November 16, 2023
min read

9 Great Trade Show Booth Ideas For 2024

Eli McGarvie
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A trade show booth is a great way to connect with new people and introduce your brand to potential customers. According to Trade Show Labs, 52% of business leaders believe that trade shows and events provide the greatest ROI compared to other marketing channels. The ROI further increases when you attend events like WeAreDevelopers World Congress, which are focused on a specific group of professionals, in this case, connecting businesses with decision makers in the tech industry. 

Whether you are trying to capture more leads or grow brand awareness, there are ways to set up your booth that will attract more people and create a lasting impression. So, don’t just throw up a table and slap your logo on a wall, get creative and get more leads. In this article, we are going to share inspiration from some unique booths we’ve seen.

What makes a good trade show booth?

Before we dive in, let’s quickly go over a few ways you can spice up your booth to maximise your brand impression. Keep these tips in mind as you brainstorm and plan for your next conference or trade show.  

  • A friendly team - select your team based on the demo of the trade show. Make sure they are charismatic and friendly.

  • Booth theme - conference booths that are designed with a theme are very memorable. These booths are usually accompanied by an interactive centrepiece. 

  • Colours - if you don’t have the budget to bring in new tech or create a themed booth, you can use bright colours to stand out on the show room floor. A bright booth, bright t-shirts — these will set you apart from most booths who opt for darker colours. 
  • Booth size - bigger booths are always going to get more attention, simply because they take up more space and people will notice them as they walk by. But size doesn’t equal a great booth, you’ve still got to make use of that space. You can create seating or install interactive features which will attract even more people. 

Trade show booth ideas

Now that we’ve established a few ways you can easily make your booth stand out on the show room floor, let’s have a look at some real life examples (a lot of which employ the tips mentioned above).

1. Build a booth

Ikea booth

There’s not really a unique name for what you’d call this. Booth design? Booth construction? What we are talking about is creating a structure in your booth. Most booths you’ll see have two walls and a table. If you’ve got the bigger budget though, and want to do something interesting this year, have a look at Ikea.

Ikea, at the World Congress (2023), built a simple wooden skeleton of a house, added some floor boards, plus some of their furniture and voilà! With little effort on their part, Ikea had a booth that stood out on the show room floor and was very memorable to attendees. It also helped that the Ikea team were all wearing yellow t-shirts.

2. Central set piece

Rapyd rocket ship

A great way to lure attendees into your booth is by having something fun or interesting that pique’s people’s interest. This is not an industry secret — everyone working at the trade show knows this by now. The real trick is coming up with something that is unique and stands out. There are already enough spinning wheels and photo cutouts to go around, so try to think outside the box.

Have a look at Rapyd in the picture above. Not only did they have a themed booth, but they organised the entire booth around the centrepiece of a huge rocket. The screen on the rocket would raffle off prizes if attendees hit the right combo (like a slot machine). You can see just how many people were lining up for this booth in the picture. 

3. Games 

Volkswagen laptop

Games are another easy way to attract attendees and get their guard down. Not only do people enjoy participating, but a lot of people are perfectly happy to watch. So when you’re thinking of a booth that’s centred around a game, keep those two types of people in mind. Again, you need to get creative here — having a Nintendo Switch with two controllers isn’t going to cut it.

Volkswagen is a great example of using games to attract a crowd. Firstly, they created a welcoming environment with seating and a huge screen. Then they made it super easy for people to join and play the game (QR code on the phone) — so there was no standing in line or passing of controllers etc. Then there was the added incentive of prizes for high scores. It’s also important to point out that Volkswagen took the time to turn their screen into a big laptop, which fit with their theme of big objects (big coffee cup, big phone). 

4. Posters 

Dynatrace poster

Not everyone has the budget to design elaborate set pieces or create a gambling rocket ship. For those looking to create an impression but not spend exorbitant amounts of cash, a poster is a great option. You’ve probably already got dozens of stand-up poster displays — that’s not what we are talking about here. We’re talking about a poster that acts as your centrepiece but isn’t just your typical company catchphrase.

The example here is Dynatrace at the World Congress (2023). Take note on how different it is from all the other banded posters you’ve seen. It’s big, bold, and colourful. This is also very different from Dynatrace’s usual branding. It looks like they threw out the style guidelines with this one. And it worked, this is a very memorable piece. 

5. Free food & drink

Dynatace making coffee

Attracting people to your booth with free food and drink is a tale as old as time. The official stats suggest that more than half (52%) of attendees are attracted to exhibits that offer giveaways or freebies — that includes food and drink! At the World Congress (2023) we saw a lot of companies giving away free coffee which was a huge hit. They would set up a coffee truck and a line would immediately materialise.

Dynatrace did this as well, and I’m pretty sure I spent 10 minutes in line for this. Other unique food and drink giveaways were an ice cream truck (hugely popular), one booth did a wine tasting, and most booths started sharing around beers as the event was winding down. The beer element is extremely underrated. 

6. Technology demos

Vodafone w/ Boston Dynamics dog

You don’t have to have a physical product to do tech demos. Sure, it’s going to be better if you’re trying to sell a product, but if you don’t, you can still use technology as a way to generate interest in your booth.

For example, Vodafone hired a Boston Dynamics robot dog for their booth. They are a phone service company, not a robotics. But that didn’t really matter to people. The dog was a great tool for generating interest. Whenever this dog was brought out, a crowd would gather to watch. And this would prompt people to ask questions to the Vodafone guys — which was a great way for them to transition into what Vodafone is doing in tech. 

7. Seating areas

We mentioned this earlier, but we think this point deserves more air time. If you are planning to get a big space on the show room floor, consider organising a seating area. You could do this around a central theme, like a lot of the examples mentioned above did — with gaming or the rocket ship.

The idea behind a seating area is that it will naturally attract people who are tired of walking around. It’s another way to passively get people into your booth. As people are sitting in your area, they will be more obliged to interact with your brand. Think about it, working in Starbucks is free, yet you’ll still end up buying a bunch of coffees if you sit there.  

8. A mini event

Twillo making smoothies

Hosting a mini event at your booth is another great way to attract a bunch of people. The event is usually a giveaway or something to do with food and drink. For example, there was a wine tasting that was hosted by one booth at the World Congress, they set up a time in the afternoon, and the booth was absolutely packed.

Other booths did pizza and beer — it doesn’t have to be extravagant. The important thing is timing. A lot of these mini events happened in the late afternoon, when everyone was hungry and tired from walking all day. 

9. Prizes / giveaways

Vonage giving away swag

This is another obvious idea but still relevant. According to Trade Show Labs, 30% of attendees will wear or use the swag items they received at a trade show. So hoodies, t-shirts, and pens are still great ways to generate leads and spread the word about your brand. Like with a lot of these ideas, it’s going to come down to how creative you get with branded items. 

World’s leading tech conference

Trade shows are a great way to connect with industry professionals and (if you are a business or company) connect with potential customers and decisions makers in the industry. Many of the ideas mentioned above came from the WeAreDevelopers World Congress, which is the world’s leading event for developers. If you are in the tech industry, consider joining thousands of tech companies and tens of thousands of developers for this two-day conference in Berlin. For other trade shows and tech conferences, here is an updated list of the best tech conferences in 2024.

9 Great Trade Show Booth Ideas For 2024

November 16, 2023
min read

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