Increase Booth Traffic at Trade Shows

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How to Increase Booth Traffic

Do you want to increase booth traffic at your next trade show? Do you need to get more people to your booth to justify attending a show? Are you wondering how to attract new attendees to your booth in hopes of increasing leads and sales?  Well, here are a few pointers! Feel free to contact us for more information about our crowd gathering, lead generating, attention getting staff and tactics to spice up your booth! 707-968-7536

#1  What does your booth look like?  Is it inviting and professional?

Below is a great small booth design.
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The company name is visible, there is a clear explanation of what the company does, they have readily accessible literature, they have some giveaways to entice attendees, and their booth staff is out at the front ready to engage consumers. Notice how there is walking room around the podium making the art of engaging consumers, shaking hands, and carrying on conversations in the booth that much easier! Best of all, for smaller companies or those just with smaller booths – it has a simple setup, everything fits into the podium and can be setup/dismantled in 30 minutes and wheeled away!

For a larger booth, they are much more extensive, expensive, and time consuming to not only develop but setup/tear-down.  They should have an open floor plan that invites consumers into the booth. Everything is spread out but primarily located towards the center – drawing attendees in physically and visually.  They can flow through the setup, there are lots of interactive displays to keep their attention, and when the show opens their staff can be positioned throughout to best assist.

The key takeaway is to be inviting! Don’t put up around the perimeter – it is counter productive to the four sides of traffic larger booths usually have. Invite everyone walking by in, not just the people walking on one side.  Make sure your design reflects your company/brand.  May that be edgy, artistic, clean and sleek, earthy, or the like.

This booth did not get the memo.  I’m not sure what they do and my eyes will find something else inviting to check out before I peer into their small entry way.
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#2 Who do you have working the booth?

Okay, you have a great booth – but people still aren’t coming. Why? Well, look at the staff you have working the booth.  What are they doing? What are they wearing? What is their body language saying to consumers?

They should have their hands down or behind their back, not crossed at the elbows. If they are working the floor, they should be standing near the aisle and engaging consumers! Not sitting down, not chatting with other employees, not slouching, and definitely not yawning.  You won’t get people into your booth if you don’t put some hard-work and (wo)manpower in!

Keep your clothing appropriate for the show and looking nice, neat, and ‘new.’ Dirty shoes, ratty shirts, messy hair is not okay.  Even if you have a casual office back home, put your best foot forward at the show. You owe it to your company, they spent a lot of money to be there.  Dress and look like the business you want to attract.  Uniformity is a great way to help distinguish company employees from attendees at a booth and create an additional sense of professionalism. You may want to consider getting matching shirts or name badges for booth staff to wear. If you don’t have time to order something – perhaps instate a dress code.  Something as simple as  black pants, white shirt, red tie or ‘everyone wear a blue polo with jeans and black shoes’.  Set expectations, be transparent, and don’t assume people know what to wear. Better safe than sorry.

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This is our male trade show host Fernando, he is looking professional, friendly and ready for business! He is standing in the aisle so he can easy converse with anyone walking by! Before he event starts a conversation with you, his smile and body language is inviting.

Lastly, smile, greet people, shake hands and thank them for stopping by.  People come to trade shows for the human-element, give it to them.  Understand your products, be helpful, take time to understand their problems so you can get an idea how your company can help.  Business is built on relationships – a smile, handshake, and understanding what someone does and needs is a great way to find out if there is a future in business for you two.

Don’t be this guy – sitting in the center of your own booth and so bored that even he fell asleep.
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You can’t make someone do something they don’t want to do. With that being said, I highly recommend only taking staff to work the booth that want to be there! If they don’t want to be there, spark some competition to increase moral and work ethic.  A gift card given out each day to person that brings in the most leads, a prize for the person at the show that does the most sales, a reward to the hardest worker at the show voted on by peers.  Those are just a few ideas.

If your staff is lacking or they have a greater value back at the office, hiring local help is always an option. Our company provides professional, articulate, intelligent talent and models to increase traffic, leads, and sales. With talent coast to coast in the US, Canada, and Europe – we have just the men and women to staff your booth. They quickly learn product information, easily integrate with your existing staff, and they do this everyday so I would venture to say they will teach you a thing or two about proper trade show etiquette to ensure success.

#4 Pre-Show Marketing

Maybe you have a bad booth location and even though the show draws attendees 40k deep, you only see a few because you are all the way in the back of the very last hall. Well, aside from getting a better location next year, you should execute some pre-show marketing. Everyone loves a giveaway. Get a list of all your current clients that might be attending as well as some prospects and send them an email or postcard. Let them know what show you’ll be at and what your booth number is. Then, for showing the post-card or email at the booth they can be entered in a drawing or get a free giveaway.  Not just a run of the mill pen or stress ball, but something they would really like – perhaps an i-Pad or free trendy (branded) t-shirt for anyone that shows their postcard/email.  Traffic often generates more traffic and half the goal at a trade show is nurturing existing relationships (which often turn into meeting others that you can do business with)!

If you are going to a smaller show, leaving a personal voicemail can go a long way. I’ve seen the success of this tactic first hand, you will be astonished. And, at the only investment being your time – it’s pretty inexpensive! Let your current and potential clients know your booth number, be sure to reference your name, your company and leave them with a simple ‘I hope to see you at the show’ or ‘I hope to meet you at our booth.’  If you are a new company, lead lists can usually be purchased or you might be able to leverage an existing relationship with other vendors to get your hands on one.  It is a great investment to really get your company off on the right foot with the decision makers.

To learn more about our services, to request a trade show staff training prior to your next show, or if you would like to hire talent to represent you at your booth to increase booth traffic, contact us today: 707-968-7536

And if you add a giveaway, watch all the people come by and what they’ll do for a cool freebie!