5 Ways to attract people to your Exhibition Stand

Posted on August 28, 2020
So, you’re planning your exhibition stand for an upcoming event? Fantastic! What a great way to get your brand out to prospective clients.

What’s that? Your plan is a stack of flyers, a couple of your best and brightest staff members, a demo video playing on a TV, and BOOM – sales galore?

I’ve got news for you. No one’s stopping by your stand. Or if they are, they’re not hanging around for long.

GETTING the stand is just the beginning of converting those exhibition attendees into potential customers. Making the stand STAND OUT is where your effort must now turn.

Today I want to share some ideas that will help make your stand “pop”. Because you most definitely don’t want to be the stand that everyone passes by. No way!

5 ways to attract people to your exhibition stand

1. Giveaways and goodie bags

You need event giveaways for your stand’s success. You just really, really do.

People at exhibitions are in touch/interact/collect mode – it’s a completely different mindset from when they’re doing their typical shop “browsing”. Do not disappoint them – give them things to touch and interact with, and most definitely give them something to take away.

They’ll pop it in their event bag and, if it’s a clever enough giveaway, it’ll resonate after the event.

HOWEVER, you need to put some effort into the giveaway. Not a pen, not a fridge magnet – something clever. Something that leaves an impression on them.

Goodie bags are a great way to get a couple of marketing pieces mixed in with your fun stuff.

2. Prize draws

I love prize draws at events. Done well, you’ll create a buzz at the scheduled draw time. You need a couple of things to happen, though:

  • You need a great pitch to emphasize the importance of coming back for the draw

  • Your prize needs to be worth their effort

What do I mean by a good pitch? You want to be proud of the draw, not ashamed. I’ve seen exhibitors with the best of intentions be almost apologetic when it comes to handing out entries to their draw:

“Oh, and look, if you’re around, maybe pop back at 4 pm for the draw? Yeah, you might win a prize. Anyway, only if you’re still around …”

Forget that. I’d rather hear:

“And hey, whatever you’ve got planned for today, I need you to shift your timetable so you can be back here at 4 pm, ok? I’m entering you into a prize draw that’s an absolute must-win. But you have to be here at 4 pm, I can’t hold the prize for you if you’re not here. Look, give me your number and I’ll text you when it’s almost time!”

Don’t be shy – be bold! Although I can’t guarantee anyone will actually let you text them!

3. Provide a space to relax or a space for lunch

I picked this idea up from my days running pop up shops. It’s an absolute winner, too. Make a space for tired attendees to flop down and rest their weary feet and minds. 

What you’re doing here is giving people a reason to just BE at your stand. Why’s that good? Ever wonder why some restaurants seat you near the front window when they’re empty? It’s to give the casual passerby the illusion that it’s a popular spot. That’s what we’re doing with your resting space. The people resting might not be your prospects, but the people who are attracted to the crowd might be.

4. Contact influencers and bloggers 

You want buzz? These guys can create buzz for you. Reach out to influencers in your industry and work out a deal to get them talking about your stand in their socials in the lead up to the event. Even better, get them along to your stand. You’ll be amazed by the amount of traffic you can generate if you get a popular influencer spruiking your stuff. Try it.

And bloggers? Bloggers can help build social authority and hype for you in the lead-up – especially if you give them something interesting to talk about. A product release, a visit from the aforementioned influencer, a special discount if you mention the blog and so on. 

5. Have something that stands out

Be memorable. Be the stand where attendees say to other attendees: “Hey, did you see the stand with the (cool lighting/adult lucky dip/chicken races)? You have to see it.” 

Let’s give them something to talk about! 

Bonus ideas

Here’s a couple more that make spark some inspiration for you:

  • Create cool flyers and ask some friends/family/staff to roam the exhibition space handing them out along with a treat

  • Make connections with exhibitors that complement your offering, and offer to promote them in return for them promoting you

  • Hire an entertainer that can draw a crowd

Hopefully, there’s something in this list that attracts more people to your next exhibition stand. I do want to leave you with something very, VERY important. 

Stick to your budget

Whatever you do, don’t blow your budget. In your early planning, come up with a figure you’re comfortable with, and THEN think about how you’ll make your stand out from the crowd. After all, you don’t want to be paying $1,000 per sale or lead or something crazy like that! 

Good luck with your event and let us know if you need a hand with anything. Well, perhaps not the chicken races.

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