rockway logo

Rental Trade Show Displays: How to Create Engagement and Dominate Your Show

rental trade show displays

Some tradeshow booths buzz with customers, while others are so quiet that even the crickets fall asleep. We’re here to help you create that excitement that will attract potential customers.

With custom-built, rental trade show displays, you get to put the heart of your brand on display, entice the right customers, and create the engagement you are looking for.

If you’re planning your upcoming trade shows and your goals are to get more feet through the door, be memorable, and engage with future customers, here’s what you need to know.


Trade Show Tips For High Levels of Engagement

Is there a trick to attracting an audience and getting them to engage with your exhibit?  What about provoking enough curiosity that they will hang around to find out more about your product?

We say no tricks, but rather just a deep understanding of your customer and some careful planning that will take them on a journey of discovery. Much like the online elements of virtual trade shows, there are two basic principles that are foundational to a successful booth: 


1. What Goes Up On the Outside of Your Booth? 

Grabbing attention is the name of the game. With that in mind, let’s talk about the signage that should go up on the outside. Your business name and logo should be prominent, but is there anything else you should display to draw people in?

Contrary to common opinion, it’s not the fantastic key features of your products that will cause prospective customers to step over the threshold. You’ll draw people by calling to the needs they have that you can meet.

To figure it out, you’ll need to ask yourself some deeper questions:

  • What does your customer need that your business provides the solution to?
  • What is it that they most want?
  • How will your product benefit them?

Distill those three things down to a clear, concise message, and design it into your signage. With the customer’s needs, wants, and the benefits of your services displayed prominently on the outside of your booth, your booth will have a strong attraction. A simple example is a refreshment booth with the single word ‘Thirsty?’ up in giant letters. Why, yes, I am. Please sell me your product.

People respond to seeing their needs recognized and a solution offered.

The need/solution combination is what resonates with casual inquirers and draws them in. It helps them see how your services are perfect for them personally or for their unique business situation. It answers their subconscious question, ‘How will it help me?’


2. What Goes On Inside Your Booth? 

Once someone steps inside your booth, you can begin to engage with them, find out more about their needs and offer your services as a solution.

Telling people about your product or service will only take you so far. With the technology and design processes available to you, you can create an experience for your customers that they’ll never forget. 

To make the experience memorable for them, take your visitors on a journey that involves much more than just words. Engage their senses, spark in them a sense of delight, show them things they didn’t know before, and you’ll catch their attention, and future business.


Ideas for Rental Trade Show Displays 

The beauty of a rental trade show display is the complete flexibility that you have in designing your booth. With that in mind, let’s have a look at some trade show booth design ideas that you can incorporate to take your trade show engagement to the next level.


1. Interactive Technology

Making use of the technology in the right way can have a significant impact in terms of brand awareness, audience engagement, and increased ROI. The cherry on top of using the latest technology is that lead capturing has become a streamlined, slick process. As you investigate all the technology available to you, keep in mind that technology doesn’t replace friendly, knowledgeable staff.  

Touch Screens

Making use of interactive touch screens allows the visitor to control their experience. Apart from the novelty factor, leads will self-qualify making your salesperson’s job simpler as they know who to focus their attention on. 

Embed touchscreen technology into panels or walls, fitting seamlessly into the design aesthetic of your booth. Making use of touchscreens has opened up a world of possibilities for engaging your visitors with your product. Surfing through your product catalog is just the start.

Visitors to your booth can experiment with your product in real-time. Videos showing your product in action are easy to record and upload to social media platforms. 

Connect Remotely to Visitors by Using Beacons

Beacons make use of proximity-detection technology to connect to folks as they walk past. Location-specific alerts deliver content to mobile devices close by the booth. Visitors are free to opt-in, get directed to, and receive information from your booth.

Beacons can also be used in creative ways to maximize engagement. Gamification, improved networking, and content delivery are just some ideas for this technology. 

Use beacons to attract more traffic and convert more casual enquirers into customers.

Invite Attendees to Step Into a Virtual Reality Space

VR is still one of the most popular trade show display ideas. Create an immersive experience for your attendees using virtual, or augmented reality. Nothing brings your brand to life like a virtual reality product demonstration.

You can create a VR tour through some of nature’s wonders and weave the story of the birth of your brand into the trip. For extra effect, incorporate a physical object such as a bicycle or skis into the VR experience.

Get your best creative minds together and brainstorm a branded VR game that attendees get to play for a big prize at the end. Through all your planning, remember to keep it relevant to your products and have your branding represented throughout.


2. Products: Display Them and Let Visitors Test Them

Trade shows are all about products, after all. Make sure your products are clearly on display, but also make it possible for visitors to try them out. People are much more open to buying a product that they’ve tried out themselves.

Set aside space for a trial zone that gives visitors access to samples of your products. Discuss your product with your display designer to ensure that a suitable area is built into your booth. Testing power tools will need a different type of space to women’s night cream.


3. Teach New Things

Trade shows are all about cutting-edge developments and people love learning. Are there are new breakthroughs in your field? Any new products that revolutionize the way things have always been done? Create an educational experience for your attendees. Aim for something eye-catching, engaging, and informative.


4. Competitions and Giveaways

Nothing boosts audience engagement like running a contest or a giveaway. The bigger your prize, the more people are likely to enter. If you plan carefully, running a contest can raise awareness of your brand (and your booth!) in a major way. 

Your contest entry requirements can either be super creative and linked to your brand, or simple and straightforward. 

You can get competition entrants to engage with your brand and products in different ways, for example:

  • Name our new range of wines 
  • Name our brand mascot (makes sure you have a great one)
  • Guess how many moving parts there are in a specific vehicle engine
  • Answer: Guess how many times can you brush your teeth with this new tube of activated charcoal toothpaste?

Your entry criteria could be something as simple as posting a selfie taken at your stall with a custom hashtag on social media. Create a selfie frame clearly showing off your business name and the competition slogan or prize. (I’m in line to win the brand new SnazzyBrand camera! How about you?)

One of the requirements of winning could be that the person has to be at your stall in person at a particular time for the grand giveaway.  


5. Book a Band

Live music is a crowd-pleaser that attracts visitors. Booking a band to play at your tradeshow booth will draw attendees and create a vibe to match the ethos of your business. Choose the right group to keep feet tapping and smiles on their faces. 

Before booking, make sure that your booth has enough floor space to accommodate the size of the band you want to hire. Ideally, there should be enough room around them for visitors to move around them and get to see the displays.


6. Create a Comfortable Space for Recharging

Trade shows are fun, but also tiring. Cultivate a relaxing atmosphere in your booth. Make it a haven that invites those attending to come inside and take a moment to breathe and recharge in more ways than one.

Provide comfy seating and charging stations where they can charge their devices while resting their tired feet. You can set out tablets on the coffee tables with your product info, have catchy promo videos running in the background. 


7. Build Upward

Use the space above your booth to add an extra dimension of attention-grabbing. Most trade show setups have dead space above their booth. You can take advantage of this and seize your space. Hang design elements that are visible from across the expo floor and make your booth stand out from the other trade show booths. 


8. Run a Scavenger Hunt

Arrange for brand representatives to be distributed throughout the trade show venue. Dress them in matching t-shirts in your brand color and arm them with stickers.

Supply visitors to your stall with a branded scavenger hunt card that has allocated spaces for stickers from each of your representatives, and some clues if you’re feeling generous.

Completed cards can be brought back to your booth and to be entered into a draw to win a product hamper. Alternatively, you can award hampers to the first ten completed cards to be brought back each day.

If you have the digital know-how, you can set up a scavenger hunt using mobile phones and custom-made apps instead. 


9. Find the Fun

Trade show folks love fun. Look for unique, entertaining ideas for them to do while visiting your booth. Try and tie it in with your trade. For example, a locksmith could run an escape room competition with a grand prize for the corporate team who get out the quickest. That team becomes the Trade Show Escape Champions and is presented with a trophy.

What if you’re not a locksmith, and find yourself stuck for new ideas that suit your industry? Brainstorm with your staff team. You’ll be surprised at the great suggestions they can give.


10. Create an Indoor Outdoor Experience

In-between sleek, gleaming corporate booths, why not create an indoor jungle? Bring nature back in full force with wooden finishes and tons of live plants to create a peaceful oasis. Take it a step further and create a temporary indoor fountain. A natural setup is especially appropriate if your business has a strong leaning towards sustainability and eco-friendliness. 


11. Inspire Awe With Lighting

Lighting is an important exhibit feature to make your booth functional, but why stop there? Borrow from the stage and create lighting effects that will wow the crowd.

A scuba diving school could use lighting to create the effect of being underwater. An outdoor adventure business can set up lighting that mimics being outdoors through a sunrise, shifting through the bright noonday sun, and ending in the warm glow of sunset. Throw in a background track of nature sounds, and visitors will step into the wild as they visit your booth. 


12. Take Up More Space

If your business has enough information, products, and services, you can rent more space. Businesses that dominate larger floor areas stand out from the smaller booths if the extra space is used well.

With more room, you can set aside a section of your booth as a meeting room for quiet discussions away from the busyness of the trade show. Fill other spaces with oversized screens for product display.

Set aside an area for practical workshops and product experiences. Bigger booths can accommodate more visitors at the same time, so make sure you’ve got enough going on to cater for them all.


13. SWAG!

Swag literally stands for ‘stuff we all get’ and is a key element of being memorable. Trade show attendees go home with goody bags of loot from all the different stalls they visited. You want to be sure you’ve got something of your business in there, beautifully branded and a good reminder of how your services will meet the unique need they have. Here are eight of our favorite ideas:

  • a mini power bank (charged up and branded)
  • moleskin leather notebook
  • self-heating mug
  • a web-cam cover
  • wireless charger
  • cable organizer
  • custom socks
  • branded stress ball

The challenge with swag is to offer something useful, not something that will get tossed in the bin on the way out of the trade show. If you can find something that links back to your business, that’s an even bigger bonus.


14. Create a Tasty Experience

Free food is a huge drawcard for visitors. If catering is part of your business, offering food samples is a given. However, you can have snacks available no matter what kind of business you are advertising. Snacks that tie into your brand or slogan will help to make your business stick in people’s minds.


15. Come Up With a Trade Show Motto

Come up with a catchy phrase and use it everywhere in your signage, branding, and swag. Think of it as the visual equivalent of a musical ear-worm that gets stuck in the minds of the people.

If the venue allows it, you can have oversized floor stickers printed that lead toward your booth. If your slogan lends itself to it, use it on the stickers to make people curious enough to follow the stickers to your booth.


16. Charismatic Spokesperson

Having an emcee is a fantastic way to draw a crowd, providing you have the right person for the job. Make sure that the one with the mic is naturally gifted at public speaking. You want someone who can make a crowd feel at home, hold their attention and even make them laugh at times.

It doesn’t have to be a professional. If you have a naturally charismatic team member who is well-versed in your products and services, they are the one for the job. Having an emcee is useful when it comes to announcing giveaway winners, or the commencement of special events at your booth.


17. Throw a Fun Afterparty

Most people love a good afterparty and will be happy to come to yours if you invite them. A party provides a different environment for you to engage with the potential customers you met earlier in the day. If hosting a party on your own seems a little daunting, get together with one or two other businesses and throw a party together. This means sharing the hosting duties and splitting the expenses.


18. Bigger is Better

 What about your booth can you super-size? Big things attract attention, which is exactly what you want. Anything you can do to draw a potential customer to your booth may lead to a sale and is worth doing. 

You may not always have the big budget to splash out on enormous displays, but think smart. Giant stuffed animals, enormous pictures, or oversized TV screens will all attract attention. Big things are easy to spot, catch an audience’s imagination, and become a talking point.


19. Social Media Blast

Social media is an essential business tool because that’s where most customers hang out. Plan to advertise your trade show appearance ahead of time. Work out your campaign to start advertising the trade show in advance to allow time for people to plan to be there. 

Advertise your giveaways and contests. Think of ways to give your followers some sort of loyalty advantage. During the event, encourage online sharing and geo-tagging. Look for the influencers in your industry and connect with them. 


20. Show-Stopper

Consider adding something with the showstopping ‘wow’ factor to your booth. Pick something that aligns with your business and partner with a sponsoring company. They get free advertising, you get the wow factor. It’s a win-win situation.



Why Consider a Rental Turnkey Solution?

The beauty of choosing a rental display is the flexibility that it allows you from show to show. A rental allows you to keep what works, adjust what doesn’t, all while presenting a fresh look that will keep your customers coming back for more. A rental exhibition may be best for you if:

  • You only exhibit at a few trade shows annually
  • The flexibility of switching up your design from show to show appeals to you 
  • You are trial-running a new marketing strategy
  • You are highlighting one particular product per show
  • You would like the custom, top-class look without the long-term commitment or expense

A custom-made booth, made to your specifications, desires, and needs will lend an air of professionalism to your stand. Customers will know they are dealing with a superior business that is a leader in their field.


Own Your Brand, Draw The Customers, Rock Your Trade Show

Hiring a rental booth designer for a trade show can feel like a big step, but your business is worth it. Taking the time to get clear on who your customer is, what their needs are, and how you can help them, will affect your booth design, but it will also cause a positive spillover into every area of your business.  

Our consultants will discuss your show schedule, services, products, needs, and goals. They are ready to advise you regarding hiring or outright buying your own display unit. If you’re ready to shift your rental trade show displays to another level, give us a call at (407) 440-2952. 

Share the Post:

Related Posts