Four Ways to Make Your Trade Show Booth Worth Remembering

July 24, 2018

Ben Hindman

Ben Hindman is co-founder and CEO of Splash, the fastest-growing end-to-end event marketing technology used by more than half of the Fortune 500. Prior to starting Splash, Ben was the Director of Events at Thrillist, where he produced large-scale events from concerts to mystery fly-aways. He is also a co-founder of the Summit Series, the renowned invite-only destination event for the greatest minds in tech.

Your conference sponsorship fee might have been expensive, but it's not your entire investment. You’re competing with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of brands on the exhibition floor. And to make it worthwhile, you have to spend between 25-50 percent more to create a unique experience that actually drives conversations.

If you’re only using what the conference provided as part of the sponsorship, you’ll inevitably look and feel like everyone else. So, how do you ensure your booth stands out? Create memories  memories that will stick with your visitors far after they leave.

To create those memories, you have to first understand how humans create memories. Consider these four things:

1. People remember feelings

People won’t always remember how you communicated or what you said but they’ll always remember how you made them feel.

Think about what emotion you want an attendee to feel when they get to your booth. Will they feel inspired? Will they feel excited? Will they feel understood?

When you start the conversation, avoid launching into a product pitch or ordinary questions like, “How’s the conference going for you?” I’ve started conversations with openers as absurd as “Is an avocado a fruit? And if so, is it the best fruit?”

Make your booth a special and inviting place. Introduce booth attendees to other booth visitors. Rent comfortable furniture and cushiony carpet. Encourage relevant, contextual conversations by ensuring your booth staff knows about the content and session schedule for the day.

2. People remember surprises

It’s a scientific fact: encountering the unexpected actually creates memories in your brain.

Think of what you can bring to the booth that’s completely out-of-the-box. For example, indulge all five senses by exposing attendees to a specific scent, giving them something textured to hold or offering unique foods. Provide entertainment that will shock and delight your booth visitors, such as having food prepared by a local chef, who leads visitors through a unique tasting of grilled cheeses paired with different types of tequila. 

You can even incorporate the power of surprise by giving booth visitors special “exclusive access” or a “key” to your satellite events hosted after the conference in a cool location with a surprise performer. 

3. People remember simplicity

When people read, they function on short-term memory. 

Avoid complex language. Ensure your messaging is simple, clear and easy-to-remember – your booth should talk. Your signage should qualify your booth traffic, so you don’t have to. The overall experience should give you and your team more time to spend with people who are actually interested.

4. People remember repetition

Repetition is crucial in pre-event communications. Ensure you’re targeting your audience with the same messaging across invites, social messaging and ads. That way, they’ll remember you before they’ve even met you.

Keep the repetition going after the booth. If you have the luxury of having a few days to ramp up your conference presence, give yourself at least two days to qualify booth traffic and ramp up networking. If you’re at a four-day conference, schedule a VIP dinner or big satellite event on day three. Then, invite those people to your events when they’re at the highest point of engagement.


Don’t miss any event news! Sign up for any (or all) of our e-newsletters HERE & engage with us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn & Instagram!

Add new comment

Partner Voices
Dallas already boasts 35,000 hotel rooms, award-winning global cuisine, and a walkable downtown. But we are just getting started. Visit Dallas is thrilled to announce that the city of Dallas is doubling down with a massive new convention center and entertainment district. Featuring 800,000 square feet of exhibit area, 260,000 square feet of meeting rooms, and 170,000 square feet of ballroom. The center will connect business travelers with dining and shopping options in the popular Cedars District means more places to get down to business, and even more ways to unwind. “Dallas is already a great meetings and conventions destination, with the accessibility of two major airports, affordable labor, and an outstanding hotel product,” said D. Bradley Kent, Visit Dallas senior vice president and chief sales officer. “The new center and Convention Center District will enhance Dallas’ competitive position and are exactly what our customers’ need and have been asking for." What’s New – AT&T Discovery District Located in the heart of Downtown Dallas, this new district on the AT&T corporate campus is tailor-made for groups of all sizes. It boasts a multi-sensory experience, including outdoor event space, the AT&T Theater, and multiple dining outlets including JAXON Beer Garden and The Exchange, a bustling food hall. Hotels Coming Soon Names like the JW Marriott (Downtown), lnterContinental Dallas (Uptown), and Hotel Swexan (Uptown) are adding luxury amenities and bountiful event spaces. The projects will debut in 2023 and beyond. JW Marriott This new, 15-story, 283-room hotel will open in the heart of the city’s downtown Arts District this year. The property features a 25,000-square-foot grand ballroom, as well as a spa, restaurant, lobby bar, fitness center, and a rooftop pool deck and bar. InterContinental Dallas  Located in Cityplace Tower in Uptown, InterContinental Dallas will feature sweeping panoramic views of the Dallas skyline. Guests will enjoy spacious, high-end rooms and amenities, including more than 21,000 square feet of event space.   Hotel Swexan Hotel Swexan, a new, 22-story luxury property, is rising in Uptown’s Harwood District and will make its mark on the Dallas skyline. Opening this year, it is a sculptural building with cantilevered upper floors, as well as a 75-foot rooftop infinity-edge swimming pool and a hidden underground lounge.