Trade shows represent a significant investment for any company that puts on a display, so it is imperative that each company get the maximum return for their dollar. By just doing the basics of setting up a table and displaying product, a company is only doing a fraction of the work necessary to maximize their trade show presence. There are several other elements that must be included if a company wants to bring home sales leads that will result in plenty of trade show revenue.
Yes, you need a light show to bring attention to your booth, but not something that is constantly shining lights to the ceiling of the display hall. A light show choreographed with some exciting music in anticipation of announcing the winner of a contest you were holding or some other significant event will definitely bring people to your booth.
While the majority of trade show revenue is generated after the show is over, you will have people who want to buy products from you or discuss sales agreements during the show. You could wait until after the floor is closed for the day and hope that your prospect actually accepts your invitation to a dinner, or you could have a negotiation area set up in your booth where you can talk to prospects in relative privacy.
If you want to get traffic to visit your booth, then make the booth impossible to miss with large corporate banners. You want these banners to be large enough and displayed high enough that it would be impossible for anyone to not be able to find your booth. You should find out the rules for banners at the trade show before getting yours printed up because some trade shows have guidelines that you will need to follow.
People love getting free stress balls and pens at trade shows, but it is the company that gives away the quality, cloth carrying bag that actually gets all of the attention. Free giveaways that either look expensive or have an immediate practical application will always be popular at trade shows and you need to use those types of giveaways to spread your company name around and drive more traffic to your booth.
While not always financially possible, having a celebrity or two at your booth can help to significantly increase traffic. The most important thing about getting a celebrity to help your trade show booth is to make sure that the celebrity's audience fits your target audience. An auto parts manufacturer would probably not benefit by having the most popular romance novel author in the world at their booth.
A trade show booth is a considerable investment for any company, but the investment needs to be a little higher if you really want to get a significant return. When people attend a trade show, they are usually not overwhelmed by the features in your latest products because your competition is probably offering very similar features. But if you can attract the foot traffic to your booth, then you have a much better chance of generating trade show revenue and getting the biggest return on your marketing investment.