How to attract visitors to your exhibition stand

Exhibitions or trade shows can be a great way to generate new business and build exposure for your brand. Here, we offer tips on how to make your exhibition stall noticeable among all the others, how to attract a crowd to your stand, and how to keep them there by making it the most interesting stand on the strip.

How do I make my exhibition stand out?

First things first – you need your exhibition stand to get you noticed. When visitors first arrive at an exhibition they are mesmerised by hundreds of trade stalls, lights and throngs of people, all competing for their attention. So how will you make your stand sing out amongst all the other noise and attract those all-important visitors? 

(Psst If you want to see how we’ve done this for others look at our recent exhibition stand designs)

Grab attention

It takes a great deal of work to create a space that will stand out in a large exhibition hall full of competing businesses. So, when you’re working on your exhibition plan ensure that your stand will have enough impact to grab attention – You don’t want to be the quiet, empty one in the middle of a row of buzzing stands. 

The more creative it is, the more likely it is to attract attention, and the more memorable it will be. This will require working with an exhibition stand supplier who knows their stuff and can create a masterpiece that will get you noticed. A distinctive design, bold graphics and great lighting are essential to making your stand noticeable and attract more foot traffic. If your stand isn’t visible from the end of the aisle, you’re not doing it right. 

Use your experience

Do you remember the last time you attended a trade show as a visitor? What was the one exhibition stand that stood out for you? Was it large and flashy or was it small and friendly? Take some inspiration. But consider why – you may be trying to entice a completely different calibre of visitor.  For this reason, you may find that what your competitors aren’t doing is the best way to attract attention. So, for example, if your competitors are big and impressive, you might consider focusing on being smaller and more approachable.

Consider location and layout

How might your location in the exhibition affect your footfall. Do you have a choice in location? If your stand is placed at the back where fewer people venture, you may need to work even harder to stand out than one by the entrance. Then there’s the layout of the stand itself. Your exhibition plan should include how to optimise the layout to make it inviting for visitors. Display systems, literature stands, banners, exhibition counters, integrated display equipment and coffee machines – everything can be optimised to ensure heavy footfall for your stand. 

Get great lighting

One way to stand out is to include some good lighting in your exhibition plan. A well-designed and lit exhibition will attract the attention you need. For example, consider lettering across the back, lit up (tastefully) with neon, or illuminated flooring, which can create a lovely fun atmosphere. 

Read our 10 Exhibition Stand Design Ideas article for more on how to stand out.

roseview windows, the fit show, nec2
Together Display Stand Detail
neca kidirobot Iron Man Stand Detail

How do you attract a crowd to your stand? 

Once you have done everything in your power to make your stand eye-catching, how do you pull those visitors in?  Visitors are easily distracted by the array of other stands so unless you’re working hard to entice them in and engage with them, they may admire your all-singing stand, but might just pass by without stopping. 

Give people the heads-up 

Hopefully you will already have marketed your exhibition presence online, using your in-house mailing list to contact existing customers and invite them to visit your stand at the event. Giving people a heads-up that you’ll be at the exhibition, telling them where to find you and mentioning any giveaways or competitions you’ll be hosting can make a big difference to the number of visitors. You only need one or two visitors over the threshold to open the floodgates – if visitors see people at your stand, they’ll want to know what they’re missing.

Promoting through social media ahead of the event can be another great way to attract people, again enticing them by mentioning that your stand will feature interactive games, freebies and hot or cold refreshments. Tag other people and have a team member focus on social media to connect with others posting about the event. Regularly update your social feeds throughout the exhibition.

Offer free Wi-Fi 

Offering free Wi-Fi is another way to attract people to your stand. With so many people in one space using the internet, it can be slow. By offering free Wi-Fi, you can attract visitors, and in return ask them to create an account with their email address to log in.

How do you make an exhibition interesting?

Visitors to an exhibition or trade show will be bombarded with hundreds of marketing messages and sales pitches, so when you’re planning your exhibition stand, you’ll want to make it interesting enough for visitors to stay awhile and engage with your team and business.

Help visitors relax

Once you have visitors over the threshold, keep them there by making them feel welcome. Turn your exhibition stand into an oasis of peace. You’re looking to create a pleasant, relaxing and welcoming environment for relief from the frantic noise and chaos of the exhibition, which can be a little overwhelming for some. Offer them a seat and refreshments; tea, coffee and cake are always winners, but consider ice cream, smoothies or juices, depending on your budget. 

Giving visitors a place to relax and recharge their batteries will help to keep them longer and get them talking, allowing you to introduce your products and services. 


Businesses are becoming increasingly creative when it comes to ideas for entertaining visitors at their exhibition stands. If you want to compete then you’ll need to think outside the box. 

The world is almost your oyster in terms of creating fun and interactive activities for your visitors. If budget allows you can create the most exciting experiences like interactive technology such as digital surveys or virtual reality equipment so that customers can digitally interact with your product. Or it can be as simple as a wheel of fortune. 

Entertaining your visitors with some fun participatory activities will ensure your business stand sticks in your visitors’ memory and allows you to interact with them in a fun and informal way. 

Run competitions

Running a competition or a giveaway is another great way to increase footfall to your stand and are easy to run. You can offer prizes both large and small to suit your budget. Create a challenge for attendees with a fun quiz and you’ll have no problem keeping visitors’ attention.

Do giveaways

Exhibitions and trade shows are usually associated with giveaways – branded promotional merchandise like notepads, pens, keychains and other semi-useful corporate items are standard but there are many other options to choose from so try to think outside the box. Branded tote bags are popular and practical – attendees will need something to carry all the printed materials they collect, which means everyone will see your brand. But in return, persuade them to leave their details, otherwise they’ll disappear without leaving anything of value for you.

Put on product demos

One great way to keep the crowd interested is to launch a product demo. Demonstrations where you can showcase your products and their benefits will get attention, entice the right kinds of visitors to your stand, and hopefully create genuine leads.

All these options are great for engaging visitors, and you can ask them about their business once they are engaged. Show an interest in what they do and then you can tell them about your business. If you build a relationship with visitors this way, they’re more likely to turn into customers. A word of warning though – avoid the hard sell; nothing will put visitors off quicker than aggressive salesmanship. 

Whether it’s a small local event or a massive international trade show, follow these tactics for effectively attracting more people to your exhibition stand this year and make it your best success yet.

It can be a daunting prospect – planning an exhibition stand. Here at Park Display we have a wealth of experience in creating stands that are tailor made to your requirements to attract attention and visitors. For more information look at some of our recent projects or contact us for a free quote.