Trade shows are always huge events, attracting not just countless visitors but also lots of exhibitors. That’s why you need creative trade show booth ideas to stand out.

But it can be hard to stand out at such events, especially if you’re a small company and can’t afford to pour thousands and thousands into their trade show booth at each trade show relevant to their industry.

Fortunately, you can do plenty of things that don’t cost much money but can still help make your booth special. Check out our ideas for trade show booths and get some inspiration for your next event.

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1. Trade show booth ideas to do before the trade show

Good planning is half the battle. To get your booth at a trade show off to a good start, we recommend laying the right groundwork long before the event starts.

Gather your team and figure out what you’ll need ahead of time instead of scrambling for solutions during the event. Last-minute changes often can’t be avoided anyway, so you might as well ensure you’ll get as few surprises as possible to deal with on the day.

Take care of the logistics on time

Consider that it takes some time to design and ship your booth, as well as set it up on location. A dry run for the booth setup can help your team feel confident that they can assemble the booth quickly and without any unforeseen issues at the event. If you already have a booth from past events, check that everything is still in working order and correctly branded.

Ample prep time for an event will also give you an opportunity to design and print t-shirts for your booth attendants, order swag, and make sure it’s shipped to the location of the event. You should also organize a display screen for your trade show booth and check whether buying or renting one is the better option for you.

Last but not least, distribute event jobs among your team. Make sure you have people to take over the various important jobs during the event:

  • Pick a rotation of people to attend your booth and provide them with training
  • Choose or hire someone to take photos of the booth, as well as the whole event
  • Designate someone to attend to your social media accounts during the event

If the event is long and arduous, it’s better to set up a rotation for all jobs so people can take proper breaks. And always, always have backups in case somebody gets sick on the day.

Send an email to your subscribers

People who are already subscribed to your newsletter are an excellent target group. They’re already interested in your brand and will be open to learning more. Send out a newsletter well before the trade show, telling your subscribers about the event and that you’ll be there. Tell them when and where the event is taking place and how they can access it.

You should send out another email closer to the event to let them know where your booth will be. You want people to be able to easily find you! Also, inform them about your concrete plans at the event, including the time and place of planned contests, demos, raffles, Q&As, etc.

Do the same for your followers on social media as well!

Screenshot of a tweet. It says: It's on. 👉 Blaze your trail to better, smarter consumer engagement at Salesforce #CNX18. Registration is live: An example of trade show booth ideas before an event.
Source: Twitter.

Schedule social media posts

Setting up social media posts that will automatically go out during the trade show will severely take pressure off you during the event itself. Of course, you should still make time to write current and up-to-date tweets and posts during the show, but there’s plenty of stuff you can schedule in advance and then forget about.

Use a social media management tool like to set up and authorize posts in advance. Good candidates for scheduled posts are reminders for presentations, demos, or contests during the show.

2. Trade show booth ideas to spice up your image during the event

There are a few easy ways to make your booth more attractive to visitors.

Organise contests and giveaways

If you have a physical product, a trade show is a perfect opportunity to create some buzz around it by giving a few pieces away. Set up a raffle and make a big show of drawing the winner out of a hat at a certain time during the event.

Contests and raffles have the great side effect of providing an opportunity to collect contact details. Ask people to throw their names into the hat by filling out a piece of paper with their names and email addresses, consenting to receive your newsletters. Later, you can use those email addresses for your marketing campaigns!

Use your mascot to attract visitors

Of course, not every brand has a mascot. But if you do, why not use it during trade shows to attract people to your booth? People absolutely love having their photo taken with a mascot. And the more people take selfies with your mascot and post the pics to social media, the better for you and your brand!

A creative trade show booth idea during an event: Screenshot of a tweet with a photo of a trade show booth with a  cow mascot. It reads: Headed to #WDE2017? Stop by Booth EH 2816. Shop our specials, visit our mascot Annie & spin the prize wheel!
Source: Twitter.

Add a social wall display at your trade show booth

Set up a social wall for your event booth. Simply come up with a good hashtag that represents your company and perhaps the event you’re taking part in. Then create your social media wall using It’s easy to set up and style your wall with your brand’s logo and colors!

Then, all you have to do is show your social media wall on display at your booth. You can use a projector or a TV screen to do that, or even just any internet-ready device, from a laptop to an iPad. A social media wall display is always a wonderfully interactive at events, bringing people together and starting conversations.

If you’re looking for advice on how to create a hashtag and set up a social media wall, check out our hashtag campaign ebook.

Set up a photo booth

Make a photo booth part of your trade show presence. People love taking selfies, and photo booths are just an extension. They’re interactive, and people will have fun taking pictures together.

A photo booth also works well with a social media wall. Many photo booths can be set up so that photos taken with them are automatically posted to social media with a hashtag. Alternatively, you can give users the option to post the hashtagged photos to social media with their own accounts.

Thanks to the hashtag, the posts will then appear almost immediately on the social media wall, which makes it even more interactive and draws more people to the photo booth and, thus, your show booth.


It sounds so utterly simple, but offering some snacks, tea, and coffee at your booth will go a long way towards attracting everyone in the vicinity. Everyone gets peckish at some point, and trade shows can be really exhausting. That said, a few comfortable places where people can sit down and rest for a moment will also make you really popular with visitors.

3. Trade show booth ideas to keep things going after an event

Out of sight, out of mind, they say. Ensure your company stays in people’s memories by doing a few small things from these trade show booth ideas after each event.

Write a recap

Write up a recap of the event and post it on your blog. Make it interesting instead of just a dry retelling of your day at the event, and include some photos from the event itself to spice things up.

Embed your social media wall on your blog post to share it with the world and add another dimension to your recap. You could also embed videos at the event to give readers a feel for what it was like to be there.

Keep using your social wall

A social wall is a great way for people to catch up on the event, even if they haven’t been there. They get to find out what you presented at the show, check out what you and others posted about it, and look through the photos taken in your photo booth—looking for pics of themselves if they were present.

Tag those who matter

Mention influential speakers and attendees you met, link to them, and mention them on social media when you share your post.

Use social media to your advantage at events

An important part of trade shows is being visible and catching people’s attention, and many things go into that, just like the creative trade show booth ideas we mentioned in this post. Of course, social media and hashtags are just one part of the big picture, but they can really work for you if you put in the effort.

Improve your trade show presence by displaying a social media wall at your booth!

Create a social feed in less than 5 minutes!

Featured image credits: OECD Week (©OECD)

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