With tens of thousands of attendees and 1,000 exhibitors at each NAHB International Builders’ Show® (IBS), a creative show booth makes your space stand out from the crowd and from your competition. A booth that attracts attention attracts more visitors to your booth, which means more quality leads, quality conversations and an opportunity to close more business.
Draw inspiration for your own trade show booth from these 13 creative ideas.
#1 Miniature Kitchen
Food is always a crowd pleaser. The kitchen is the focal point of a home. It’s where families gather to share meals, talk and socialize. A mini kitchen as a booth is sure to attract visitors. Add a TV screen to showcase your “delicious” work (your product, service, product demonstrations, etc.).
You can have live demos of your product and show them on the TV screen to ensure that everyone can see the demos as they unfold. You can also display product information or your product “ingredients” on the TV screens, too.
Why it works: It creates an interactive experience that engages attendees. You don’t have to have a kitchen-related product or service for a mini-kitchen booth either. You can use the mini kitchen to represent your home building industry product, company culture or something else.
#2 Selfie Station/Photo Booth
Incorporate a backdrop to create a selfie station or add a photo booth. Make some exciting props and the right backdrop available. Add some industry-related cardboard cutouts, such as skilled trade workers, tools, industry experts, etc. Include a picture frame branded with your company name and logo and come up with the perfect #hashtag for attendees to tag when they post their selfies!
Why it works: People post selfies wherever they go, when interacting with places, products and people. User-generated content is the perfect way for your product and booth to go viral on social media and spread the word about your brand or product beyond the show floor.
#3 Interactive Booth Games
Set your booth up as an interactive game show. Have a trivia style game where you ask industry trivia or trivia about IBS speakers (especially if they are speakers that are employees from your company). Add a game show wheel where booth attendees can spin to win valuable prizes and promotional items from your company.
Why it works: Games like this encourage interaction. Games and prizes are a great way to draw attendees to your booth and keep them there for a while. Plus, games are fun!
#4 Lounge Area
Set up your booth as a lounge or living room. Add couches, chairs, an area rug, tables, lamps or a chandelier. Include charging stations so visitors can charge their electronics. Attach yard or wood letters to a “wall” of your booth with your company name, slogan or a custom message.
Why it works: Home is where the heart is. It makes attendees feel comfortable and provides a spot to relax. It creates a warm and welcoming area that attracts visitors to sit and stay for a while. It also creates the perfect meeting spot to have conversations with attendees but in a casual and laidback way, not a salesy overzealous way.
#5 Go Vertical
Convention center ceilings are usually high so don’t waste that space. Fill it up instead by taking your booth to vertical heights. You can build up your booth using inclines, ramps, stairs or multiple levels.
Float a banner or signage up high, add decorations above your booth or use dynamic lighting (like colored spotlights). Add a balcony and add an emcee from your company. If your budget and logistics allow, hang strings of flowers or lights or drape cloths from the ceiling to hang down above your booth.
Why it works: Since your booth literally stands up above the crowd, it attracts attention from clear across the room. It allows you to work in a smaller horizontal space because your booth is more vertical in design.
#6 Be a Round Peg in a Square World
While most booths are rectangular or square, you can make your booth stand out by making it round. You can install a round “reception desk” as the focal point of your booth space.
Why it works: It creates a more inviting atmosphere where the background (your company lettering or banner) is visible on the sides. A round booth is also accessible on all sides. It’s a simple display void of clutter that creates a more approachable booth.
#7 Test Lab
Create a “lab” or area where attendees can test your product. This is an especially good booth setting if you are debuting a product at the show.
Why it works: While attendees love to see how products work during live demos, there’s nothing better than getting hands-on experience by test driving the product themselves. One of the main reasons people visit trade shows is to discover AND test new products. A launch of a new product at a trade show is a great way to attract crowds to your booth.
#8 Interactive Question Wall
Pose an industry or product question on a wall in your booth. Have booth visitors add their answer to the wall with markers, chalk, pens or even sticky notes.
Why it works: It creates an interactive experience that entices people to participate and think about your company/product/service. Creating an active experience makes your booth one they’ll talk about during and after the show. People are always interested in sharing their opinions, so it draws people to your booth to do just that. Attendees also like to read what their peers say.
#9 Recreate Your Show Room
If you have a show room, re-create your show room on the show floor. Set up your walls, décor, products, etc., just as it looks back home at your business location. You’re literally bringing your business to the show.
Why it works: You’re literally bringing your business, company culture and space to the show floor. It makes visitors feel like they are stepping into your “office” or show room. It immerses visitors in your product experience.
#10 Entertain Them
Play music, have a band or live performer like a musician, hire a speed artist or caricaturist and have a charismatic emcee. The emcee can be a pro or can be one of your employees.
Why it works: All these draw people into your booth and make them stay while. Music, magicians, an emcee, etc., hook attendees. Portrait artists or caricaturists give them a tangible item they can take home with them.
#11 Bring the Fun
Bring fun toys, play games, create a touch screen game kiosk or use 3D virtual technologies like VR and AR. Get creative and come up with fun activities for your booth.
Why it works: It breaks up the monotony for attendees. It provides visitors with a respite from the same old trade show booth. It allows visitors to interact with you and your product in a casual, interactive and FUN way. Gamification uses the same
mechanics that make video games so addictive. Visitors are eager to try new technologies, so while most have heard of VR, they’ve never tried it until now.
#12 Vending Machine
Rent a vending machine that dispenses your product samples and other fun items. Be sure to brand the exterior of the vending machine with your company logo, colors, slogan, picture of your product, etc. Add a mix of your product samples and funny prizes. Create a “Make a Deal” situation where prize winners have a chance to give up their prize for what’s behind curtain #1, for example.
Why it works: Vending machines attract attention, spur social media engagement and give “prizes.” People love to get free things and it creates anticipation when waiting to see what the vending machine dispenses as their prize.
#13 Turn Your Product into a Booth
If you sell doors, add actual doors to your booth. Install wine cellars? Make your booth a walk-in wine fridge or a large-scale wine barrel. Provide flooring? Add flooring to your booth on top of the boring convention center flooring. Take it the next level by turning the floors into a huge “game board” for chess, checkers, Twister or another game.
Why it works: It places the product front and center, creates brand awareness and interest. It’s also visually appealing and creates product immersion since they are literally stepping into your win barrel, walking through your door or stepping on your flooring.
IBS 2024 is happening in Vegas, Feb 27-29. Many IBS exhibitors get creative with their booths. We’d love to see your creative booth ideas on the show floor. Apply to exhibit today.