The quality and interactive nature of your trade show display will make or break the experience for attendees visiting your booth.  One of the biggest mistakes a new exhibitor can make is trying to draw in crowds with extravagant displays.  Displays that are flashy might help get the attention of big crowds, but just getting a big crowd isn’t the point.

It’s not the number of people you get to your booth, it’s whether or not you’re able to engage them when they get there.  Here are some tips to help you step up the level engagement in your trade show presence so you can improve the number and quality of leads you get from your next show.

1) Think neatness and visibility when putting your trade show displays together.
It’s difficult for a show attendee to come up with pertinent questions, or to even understand your offering, if their attention is all over the place due to messy booths, or a display with too much information assaulting their senses.

2) Build the impression of demand into your trade show displays.

Urgency and demand make for higher sales.  Leave empty spaces in some of your display racks, or use strategy “sold” signs on some merchandise to give the impression of demand.  This encourages interest as people pass by and they’re more likely to engage you to ask questions.

3) Pull a crowd to your trade show display.
Interactive displays including touch screens, laptops or tablets can all provide a gateway that draws the attendee deep into your sales funnel as they work through a survey, a game of chance, or even a detailed digital sales brochure.
Even demonstrations are more engaging than just handing out brochures.  These can draw crowds of dozens of people at a time.

4) Have a stock of promotion items that you can use as trade show giveaways.

Attendees love little items for free.  Giving away these small free items helps to bring foot traffic to your booth.  Just make sure the items you’re giving away help with engagement and are branded.  There’s no point spending money on pens to give out if they don’t have your information on them.  Don’t leave them out where they can be grabbed up freely.  Instead hand them out to folks after they enter your opt-in list.

5) Use a prize draw or contest.
Creating a sweepstakes for your event, a wheel-spin game, plinko, etc. can turn heads as people walk by your booth.  Create an entry form on paper or in digital format that they are required to fill out in order to try their hand at the game.  This ensures that you have additional opportunities to engage them even after the show.

6) Make it easy for booth visitors to get information.
Having a big digital display with light and sound is a great way to deliver information, especially if you’ve got a great show going with automated light & sound using AV control on a mobile device.  This lets you harness the full spectrum of audio and visual without the need for a group of AV technicians.  You can control everything from a mobile device or laptop with the right software.
Once you draw them in with your AV, you can pass them printed material as well as send them digital brochures once you’ve captured their email.  This allows you to give them information on every front.

7) Make sure you have plenty of promotional literature on hand.

It’s hard to know just exactly how much promo material you’ll need, but the expected attendance of many shows is often fairly close to what you can expect.  A good way to avoid running out and having no material is to have a digital backup of your brochure.  Let guests know that you’ve had such a big response that all your printed material is gone (you’ve just created demand again), but you can take their email and send them a digital brochure immediately.

8) Be ready to do business.
If you’re doing business at your show and selling products, nothing kills engagement faster than not being prepared.  Have all the supplies you need to complete sales, and know exactly how the process will work.  A hiccup can make lines form and force people to wander off.

9) Have your trade show displays manned at all times.
Your booth should never be unmanned, because you never know how many missed sales opportunities walk by if no one is there.  Have extra hands to help while you’re engaged with other people.  Some attendees can be chatty and selfish with your time, so an extra staff or two keeps the traffic moving through your booth.

10) Actively engage trade show display visitors.
Give people who approach your trade show display a friendly welcome, and welcome their questions. Be sure your body language is friendly; don’t stand there with your arms crossed over your chest, for instance. “Chat” with booth visitors, and find out what aspect of your business they’re most interested in. Be prepared to offer specific solutions to their questions. The trick is to draw them in without intimidating or overwhelming them.

11) Follow up promptly.
Engagement doesn’t end when the tradeshow is over.  This is where you want to follow up with all of your leads via email, regular mail, or via phone. The faster you send them out, the more your business will stand out from the rest.

Trade Show Displays Have to Do Two Things

So there are two main considerations when you’re putting trade show displays together. Your trade show displays have to be visible and interesting enough to get people over to take a closer look. You can achieve that with quality light and sound.  That can be easily controlled by one person using AV control software.  But once they get there, you have to make that closer look worthwhile by engaging them with conversation and information. Do these two things well and trade shows will be an incredible source of leads for your business.