Party Ideas

How to Attract Crowds to Your Trade Show Booth

By Sonia Guzman

To attract crowds to your trade show booth, you’re going to have to use a little zeal and creativity. So step out of the traditional trade show box and check out these creative trade show booth ideas to attract crowds to your booth and make your brand stand out.

Yummy Munchies

Every human loves food. It’s just a fact. If there’s food at your convention booth, you’re practically guaranteed to have a swarm of people. So if you choose to have food or drinks, be prepared with large quantities! You can usually get an estimate of attendees from the convention’s website or the salesperson who sold you the booth.

Small Bites

Quick and easy is the name of the game for edible trade show booth ideas. Set up a simple buffet of snacks like fruits and veggies, with cookies for dessert. Provide small places and napkins so they plate up and mingle as they munch. Or, for something more fun, bring in concessions like snow cone machines or gourmet cotton candy to add an adult twist to classic childhood favorites.

☑️ Pro tip: Check the restrictions of the convention because sometimes food isn’t allowed unless it’s pre-packaged. If that’s the case, try attaching your business card to the packages so your prospects will know where it came from later.

Delicious Drinks

If you’re working an all-day conference that starts first thing in the morning, be the hero of the trade show floor with a coffee bar! It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to be free, and the crowds will flock. For afternoon groups, serve refreshing juice or lemonade. If the convention allows alcohol, mini cocktails are a sure-fire winner. Hire a bartender to handle the mixing while you focus on networking!

Flair bartender
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Interactive Activities

The best trade show booth ideas are those that keep potential clients engaged. Attract attendees and invite them to stick around your booth longer with something interactive. They can try to win prizes or leave with a cool souvenir that will increase brand awareness.

Photo Booths

If you have enough booth space, set up a photo station for visitors to have a little fun. Hire a photo booth company to help you with branded props and quirky graphics with your company logo built right into the images. The trade show attendees can share the pictures immediately on social media platforms, allowing them to create memories while giving you a wider audience for promoting your brand.

Photo booth at a trade show
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One of the most popular and fun trade show ideas is to book a caricaturist. These quick-handed, talented artists will attract visitors and have them laughing at their exaggerated creations. You even ask the caricaturist to include your logo somewhere in the final piece. Not only does this leave attendees with a fun parting gift, but it gives you more time to talk to them about your brand as they’re being drawn.

Casino Games

With all of the exciting lights, sounds, and moving parts of casino games, it’s easy to see the benefits of offering them at your exhibition booth. You can recreate the adrenaline-inducing casino atmosphere to draw in a crowd and inspire more onlookers to stop out of curiosity. Rather than playing for money, offer company swag or product samples for the winners.

Casino game table
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👆 You may also like: The 5 Best Tools for Planning a Successful Trade Show

Captivating Entertainment

As attendees stroll the trade show floor, all of the similar trade show booth designs will begin to blur together. One great way to attract attention to yours over the others is by having a live entertainer! The wow factor will also have attendees spreading the word about your booth, drawing even more people in.


Nothing is as eye-catching as a well-known celebrity walking the trade show floor. Hiring an impersonator is a comical way of showing mock celebrity endorsement for your company. People will be drawn to your booth for a chance to take a photo with the look-alike. They can even offer their autograph on your promotional materials to keep your brand in the visitors’ hands.

There are all kinds of celebrity impersonators to choose from. Go with a blast from the past like Marilyn Monroe or Elvis. Or, add some swagger or star power with James Bond or Lady Gaga. No matter who you go with, people will be talking about your booth over all the others at the end of the day.

Lady Gaga and Marilyn Monroe impersonators
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Having a close-up magician on hand is a great way to make your trade show booth stand out. Set them up right at the edge of your space so they can snag passersby and get them involved with card tricks and quick sleights of hand. After they’ve ooh-ed and aah-ed a couple of times, draw them away to talk about your company as the magician focuses on the next set of attendees.

Sideshow Acts

Add a little circus flair to get potential customers to “step right up” to your trade show booth. You could have jugglers tossing branded swag or stilt walkers towering high above your space as they hand out flyers or business cards. It’s like a marketing campaign and a show rolled into one! A show-stopping circus performer will elevate your booth game, promote your brand, and leave a lasting impression.

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Sweet Swag

Don’t underestimate the power of swag! In the bustling world of trade shows, attracting visitors to your booth can be a challenging task. Offering branded giveaways can turn your booth into a magnet for attendees. And remember, swag items are far more than mere trinkets; they are powerful marketing tools. When done right, they have the potential to generate buzz, foster goodwill, and increase brand visibility.

Choose the right swag

Swag selection is crucial. It should reflect your brand and resonate with your target audience. Think about what items would genuinely appeal to your potential customers. Quality is also paramount. High-quality swag not only elevates your brand but ensures your items are cherished rather than discarded.

To truly stand out, embrace uniqueness. While pens and tote bags are classics, consider unconventional, innovative items like Airpod cases, tumblers, or mini plants that spark curiosity and set you apart from the crowd. Your swag should proudly showcase your brand, but tastefully so. Ensure your logo and company name are prominently displayed without taking over the item’s aesthetics.

How to use your swag

Engagement is key. Don’t simply place your swag on a table and hope for the best. Use the entertainment you’ve hired to grab visitors’ attention and use that as an icebreaker to initiate conversations. Engage with attendees, inquire about their interests, and offer them relevant swag. This approach not only captures attention but also helps in fostering meaningful connections.

Creating a sense of exclusivity can also be a game-changer. Offer limited quantities of premium swag items as prizes or doorbusters to create urgency and encourage early visits to your booth. And don’t forget to collect attendee information when distributing swag. This data is a goldmine for post-show follow-up. Send thank-you notes, exclusive offers, or surveys to maintain the connection and keep your brand fresh in their minds.

Whether you go with an edible offering, engaging activities or entertainment, a great swag selection, or a combination of all of the above, these trade show booth ideas are sure to give you a leg up. They will transform your booth into a must-visit trade show destination and be the ultimate tool in drumming up some great relationships and potential new business.

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  1. Dallas Cartoonist Charles King July 21, 2017

    I have over 40 years experience helping companies draw a crowd to their exhibit booth. I have worked in almost every conceivable Industry trade show. I will tell you that your suggestion of a strolling table would not it be allowed at most of the shows I have worked. Exhibitors are required to keep their activities within their rented space.

    • Tessie Barnett July 24, 2017

      Hey there!

      We’ve had a different experience with our booth, so perhaps the type of trade show matters. We’ve had multiple impersonators and interactive performers stroll through the crowd, and it’s been a huge hit! But if you are limited to your rented space, I think having a “living table” in your space to present all your information and swag would be a great way to stand out. I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of ways to attract crowds over the last 40 years. Do you have any other ideas to contribute to this list? We’d love to hear them!


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