6 Tactics To Drive Traffic To Your Tradeshow Booth

drive traffic to your tradeshow booth

With the time and expense involved in attending a trade show, you want to take every step possible to get crowds to your booth. Nobody wants to be one of the lonely tradeshow displays no one stops at except to ask where someone else’s booth is. Here’s how to assure your tradeshow booth display is one of the top attractions at the event.

How to Drive Traffic to Your Tradeshow Booth

1. Use Social Media 

Social media is really starting to become the way to reinforce and drive traffic to your tradeshow event. 

Your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Google Plus followers are the first step to garnering attention to your booth. Generate excitement ahead of time, and use Twitter hashtags, Facebook Events, and YouTube videos to promote your booth.

During the tradeshow, keep the conversation going. Offer freebies and prizes for anyone who retweets or shares your news. Also, keep an eye out for any comments attendees make about the event or your booth. Address problems quickly so people are satisfied. If possible, set up a live newscast from the booth to let everyone know what’s going on and what’s coming next that they won’t want to miss.

You could even use proximity marketing to engage attendees in addition to your social marketing once they’re at the event. As they near your booth, messages can be sent to their smartphones containing special offers for stopping in, tempt them to play a game at your show booth or any other message you’d like to send.

After the event, keep the excitement up with follow-up posts thanking attendees and touting the success of the booth. Be sure to post lots of pictures and videos for people who missed the tradeshow.

2. Offer Things Attendees Need

People get hungry and thirsty during a tradeshow, and food or drinks can be scarce or expensive. So if you’re providing refreshments, you’ll be a popular stop. Coffee, tea, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, and bottled water are all appreciated.

Even the other vendors will be coming to see what’s going on. 

Booths with lots of visitors tend to attract more visitors, because no one wants to miss the most popular attractions.

3. Construct a Short, Interesting Presentation

Definitely craft an interesting, informative presentation, but keep it short. You don’t want people to get tired of watching and mosey on. Use graphics, video, and sound as much as possible. You can even incorporate augmented reality into your trade show display booth space.

Emotionally uplifting, funny, scary, and useful presentations are all effective, but use emotion to make it intriguing.

4. Use Floor Mats

One way to keep people around longer is to use comfortable tradeshow flooring. Tradeshows are usually held on concrete surfaces, and people get tired legs and feet. If your tradeshow booth is the most comfy to stand around in, people will stick around longer and hear your entire message, even after they’ve been on their feet for hours.

5. Provide Seating

Tradeshows are virtual deserts for a comfortable seat. While your booth may be limited in size, try to get one large enough for a few seats. This will be greatly appreciated by attendees carrying heavy bags, older visitors, and those with back or leg problems.

Also, the longer they sit, the more time they have to contemplate your sales message. Show your compassionate side by reserving special seating for expectant mothers or senior citizens.

6. Use Visual Appeal

Not everyone will hear your social media messages and advertisements on radio or TV, so make sure your tradeshow booth attracts attention from across the room. Use lots of color, attractive graphics, and some music to lure them in.

Start planning your exhibit booth at least six months before the trade show for ample time to get booths constructed, flyers printed, videos filmed, and music chosen. Last minute efforts are rarely impressive.

What tactics have you seen that have been effective in driving traffic to your tradeshow booth?


Timothy Carter Industry veteran Timothy Carter is the Chief Revenue Officer for SEO.co. Tim leads all revenue for the company and oversees all customer-facing teams including sales, marketing & customer success.

12 Reactions
  1. #2 also applies to the swag you’re giving away. If I get swag that is useful to me I keep it around and use it for years. Case in point, the Raven Tools coaster on my work desk, the #EpicDinner mug on top of it, the Microsoft Accredited Professional water bottle have in the fridge, etc. And if it’s a t-shirt, get the nicer ones that people actually will wear simply because it’s so comfortable. The cheap ones end up in Goodwill.

  2. Yeah the #EpicDinner mug from Alan is the epic swag indeed. 🙂

  3. There is no doubt to the fact that trade shows holds true importance, which serves value for promotional way. If the same is conducted in polite & positive manner then it will definitely bear the desired result.

  4. Those are some really REALLY good ideas, especially the one about the floormats. Very simple thing to do, but effective, and seamless.

    The few tradeshows I’ve been to, the snacks have worked! That’s all I’m saying! 🙂

  5. It is very important that your setup is able to communicate what your business is all about. Also, you should already have a loyal following so that you can expect people to come to your booth. This is also a great opportunity to network.

  6. Martin Lindeskog

    How about hiring a “reverse bouncer,” bringing traffic to your booth? 😉

  7. Keep your graphics in your booth simple and readable. Many exhibitors over populate their booth graphics with text and graphics that just confuse the attendee. You only have a few seconds to catch their attention. Keep it basic, capture their attention, then provide the full information with they enter the booth. Don’t be the jean commercial that nobody can tell what you are selling.

  8. Ensure your signage and visual materials make it really easy for people to know what you do and to work out whether they want to speak to you. If people are walking quickly at a quiet time, or being swept along in a crowd, can they work out straight away that you are the sort of stand they should visit?

  9. What’s the biggest challenge at a trade show: attracting people TO the booth AND getting them to willingly stick around long enough to engage with them and share your company’s story. I’ve worked many trade shows over the past 28 years as a professional handwriting analyst, offering free analyses to people who come to the booth. I’m there to create a line of people who aren’t trying to get away because they want what I’m offering. We want them to walk away with a great impression and memory of the company I’m working for, and a solid connection to be followed up on afterwards. There’s nothing quite like seeing a line of people waiting at the exhibit, patiently waiting!

  10. Thanks for pointing out that providing seats can help a trade show display tremendously. A friend of mine is thinking about starting a kitchen appliance supplying business someday so he is looking into making exhibitions in trade shows. Perhaps getting professional marketing experts to help him out would yield good results.