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really good trade show booth ideas here!No one wants to have a trade show booth that is known as the local "ghost town" of the trade show. If you're going to to put the time, energy, and money into exhibiting at a trade show or convention, you want to be sure your trade show booth is popular and draws a crowd, and that you get plenty of trade show traffic (and that your trade show traffic is composed of qualified prospects, and not trade show lookie-loos that will just eat up your time and take your trade show giveaways and run.

So what makes for a good trade show booth, or better yet, a great trade show booth? How do you ensure your trade show booth is one of the popular trade show booths, if not the most popular trade show booth at the show? How do you stand out from the other trade show exhibits and exhibitors and differentiate your company? What can you do to get more attention and generate more traffic, leads, and hopefully even sales at your trade show exhibit? Is it possible to have a "champagne and caviar" level tradeshow booth on a "shoe-string" small business budget, or do you have to spend a small fortune to compete with the big dogs of the trade show display circuit? Had enough of the questions, and are you ready for some answers? Do you want some trade show booth ideas?!

trade show booth idea #1 - plan ahead1. Idea ~ Pre-Show Planning
The importance of planning before your trade show can not be overstated. Before you even sign up to exhibit at a trade show, conference, convention, or other marketing event, you need to have a plan. You should know why you are exhibiting, and why you are exhibiting at the specific trade show you signed up for. You should have a defined marketing message and a goal for the trade show. You should have established a budget (including investing in cutting-edge trade show display), and have shown that you will make money by exhibiting at the trade show, and not lose money. You need to let attendees know in advance that you will be at the trade show. Tell them what your exhibit booth number is and invite them to stop by. Let your current customer know as well. Think about the various options for trade show giveaway ideas and make sure you have some effective trade show giveaways for your trade show booth. Hopefully, you've had a chance to do your research and visit other trade shows and see what ideas are working for the trade show booths and trade show displays you saw at those shows - and especially those exhibitors and trade show booths that are related to your company, products, or services.

trade show booths idea #2 - trade show swag2. Idea ~ Use Trade Show Giveaways
As mentioned above in point one, handing out promotional trade show giveaways and trade show swag is a great way to draw traffic to your trade show booth, and to reward your visitors, and to leave them with something physical that will remind them of your company, product, or service in the future. Of course, you want to make sure your trade show giveaway will be effective, which is why you should check out these trade show giveaway ideas.

Remember that the reason for handing out trade show giveaways and promotional products is to entice qualified prospects into your booth and to reward them for visiting. The goal should NOT be to simply hand them out to anyone, or to let just anyone grab them to stuff their trade show loot bootie bag. Keep an eye on your trade show giveaways and make sure you're giving them to the right visitors!

trade show booth idea #3 - catchy trade show graphics3. Idea ~ Have Catchy (and Effective) Trade Show Display Graphics
Every great trade show booth has a great trade show display. And critical to having a great trade show display is making sure you have catchy graphics. You want your graphics to look distinctive, unique, and above all, professional, but it is also critical that they stand out from the other tradeshow displays and draw attention to your booth. They need to highlight and communicate your trade show marketing message. Your trade show display graphics should tell visitors why they should stop and visit your booth. With all the options for trade show graphics today, and with the great designs and reasonable prices available, you must invest in great trade show graphics for your trade show booth. Never, ever think that the little pre-printed sign that the trade show organizers hang on the curtain drapes at the back of your trade show booth qualifies as "great trade show graphics". When I see a trade show exhibitor that only has that little white pre-printed sign, I think... trade show loser. Don't be a trade show loser... invest in great trade show graphics (and hire a graphic designer who knows what they're doing) and be a trade show winner.

trade show booths idea #4 - trade show staff4. Idea ~ Have a Prepared, Knowledgeable and Friendly Trade Show Booth Staff
Handing out trade show giveaways and having catchy trade show graphics are great ways to draw crowds and traffic to your trade show booth, but who do trade show attendees and visitors meet and talk when they stop at your booth? The benefit of trade show exhibiting and marketing is face-to-face human interaction, but it is only beneficial if the human knows what they are doing. You want to be sure your trade show staff is properly trained. They need to greet visitors with a smile. They need to be friendly and know how engage in small talk, but also how to get to the point and steer a conversation back to your reason for being at the trade show... qualifying prospects and generating leads and even sales! It goes without saying, but your trade show booth staff needs to be completely knowledgeable about your company, and they need to be able to answer every question thrown at them. They also should have a set of ideas, tips, and suggestions on how your company can help any qualified prospect that visits your trade show booth. And you need to insure you have enough trade show staff to handle the maximum trade show traffic and crowd you expect (and that number should be big!).

trade show booth idea #5 - location, location, location5. Idea ~ Think about Location, Layout, and Flow
Often under-appreciated and overlooked is the importance to your trade show booth of Location, Layout, and Flow. Being near the front of a trade show and on a major traffic path is of course a great idea! The way to secure the best location at the show is to sign up early and determine and ask for where you want to be located. When you set up your trade show booth, think about the layout. You want people to be able to easily enter your trade show booth, so don't block the entrance with a table. You also want people to think they won't get trapped in your booth if they enter it, so keep the front open and inviting! And think about the flow by and through your booth. How will people get to you, and can you handle multiple visitors asking questions? If you are sitting down behind a table, ditch the chair and the table. Stand up, and don't have anything behind you and your potential prospect.

When it comes to trade show booth ideas, a lot of "experts" will talk about or recommend contests, raffles, drawings, games, tv quiz-show themed games, models, and entertainment (like clowns, jugglers, and magicians) to draw a trade show crowd. I have to disagree with these experts'  recommendations... these ideas may draw a big crowd, but whether or not it is the crowd you really want is another matter. The key to having a successful tradeshow exhibit booth is that you want to draw the right crowd, and the right tradeshow crowd is made up of attendees and visitors who are qualified prospects. Preparing for a successful trade show booth means more that just having a prize wheel or a bowl of candy, or a juggling magician in a skimpy bikini... preparing to be a trade show success means knowing what it takes to succeed, and planning before the trade show, effectively using trade show giveaways to reinforce your marketing message and trade show goals, having an attention-commanding trade show display in your booth, having a world-class trade show booth staff, and remembering the importance of location, location, location!


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