint pens and smart font technology to create automated thank you cards indistinguishable from the real thing. With our various integrations, it’s easy to send us all the names and addresses you collect on the show floor. We’ll take care of the rest! Warm, handwritten thank-yous will arrive at your prospects’ homes and offices without a second thought, breaking the ice and building your business.

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