trade show booth
May 29th, 2024 | 5 min read
  • Trade Shows

Capturing Attendee Attention at Trade Shows

From eBay’s 2,500-square-foot “Hype House” to Visit Duluth’s inflatable street curling setup, from Impossible Food’s faux butcher shop to Krispy Crunchy Chicken’s barnyard-inspired booth, trade show booths get more imaginative, creative, quirky, and memorable every year. Brands are willing to invest heavily in their trade show presence, and with good reason — trade shows and expos are a great opportunity to showcase products or services to a large number of potential customers. But by definition, a trade show or expo is also a place where your brand is in direct competition for those customers’ time and attention.

How can you make your trade show booth stands out and captures your target audience’s attention from across the room? What can you do beyond the basics of booth design to ensure your booth is a success? Here are some elements to pay attention to as you plan an eye-catching booth for your brand’s next trade show or expo appearance.

Go Immersive

Look for ways to create an immersive experience within the confines of your booth. “Think about how you can transport attendees to another world with your trade show booth,” advises a post on A blog post on calls this “an oasis of engagement” — an immersive experience that transports participants out of the trade show and into the world of your brand: “Your booth isn’t just a booth anymore; it’s Narnia, and every visitor is Lucy stepping through the wardrobe for the first time.”

Building for immersion could mean budgeting for custom installations that create a world within the trade show world. It could also mean cleverly incorporating virtual reality and augmented reality experiences throughout.

Create a Theme, Tell a Story

Build the design around a theme that’s meaningful to your audience and consistent with your brand identity. “Sure your booth needs to highlight your product and services, but a consistent theme will have a higher impact and will draw more attention than your product features,” says a blog post on “Make people curious.”

Use elements of storytelling to create a compelling narrative around your booth’s theme. Weave a story around your brand and products. How does your brand solve problems? What value does it bring to customers? What’s your brand’s place in the world?

Make a Visual Splash

Creating a visually arresting booth is about more than visually striking graphics and attention-getting colors. Be colorful and bright, strategically — even if your brand colors aren’t. “Ideally, you should mix a primary color (50-60%) with a secondary color (40-30%) and an accent color (10-20%),” says Work with the entire space, thinking vertically as well as horizontally. Use lighting to emphasize key elements as well as add color and set a mood. Consider the overall space, and your booth’s placement within it.

meati trade show booth

Don’t Crowd Your Booth

Resist the temptation to use every square inch of booth space for product and demos so that your booth doesn’t look too crowded from across the room. Make your booth a natural, welcoming place to gather, so attendees feel comfortable hanging around. This might include seating, but it’s also important to leave room for visitors to stand around without feeling crowded. This could mean keeping your displays simple and focusing on only the most important ones. “You need to be able to host several visitors at the same time because there is a poor chance that people will queue to discover your stand,” explains Attendees need to be able to see past the throngs of visitors to grasp what’s most interesting about the world inside your booth.

Provide Free Amenities

A well-designed booth can help set a brand apart from competitors and create a lasting impression. A polished booth can also build brand trust. But amenities and giveaways are where your brand can create an opportunity to build a lasting impression and a sense of connection.

Think about what attendees will need and appreciate as they move through the event. Amenities like charging stations and free bottles of water can attract customers, create a positive association with your brand, and give them a reason to stick around your booth a while.

Consider what else attendees might be interested in given the context and surroundings; comfort items like personal fans, sunblock, lip balm, and hand sanitizer are often appreciated.

Offer Swag and Giveaways

Well-chosen, good-quality branded merchandise is great for drawing attendees into your booth. Branded giveaway items can increase brand awareness and create goodwill between brands and customers. They also serve as free longer-term advertising, reminding both the customer who picked it up at your booth and the people who see that person wearing or using the item that your brand exists and what it offers.

Choose Friendly, Knowledgeable Staff

Staff your booth with a team of enthusiastic and knowledgeable team members who can answer questions, provide product demos, and converse with visitors about their needs. Identify one team member who can act as “emcee” to pull in attendees and help capture their interest. “If you want to attract attention, put a charismatic and welcoming team member in charge of emceeing,” says a recent blog post on


Even the most cleverly designed booth, the most captivating activities, and the most generous giveaways don’t matter if your trade show space doesn’t draw in attendees. Invest time and effort into creating a compelling, welcoming, intriguing first impression, so that attendees notice your booth in the first place. Only then will they get the opportunity to experience what your brand has to offer.


Promobile Marketing is a dynamic experiential marketing agency based in New York City. For over a decade, Promobile Marketing has collaborated with a range of brands—from budding startups to major CPG brands—on immersive marketing campaigns. Get in touch to discuss your next project.