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Here’s Why You’re Not Getting Enough Trade Show Booth Traffic

After months of planning, trade show day is finally here! You’re excited to meet and greet with attendees and hopefully capture a few more leads to boost sales. Yet here you are, standing in an empty trade show booth while attendees simply walk by without even a slight glance.

If you’ve ever been in that situation, chances are you wanted a magic wand to transport you somewhere else – somewhere far, far away. The expense of exhibiting at a trade show is enough to make you frustrated, adding in the lack of booth traffic is down right depressing.

Here are the 4 most common reasons why your booth traffic lacking and our best ways to turn that trickle of booth traffic into a flood.

1. You’re Not On the Technology Bandwagon

With the increase of social media over the past decade, the way trade show attendees research and buy products has changed considerably. In the past, their willingness to enter a booth was higher because they knew they might not be able to get the information from another source. Knowing they can find info on any product or service with a simple Google search proves you have to offer more to get their attention – and time – at a trade show. This could make it harder to get them off the internet and into your booth.

Counteract their love for technology by offering more engagement with smartphones, flat screens and tablets. Go above and beyond just standing in your booth – offer fun, technology driven, interactive activities and games to get their attention. If you don’t jump on the technology bandwagon, you could potentially lose a large chunk of your trade show audience, especially if your buyers tend to be younger. You’ve already invested in your booth space, why not devote a little more in technology to skyrocket your marketing efforts and prove trade shows are a worthy investment.

2. You Exhibit At The Wrong Shows

Sifting through the long list of trade shows for a specific industry can prove to be a daunting task. How do you know for certain which ones provide the best return on investment and which ones are duds? And how often have you heard the question “Why do we go to that show?” with the answer being “Because we always have.”. Don’t get stuck in the ‘once a show gets on your schedule, it’s hard to get it off’ trend.

Pinpointing the right shows takes time, a little trial and error and a lot of homework. The first step is knowing what your buyers are looking for. Then, find the shows those buyers attend – not an easy task when there are tens of thousands of trade shows in North America every year alone.

Don’t just spend your time managing your current show schedule. It’s okay to dig in and find better shows to replace the ones that aren’t producing quality leads. Evolving your trade show schedule will put you in front of attendees that are more willing to see what you have to offer.

3. You Lack Willing, Trained Booth Staffers

An important step to a successful trade show is finding the right people to effectively staff your booth. Great booth staffers aren’t afraid to find a way to get attendees to walk in. They are friendly, focused, genuine, and most of all knowledgeable about your company and products. You might consider upgrading your booth staff into a team to increase booth traffic. It doesn’t make sense to spend $20,000 on a trade show booth but only send two staffers to save on expenses. However, if your staffers aren’t willing to go the extra mile during the show, it won’t matter how many people you send.

Choose people who want to be there, are willing to invite attendees into your booth and have a contagious positive attitude. Help them succeed by giving them the tools they need with proper training on your products or services, promotional activities, buyers, and the process of booth staffing itself. This preparation ahead of the show will surely set them up for exciting results.

4. Your Trade Show Booth Is Not Compelling

Consider a trade show display your billboard to the world. Just as a billboard on the highway, attendees walking by your trade show booth may only glance over for a few seconds. So your exhibit has to be designed to get their attention FAST! There’s nothing worse than a cluttered design that misses the mark – too much text, small/low quality photos or unappealing design elements. There’s no need to tell your whole story all at once. Stripping down your message to the bare essentials is the first step to compelling design.

Less is always more if you want your design to be noticed. Try fewer words that focus on what matters to the buyer and larger photos to catch their eyes first. Bolder colors and graphics provide a space that’s more open and inviting.


A booth without traffic is a waste of money and time.

By adapting to today’s evolving trade show trends you’ll be ahead of the game. Focus on hosting engaging activities, finding successful shows, staffing your booth with quality participants and designing a captivating exhibit.

By putting in more effort before the show, you’re booth will be busier, you’ll get more leads and your trade show marketing will be more profitable.