Top 25 interactive trade show booth ideas that will make your booth a hit

1 . Introduction

Gone are the days when people would chant the mantra that mixing business and pleasure is a bad idea. Today, not an industry faux pas but a creative business strategy, semi-formal gatherings and events are pushing the boundaries of conventional marketing. Exhibitions, fairs and trade shows have emerged as some of the trendiest, not-to-be-missed occasions that people clear out their calendars well in advance for.
Trade show exhibits offer incredible opportunities for warm calling and communicating your brand’s message, providing ultimate exposure, helping you survey the competition in the industry along with the latest trends, and opening doors for intimate engagement with customers and prospective interest groups. Exhibition organizers are eagerly seeking participation and collaboration to establish repute and garner traffic, and this might just be your best bet to communicating sales pitches in a fun and friendly manner and accumulating valuable leads.

2. Types of trade show booths

Depending upon your needs, allotted booth space and budget, you will want to opt for the type of trade show booth that will accommodate your business’s style of marketing. While first-time participants would probably want to play safe, those in it for the long haul might consider bespoke options that can be reused over the years. Here are the primary categories of exhibition stands that you can choose from:

1. Pop-up displays:

Certainly the easiest to set up, without the need of any specialist, these are budget-friendly options that neatly get the job done. They also require lesser space and are a risk-free option when you’re newly venturing into the arena of exhibits. Pull-up display banners are a similar option to consider when you need to capitalise on the available space with maximum visual content, though you must be careful of overcrowding and misalignment.

2. Modular stands:

These type of exhibition stands offer greater possibility when it comes to branding. Much more economical than custom stands, they are versatile in terms of switiching up the size of the display and graphics as per your campaign needs.

3. Custom stands:

You can either get parts of your modular display tailored to your desire or splurge on an entirely customized booth to incorporate your multimedia displays. Once you have a long-term strategy ready for participation in trade shows, with a careful assessment of cost and returns, you can go for customized, recyclable stands that will surely give you the benefit of standing out. Consider it part of the investment in engaged marketing.


3. Benefits of interactive booths

There are considerable adee costs to making your booth interactive. Thus, it is essential that you have thoroughly analysed your promotional strategy and the message you wish to convey before opting for an interactive trade show booth. Down here, we list some of the chief advantages of listing the help of interactive booth activities and setups for your participatory venture:

  1. Cold calling comes with several risks of annoyance and distortion of message, often falling flat. Interactive exhibition stands, instead, offer a great opportunity for warm calling, placing you in the vicinity of a receptive audience. Fun, ice-breaker activities and games are effective in securing interest and even drawing an emotional connection with your campaign.

  2. It is reported that up to 80% of trade show attendees have substantial purchasing power and visit such events with the intention of spending. It is vital to harness that willingness without leaning towards the desperation of regular salespersons.

  3. It goes without saying that in business, time is of essence. At exhibits, you have attendees more willing than usual to give you their time and lend your message an ear. An interactive trade show booth will allow you to not only engage the visitors’ time productively, it will also serve as an excellent starter to segue into your sales pitch and offers.

4. Interactive trade show booth ideas and examples to draw in visitors

Stand out from the crowd and keep your visitors occupied and entertained with these interactive trade show booth activities to warm them up to your brand message and pitch.

1. Lotteries and raffles:

A good old lottery continues to hold sway over most audiences, eliciting excited response and eager participation for comparatively little extra effort. Plan according to your budget, and try to include your own products and services as gifts, if the costs can be accommodated. Otherwise, opt for prizes that will attract the desired demographic that your business targets for consumption. Also, don’t forget to use this opportunity to collect contact information or even ask for the filling of mini survey forms by virtue of registering for the raffle.

      1. Scratch-off cards:

        These are an excellent choice to incorporate your brand logo, colours and contact details into the activity and create high visibility, enabling the booth visitors to take the cards back home with a visual reminder of your business.

      2. Lucky draw:

        As part of pre-show marketing, you can create a buzz by declaring a lucky draw on your social media channels, which requires participants to register online and then mark their attendance at the trade show for the live announcement of winners.

      3. Spin the wheel:

        A bit of fate, or a pinch of a challenge in the form of throwing the darts can take this activity up a notch and infuse further enthusiasm among the visitors to your booth.

        2. Virtual reality and augmented reality:

        Since we’re talking about making things interesting, why not offer your guests the best that technology has to offer. With various rental services nowadays, virtual reality setups and motion gaming consoles can be arranged to upscale any event. Apart from providing entertainment via hit games, this is an invaluable way to involve your visitors in immersive storytelling and marketing. From putting them right in the middle of a documentary to engaging their senses and prolonging their interest in your booth, there are limitless possibilities with virtual reality. Similarly, augmented reality transforms your immediate settings and actual movement, creating situations that demand engagement with one’s surroundings. You’re probably familiar with Pokemon Go. AR has brought a tectonic shift in event promotion and product marketing, opening unexplored territories for users to experience what a company has to offer.

3. Giant board games:

Throw in a bit of Alice in Wonderland-style nostalgia and bring on the allure of childhood memories with jumbo games. This activity will obviously require greater booth space, but if managed, will guarantee that your exhibition stand does not escape any attendee’s notice. The options here are endless- monopoly, carrom, chess, snakes and ladders, etc. What’s more, these board games can be easily customized in their layouts and props to especially serve your business marketing needs and may as well be branded to represent the same. Other than these board games, you can also probably go for comparatively cheaper options that may also help economize in terms of space, such as cards, tarot card reading or a simple game of rolling the dice.

4. Mini arcade-themed booths:

For a truly immersive experience, a well-on-theme trade show booth is an option like no other. Granted, to do it well you will once again require a spacious booth and power supply. But fret not, even if you can’t recreate a mini arcade at your booth, even one or two machines will do the trick in effectively engaging the visitors and making your booth a must-visit during the exhibition. For a complete thematic makeover, don’t forget the lights and music, albeit keeping in mind that it doesn’t distract from your original communication purposes. Otherwise, a small selection of the most popular arcade games such as basketball, golf, dance-off, air hockey, big punch, etc. will suffice too. If you wish to truly evoke the 80s and 90s nostalgia, try outsourcing the classic arcade game machines such as X-Men and Mutant Ninja Turtles.

5. Museums:

Taking our cue from the previous gamifying options, we may also consider how games may not be for every demographic or consumer group, or might not exactly blend seamlessly with your brand’s image. This, another equally immersive and unique trade show booth option is to have it designed like a museum. While brands with a long and interesting history might choose to display their own story in an archival setup, it is not necessary to have a legacy to flaunt for such exhibition stands. Take your pick from the popular museums around the globe- art, dolls, colouring books, handicrafts- you will find that the options are endless. The theme and content can be made to overlap with your line of business or even the concerns your campaign has been tackling of late. For instance, if yours is a transport business, a vehicle museum is a great choice- and no, you don’t have to fret about importing life-sized cars and clearing out massive space to arrange the same. You can have their miniature versions made from artisans or opt for a digital archive display, playing documentaries and manufacturing footage on different screens, labelled adequately. If you have attached yourself to a particular social cause, this presentation mode can serve for awareness as well, enlightening visitors and contributing to a deeper attachment with your brand. Don’t forget to train some of your staff to act as museum guides, equipped with any extra information that may be needed to fill in the gaps.

6. Photo op:

Perhaps the most popular and easiest to construct with the myriad options available, this simple idea can also be levelled up to a creative trade show booth. You may either only provide the background and props for making memories, or assist in clicking pictures as well to provide for keepsakes from the event. In the latter case, you will need a printer at hand and can use this opportunity to brand the pictures taken with your logo and contact information. You may also ask for the visitors’ email addresses to send them high quality images and combine this activity with prospects of lead generation.

  1. Photo op wall:

    A decorative backdrop that complements the theme of your booth is a minimum-effort investment into attracting visitors to stay a while at your booth. You may also assign a staff member to keep an eye and offer to click pictures for individuals or an entire group, if needed. You may also substitute this for a green screen photo booth ( ) that allows greater freedom to your invitees to select any background of their choice and is also cost-effective.

  2. Cut-out photo op:

    From Polaroid cut-outs to more elaborate sets such as a forest, a castle, the bottom of the ocean or space, this is another cool idea to transform your booth and make it more lively and appealing. If going for a full-fledged scene made out of cut-outs and standees, try matching the colours and vibe of your exhibition stand.

3. Anti-gravity photo booth:
With rentals abounding, why not do something uber cool that is bound to enrapture the audience? An anti-gravity photo booth is sure to turn heads and make for some out-of-the-box poses!
4. Boomerang photo booth:
Video booths are also quickly rising in popularity, and a middle ground between them and photo booths is the boomerang photo booth that takes multiple pictures in quick succession, which can be combined in a video to be played forward or backward. Other fun video booth options consist of the 360 degree spin photo booth that has a revolving camera to generate customisable videos of visitors and the slow-mo booth that churns out videos on which one can put on music and share online.
5. Virtual photo booth:
Engage in some low-effort pre-show marketing with a personalized virtual photo booth that can be accessed from anywhere in the world, allowing users to generate their own photos.
6. Magic mirror photo booth:
This smart mirror is capable of interacting with attendees- taking high quality photos and providing instant printouts set in a customisable template.
7. Slingshot activity photo booth:
Enabled with a sketching software, the slingshot setup traces your activity (movement) to transform the process of your shot hitting the wall into art. Thus, it has double the benefits of an ordinary photo booth, making a little challenge out of creating the visitors’ souvenirs.

7. Miscellaneous:

   1. Treasure hunt:

This is a smart way to go beyond the allotted booth space and make the entire exhibition venue your playground. A treasure hunt can be made out of searching for actual objects or scouring the ground for hidden QR codes that either lead to the succeeding clue or offer a chance at a prize of some kind.

2. Digital kiosks:

Cute and classic, keypad or touchscreen kiosks are compact displays that can help save space and offer visitors coming your way something to do. It can be informative or entertaining.

3. Live theatre:

Provided you have the space, a live theatre play is a stunning way to capture the interest of the attendees. Especially fruitful for an elaborate marketing campaign, a creative use of performance art not only enthralls the people but also leaves a deeper impact, making them more receptive to your message.

4. Special guests:

Of course, in the age of Instagram, we cannot overstate the importance of influencer marketing. So if you cannot invite celebrities and performers because of budget constraints, striking a beneficial deal with an influencer is in your best interest. While adding the human component and increasing the reliability factor, this may also prove to be a lasting relationship and extend the chances of your business promotion by word-of-mouth and social media engagement.

5. Social wall, mosaic and post-its:

Fairs, exhibitions and conferences are transient occasions, wrapped up and gone in the blink of an eye. The heady experience of such events can make it even harder to keep track of time. So, while interacting with the attendees coming your way, find a way to make it last, or even better, create something tangible out of it. While souvenirs tend to be more personal, a wall is a collective effort and thus, allows for even more opportunities for engagement among the visitors and exchange of ideas. An obviously eye-catching display such as a social wall connecting your social media channels and following your hashtags for the event, a digital or physical mosaic that arranges photos printed by the visitors in a predetermined layout to resemble the company logo or some other shape, and a post-it wall scribbled with feedback, memories, goals and wishes, or even an answer to a simple question you can ask, are great ways to harmonize with the crowd, making them stay and seek valuable engagement.

6. Bobblehead:
A slight variation of ordinary standees is what we call a bobblehead, which comprises printed heads of visitors attached to spring bodies so that it bobs, in the imitation of a nod. These fun and cute bobbleheads are customisable and thus, make for great takeaways to contribute to the experience at your booth.
7. Miniature kitchen:

A mini kitchen where your visitors can collaborate in exploring different recipes and taste the final product or a living room setup are not just brand-specific booth designs. By engaging the senses and creating a serene ambiance, they contribute to the vistors’ experience and convey a lot about your work ethic and the company’s consideration for its customers.


4. Conclusion

You will be surprised how easy it is to get lost in the flurry of ideas and the bustle such fun activities might create. Through all of them, it is absolutely essential that you do not forget your purpose of participation in the exhibit, the success of which is weighed in terms of lead generation, sales and the impression made- solid enough to drive the audience to action. Interactive trade show booths, cool as they are, serve definite purposes- they buy you time and instill your brand message by seeing and doing. To optimise their functioning, make sure to subtly incorporate your logo and brand colours in the props and souvenirs offered at your exhibition stand- not too much that it looks tacky but prominent enough to garner attention. Plan out the activities and overall experience at your booth such that it is not an “out of sight, out of mind” scenario. Brand identification and a positive reflection of your business in the booth set-up and staff’s behaviour are crucial. While in-person communication is great, it can also be invasive and limiting, so make sure to supplement it with plenty of other visual guides for your products to aid the customers’ understanding of them at their own pace. Customisable interactive booths are a creative solution for enjoyable engagement with your business, promising retention of your campaign’s message with recurring visual cues. Be thorough with your assessment of the efficacy of the technology you have installed at your trade show booth, providing instructions wherever necessary. Overall, the booth and its facets should remain easily navigable, especially the self-serving components and the feedback and live chat systems, if any. Test it out thoroughly and better still, try to envision the experience your exhibition stand offers woven intricately with your business campaign. Does it tell a story? Do the parts fit together to form a complete picture? What does the view serve for? With interactive trade show booths, you can expand the constraints of space and time that are nearly unavoidable when it comes to participating in an exhibit. Focus on a cohesive outlook to create an impression that will outlast the event.

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