Industry insiders predict that in-person trade shows will continue to be canceled or go online well into 2021. Global business travel down by more than 40 percent in 2020 alone.
The trade show industry is in an unprecedented state of flux.
Whether they’re attending a trade show in their home country or participating in a virtual fair, companies will need creative booth ideas that are savvier than ever if they want to engage with their customers.
If you’re looking for creative trade show booth ideas for an upcoming show, read on!
- Incorporate AR and VR Technology
As people have had to hunker down in their homes due to global COVID-19 lockdowns, online trade shows have risen in popularity. Some tips for a successful virtual trade show booth include preserving some elements of the in-person experience, choosing the right platform for your brand, and
When NAB 2020 was canceled, Panasonic needed to find a way to showcase their new release products to customers. Doubly challenging was the fact that the Panasonic offices went into lockdown. The team created a virtual event that included augmented reality (AR) stage sets and interviews with product managers–all from the confines of home.
With so many trade shows around the world canceled in 2020, it’s worth looking into how you can virtually showcase your products to your customers. If you’re participating in an online trade show, the organization will already have a platform set up for you to work with. Make the most of the situation by creating exciting audio-visual content and engaging with your followers on social media.
- Captivate All the Senses
With their standard three temporary walls surrounding an empty rectangle of floor space, trade show booths can be sterile and uninviting. Resist the urge to simply cram your products in and hope they will do the talking for you.
Booth ideas for events that incorporate lights, sounds, and moving images will have more impact than a space full of products, brochures, and bored-looking sales staff.
Multimedia elements you can add include:
- Backlit displays and lightboxes
- Interactive digital kiosks
- LED displays and LED walls
- Banner stands
- Custom videos and animations
- Interactive games
In this arena, you’re only limited by your imagination. Real-life examples of bold AV booth designs include rock climbing walls for adventure companies, computer renderings of large-scale architecture projects, and a larger-than-life 80s throwback Q*Bert game that attendees at LDA 2017 could play.
- Creative Trade Show Booth Ideas: Open up Those Walls
Continuing on the trend of banishing those ugly booth shells to the 1990s where they belong, why not consider getting rid of them altogether?
A surprising number of businesses don’t realize that once you rent a booth space, it’s yours to do what you want. Rip down that bland ceiling grid. Remove those limiting facias.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, invest time and money into creating unique 3D structures.
Stand out from the other booths by creating walls up to 4 meters high. Add rotating headers and banners to catch a visitor’s eye with movement. Transform where people walk into yet another branded space with photo-flooring.
If you have the budget, rent multiple adjoining booths to give your company the chance to spread out.
- Provide Space to Relax
Worldwide, wellness is now a $4.2 trillion industry. The sector claims everything from food to yoga to crystals will improve your health and wellbeing. If you’re in the luxury hospitality, food-and-beverage, or business green living business, incorporating aspects of this trend into your trade show booth design is a necessity.
But even those not in the industry can capitalize on this fast-growing phenomenon. After all, relaxed customers are going to be more receptive to your sales pitch than harried customers. Take a leaf from the real estate industry: properties that provide benefits to buyers sell faster and for more money.
Wellness ideas to incorporate into your booth design include:
- Massage chairs, comfy sofas, or even bean bags
- A drinks and snacks bar (with both cocktails and mocktails)
- A bottled water stand (think sparkling water to up the fancy)
- Recharge station so visitors can charge phones and laptops on the go
- Indoor gardens
- A reading nook with trade magazines related to your industry or products
- A gaming area with board games or video games
- A quiet meeting space with comfy chairs and spacious tables
No matter what clever concept you come up with, the best custom trade show booths include a space where customers can sit and chat with sales staff. It’s the perfect opportunity to introduce them to your products or services in a memorable way.
- Get Back to Nature
Many of the benefits of indoor plants are backed by science. They help reduce stress levels, sharpen focus, boost productivity, and improve air quality.
Instead of covering the walls of your booth in plastic and cardboard, why not dress them in a living garden instead? You don’t have to be at a landscape trade show to incorporate plants.
In 2015, a stunning Orgatec booth by Walter Knoll AG & Co. KG went completely organic as a way to stand out from the ground. Real tropical plants peeked through the sultry layers of floor-to-ceiling carbon-fiber mesh curtains. The colors of the company’s iconic furniture mimicked that of the foliage the visitors saw all around them.
The booth design went on to win Gold in EXHIBITOR Magazine’s 29th Annual Exhibit Design Awards.
- Educate Your Customers
There are clear benefits to taking an educational approach to your trade show booth.
A straight-up sales pitch is obvious. Customers tend to turn off because they feel they’ve heard it all before. If you take an educational approach, visitors are less intimidated and more willing to listen to what you have to say to them.
Why not create a small stage in your booth and invite industry insiders to speak, à la TED Talks? Let your customers know of the guest speaker schedule in advance of the event.
Another idea is to turn your booth into a play space. At Computex 2016, Taiwanese tech company Cooler Master revealed its revamped computer offerings in a maker-space inspired booth. They invited a hand-picked selection of artists, hackers, and gamers to interact with the products for the duration of the trade show.
Not only did this attract a lot of attention to the products from visitors, but they also got a lot of press coverage. The company was able to expand its reach through peripheral marketing long after the trade show ended.
Study Your Competitors
When you’re at trade shows, whether you have a virtual trade show booth or an in-person showcase, don’t just stick to your booth. Walk around and take stock of what your competitors are offering in their booth designs. Chat with their sales staff, watch their videos, and take good notes for the next time you need to come up with creative trade show booth ideas.
Are you interested in more top tips for marketing your business? Don’t hesitate to read through the other articles on our blog.