4 Creative Trade Show Ideas That Work (And Won’t Break the Bank)

Our local Chamber of Commerce held its annual business expo this week. I’ve been working with a couple of clients getting booths ready and researching creative trade show ideas that work. Gathering the attention of busy and often times distracted event goers becomes a major focus for businesses. Here are four businesses who used their space in insightful, fun ways.  (As a disclaimer, one of these companies became a client after the writing of this article. The others are not my clients but they had some creative ideas.)

1. Photo Booth

photo-boothActually two organizations played off this idea but in unique ways. The first, New Beginnings Adoption provided lots of props—hats, leis, glasses, masks—and took group photos posting those to their Facebook and Twitter accounts. They provided business cards with QR codes to their social media sites, making it easy for participants to find them online. You could hear laughter from their booth all day. It’s great to see non-profits using Facebook and other social media to marketing their business.

2. Photo Booths with a Theme

photo booth 2

The second photo booth idea came from the Tupelo Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. For my readers who may not be aware, Tupelo is the birthplace of Elvis Presley, so it’s only fitting that props for these photos included all things rock n’ roll—microphones, boas and sunglasses with Elvis sideburns. They added to their photo booth by bringing in a professional photographer (Lisa Browning Photography) to snap all the pictures.

3. Paint By Numbers


The Caron Gallery, a local art gallery, had an artist to sketch out a famous Tupelo landmark. Each piece of the picture had a number that coordinated with a small container of paint. Event goers contributed by painting a section of the picture throughout the day. At the end of the event, The Caron Gallery gave away the painting as a door prize. This great activity drew people into the booth, involved them in an activity related to the business and gave the owner time to talk about the art she loves.

4. Darts


A game of darts. It’s nothing elaborate, but it drew attention, made visitors relax and everyone who hit the board won a prize. For a company like Express Lube, it gave them time to get to know potential customers in a non-threatening fun environment. Because let’s face it, when we take our car into be serviced we’re all a little worried about what they’ll find. These guys made it fun to participate and everyone loves to win a prize.

The event included just fewer than 100 booths so these four just scratch the surface. But they caught my attention and the attention of many of the event attendees. I hope these examples spark your creativity about creating an event booth.

Make it fun, relate it to your business and tie in social media.

Thinking about attending a trade show? Check out these tips for choosing the right show and being ready on the big day.

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