Top 5 Tips to Stand Out at a Trade Show

Thinking outside of a box is one thing; to stand out at your next trade show, you’ll have to try thinking outside of a really big box, a giant convention hall full of competitors and like minded exhibits. To really distinguish your brand, you’ll have to create a presence at the show that will be truly memorable and not just “flashy.”

Luckily, it’s easier to do than you might expect. We’ve compiled our list of strongest tips for great first impressions that become long-lasting impressions. No matter what industry you’re in, these moves will single you out from the crowd in an organic and honest way.

Do Your Research

Before you get started on your exhibit and campaign design, it helps to know what kind of outside “distractions” you’ll be up against. Check out who your main competition will be based on a list of attendees. If you’re researching far in advance, attend the trade show a year early and feel out the place. At least check out old booths online and figure out the current status quo for your show – that way your brand will have a much better chance of rising above it.

Create a Buzz

An effective way to stand out is to make sure people have heard your name well before you get to the show. This is probably the most difficult tip to apply, but any effort you make can go a long way in giving your brand name some lip service. Market yourself and remind the world of your show presence over social media, through press releases, and with strategic advertising, both before and during the event. You can even use humor and/or shock value to make your point, if appropriate. A unique campaign will never fail to make newcomers recognize you quickly on the floor.

Focus on Displays

The most surefire way to snag immediate attention is with an attractive booth. An emphasis on good design will always help draw the eye away from neighboring exhibits, especially with strong, quality graphics and the right deliverables (e.g. standalone posters vs. integrated booth design). You can also use your displays to announce benefits and giveaways, which might include drinks and a party atmosphere, or something low-hassle like free quotes or discounted on-site services. The more of an “attraction” you can make your booth, the more people you’ll attract.

Choose Your People Wisely

Often what makes your brand the most memorable for attendees that stop by the booth is the unique people that you have representing said booth. Carefully select your trade show staff members; train them in important areas like sales and customer service, and make sure they have a natural knack with people. It usually helps to prioritize employees with a charming, safe sense of humor.

Leave Them With Something

Handing out traditional swag isn’t enough to make a mark. Your handouts have to be unique to help you stand out among the rest of the pen-throwers out there. Whether you pass out wacky, original items, or opt for standard items with interesting messages, make sure to color outside of the lines for best results.

It goes a long way to elevate your brand well before the big day. Time and time again we see firsthand that those who put in the time and energy to think these through ahead of time have the most success at showtime– and beyond! If you need help with this part of the process, call Mackenzie Exhibit because this is what we do! Reach us by phone at 1-877-381-9133 (EXT 3), email us at, or fill out the form on our website to request a free quote.