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7 Tips to Turn Heads With Your Expo Booth

Have you ever manned the booth at a conference and tried to wave down attendees to chat with your team? When a conference has an awesome attendance rate, you want to draw as much of the crowd to your booth as possible. After all, each connection can lead to a potential customer!

But if the booths around you have flashing lights, screens, and dance floors, it can be hard to compete—especially if you’re in a 10X10 expo space.

If you want to make your booth stand out (or at least make it appear larger than it is), promotional products can help. Turn more heads with these seven tips for eye-catching conference swag.

1. Use contrasting colors

Is your booth primarily blue? It’s tempting to make everything in your booth the same color for the sake of #branding, but attendees won’t be able to see your booth as well. It will look like a sea of one color, and attendees can easily miss out on your booth with a monochrome design.

Instead, consult the color wheel and order promotional products in complementary colors. For example, if your brand color is purple, order yellow swag.

Since complementary colors are opposite from each other on the color wheel, they look gorgeous and draw more eyes to your booth.

2. Follow a theme

Themes are great to get attendees excited—and they also make it easier to choose promotional products. When developing your theme, consider your ultimate formula: audience goals + relevant theme = winning booth. Consider some starting points:

  • Event theme: If the expo’s theme is Hot In Miami, follow that theme in your own booth.

  • Location: Are you at a conference in California? Try a “California Dreaming” themed booth (complete with branded sunglasses) to turn heads.

  • Time or season: Summer, fall, winter, spring—seasonal themes are always a winner because they’re so timely.

If you go with a theme, make sure your booth connects your theme with what’s important to your audience. Don’t pick a theme just because you like it; pick something that will make sense to your brand and Inspires Brand Love™ for your customers and clients.

More often than not, theming means creating a new conference booth every year, so you follow the theme to the letter, from your flooring to your backdrops to your branded products.

3. Create an experience

To get the most mindshare out of your conversations, try to make your booth as experiential as possible.

Offer fun experiences like:

  • Quiz bowls

  • Downloadable playlists

  • Charging stations

  • Insta-worthy photo walls

  • Customizable swag live at your booth

If you can pair your promotional products with the experience, even better. For example, if you give every attendee a plushie with a unique QR code, they can scan their code at your booth to randomly win other prizes.

4. “Billboard” yourself

If you’ve visited an expo before, you know it’s standard practice for attendees to exclaim, “Where did you get that?” when they see another attendee carrying a fantastic piece of swag.

If you’re passing out unique promotional products and want more folks to swing by your booth, send a few feelers out into the crowd. This is a sneaky way to get attention, but you can send a few employees out into the crowd holding your branded merchandise. If it passes the “Where did you get that?” test, you’ll have more attendees at your booth in no time.

Attracting walk-up attention is why it’s so essential to pick unique items for your events. You want products that attendees can only get at your booth—and that they’ll clamor for.

Depending on your brand, you might opt for fun picks like:

  • Wireless earbuds

  • Travel or duffel bags

  • UV sanitizer and charger

  • Phone mount

  • Diffusers

  • Name-brand goods like Yeti drinkware

If you want to opt for something bigger, like desktop organizers or full-on Yeti coolers for attendees who sign up for an after-event demo, be sure you have a way to get these items shipped.

5. Engage the senses

You detect the world around you through your senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. If you want attendees to check out your booth, find ways to engage these senses.

Not sure how to do that? Try this:

  • Smells: If you want a real memory booster, smell is the sense that’s tied most closely to human memory. Consider aromatherapy diffusers at your booth or give away branded candles with a custom scent. The smell of a pour-over coffee kit can do the trick for sleep-deprived attendees, too.

  • Touch: Integrate tactile experiences into your booth. That might involve playing a hands-on game like tabletop cornhole or asking attendees to share their thoughts on a Post-It wall.

  • Taste: Did you know that you can curate unique snacks for your brand? From granola bars to cookies to chips with zany flavors, activating people’s sense of taste will put you in their good graces. And who can say no to free snacks?

  • Sight and sound: Adding screens can make your booth look larger and more advanced. So why not create swag that interacts with your screens to gamify the experience? For example, you could create a curated Spotify playlist, pass out free Bluetooth headphones, and let attendees select their fave playlist from the screens at your booth.

6. Comfort attendees

Conferences are fun, but we guarantee that attendees are tired. If you want more people to visit your booth, create a welcoming space that lets them take a load off.

That might mean passing out free (fully charged) battery banks while attendees chill on a couch at your booth. We guarantee you’ll make a few new friends with the folks who want to sit and recharge their phones for a few minutes.

7. Do a demo

Who says you have to sell products to do expo demos? Even a SaaS company could do an engaging, head-turning demo if they choose the right promotional products.

Hook up a team member with a mic, play music, and get people excited to see your brand demo. Pass out goodies like speaker water bottles, non-traditional stickers, or influencer kits to get attendees excited and engaged.

Shake more hands at your next conference

The goal of exhibiting at a conference is to connect with potential and existing customers. It’s not just about having excellent promotional products that people clamor for but connecting with people one-to-one. Follow these tips to get powerful results from your next conference, even if you’re trying to look big in a small 10X10 space.

Originally posted by our partner Boundless on Aug 3, 2022

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