Trade Show Booth Ideas to Liven Up Your Product Demos

Let’s talk product-specific strategies today, specifically, about trade show booth ideas to liven up your product demos. What can you do to boost traffic and sales?

Your average trade show guest is, of course, bombarded with sales pitches from the moment he steps on the show floor – if not sooner! It’s easy for guests to get overwhelmed, and they’ll quickly start losing track of who they talked to, and about what products – especially if all they’ve had is a talk or some pamphlets.

To really make an impression on your exposition visitors, you need to make your product come to life for them in some way. The more real you can make it seem real to them, the better. They’re more likely to remember you after the show, and more likely to pick up that sales conversation where it left off.

product demo illustration Trade Show Booth Ideas to Liven Up Your Product Demos

So, let’s talk product-specific strategies today. What can you do to help ensure your product tradeshow booth comes to life in the mind of each visitor, rather than just becoming one more booklet in the swag bag?

Trade Show Booth Ideas to Liven Up Your Product Demos & Bring Them To Life

In this section, we’re talking about all the ways that you can optimize your tradeshow booth to appeal to an attendee and turn them into a potential customer. It’s important to remember that, although the ideas are different, the end goal is the same.

An effective exhibition booth displays the benefits of your product in a way that will appeal to your target market. It is a way of communicating your brand message in the manner that is most likely to secure a sale. 

Keep this main idea in mind as you read through our list. Consider how these booth design ideas fit into your marketing strategy overall. 

Of course, whenever possible, the best option is always to start it off with the option that we consider to be the best way to showcase a product. 

I. The Hands-On Demo

If your product can get inside the trade show, you should be looking for a way to show it off live. Having an actual demonstration product demo will turn the product presentation into an experience for the visitor, creating a memory of your interactive display that’ is far more likely to stick than any number of sales pitches they hear.

When possible, the demonstration should be a guided experience, with you talking your guest through each step. This can work even for everyday products a person would be familiar with.

The key is to focus on the benefits that might influence the purchase decisions of your target audience. There is probably a lot you could say about your product, but you want to focus on the key variables that will appeal to them most.

Think of wine tastings and how a pretty simple process is drawn out, with each step carefully considered. That’s the essence of a good trade show demo.

Basically, the most successful demos give the client plenty of hands-on time with the product, coupled with patter aimed at getting them to see it as part of their lives. After all, it’s already in their hands.

Virtual Product Demo

II. The Virtual Demo

OK, so your product won’t fit through the front door, or for some strange reason the exposition promoters don’t allow jackhammer demonstrations. The next-best trade show booth idea is to go virtual.

A well-crafted multimedia presentation on Android or iPad tablet kiosks can give your booth visitors a hands-on experience that’s nearly as good as holding the real thing.

Look for interactive elements – it shouldn’t simply be your promotional video on a tablet. 3D models are good; Augmented Reality features that allow a visitor to put themselves in with your product is better.

If you can convince them to link to you on social networks during the process, all the better. (Is there, for example, anything you could do to integrate photos on their timeline with your product?)

The other advantage of tablet-based demos is that they do take some of the pressure off your staff to talk to everyone.  However, try not to automate the process to the point someone could play with the demo, order lit, and then get away without even talking to someone. Get at least a little face time in there.

III. Live Talks

So, perhaps your product doesn’t quite exist yet, or you’re not ready to show it off in public. This, of course, makes the problem of making your wares come alive quite a bit harder.

However, focusing on the product pitch from a client’s point of view, a live presentation generally creates the next-most engaging experience. There’s something about watching someone climb up onstage and grab a mic that immediately makes people pay attention, even amongst busy expo booths.

Plus, if you give a great presentation with plenty of supplementary elements, you’ll be giving the best all-around look at your product, delivered by someone who’s enthusiastic about the project.

One of the major aspects of a good presentation is confidence. You need to be able to explain the benefits of the product, but it is almost more important that these benefits are communicated by someone who actually believes what they are saying.

Consumers can tell if a person is confident in their words, and it goes a long way in having them believe what you are saying is true. A confident speaker is one of the most reliable ways to engage attendees. 

IV. Video

In terms of really making your product “pop” at trade shows, you want more than just video or slideshow presentations. However, sometimes that might just be all you have to work with. In this case, look for ways to turn the video itself into an experience for the guest potential client.

If there’s room, you could set up a small tented-off area in the back where people can simply sit down for a few minutes while they watch the presentation. Throw in some free soda or popcorn, and give it a bit of a theatrical feel. Look for a gimmick that makes the video stand out.

To add a bit more to the experience, add whatever information you can into your booth decorations and items around your makeshift theater. Put up charts, or product pictures, or data sheets that didn’t make it into the main video.

Basically, every bit of extra info you can throw in there is more evidence that your product is real and worth investing in, to a skeptical trade show visitor.

V. Personal Talks

If you’ve just got nothing to fall back on besides product sketches or mockups, look to create face time. It’s going to be down to your salespeople’s ability to bring it to life through their discussions with the client.

Bring plenty of tables and chairs, to encourage longer chats about your products. Air conditioning or snacks will further encourage people to hang around a little longer to hear about your vision. Even a plain investor speech can be made experiential at a trade show.

But you need to make sure that your booth staff are clear on the main messages they need to be communicating. They need to well briefed on the features and benefits offered by the product, and they need to be enthusiastic enough to communicate it with confidence. 

VI. Testimonials

When you can, try to incorporate real testimonials and consumer reviews into your product demos. The customer knows you are trying to sell them something.

But if you can incorporate real reviews from objective sources that the customer trusts, it goes a long way in communicating the benefits of your product. 

Try to incorporate excerpts from real reviews and customer feedback into your presentation, however you decide to promote it. Even mentioning things about how well your product is selling can help your potential customer to understand that yours is a product people know and trust. Anything that proves real people are using and enjoying your product goes a long way. 

use contest giveaways to liven product demos

VII. Contest

Hosting a contest at your booth is a great way to get people engaged. It draws people into your booth, which gives you the opportunity to communicate your product’s benefits in your own way.

For example, you can advertise that they will be entered into a draw to win your product upon completion of a presentation or a product demo. This fills your booth with more people, and increases potential lead generation. 

Consider printing large displays to advertise your contest, so that people around the event floor know it is occurring. The main barrier with this strategy is actually presenting an effective sales pitch once you have their attention, so that they become interested in your brand, and not just the contest. 

VII. Keep it Simple

This one is more of an overall strategic suggestion than an actual suggestion about how to display and promote your products, but it’s an important suggestion nonetheless. When designing your booth space and product demos, it generally helps to keep it simple. 

Don’t focus on showcasing too many products at once, or confusing your customers with too much information. If a booth is overwhelming, people can get stressed out and abandon the experience altogether.

Your booth needs to have a narrow focus that communicates a simple message about a product and relays that benefit to your customer. 

So whichever method of product showcasing you settle on, be sure to keep the message focused and direct. Don’t overwhelm the customer with choice, but give them a simple, direct message that conveys maximum value. This might mean that you only settle on one method above, and that you really focus in on it. 

Conclusion: Trade Show Booth Ideas to Liven Up Your Product Demos

The running theme here is pretty simple – the more directly engaging your presentations are for a visitor, the more impact they’ll have. You get engagement by making the visitor an active part of a process, and actually doing something, rather than just sitting and receiving sales pitches.

Virtually anything you can add to your trade show displays that inspires a visitor to get hands-on with your products is going to add punch to your sales pitches.

That’s why it’s vitally important to consider your presentations from the perspective of your audience, and look to add more ways for them to contribute or interact to create interactive displays which encourage participation.

Great trade show booth and display ideas and effective product demos and presentations are often just the thing that will turn your next trade show appearance into a success.

For information on demos, check out our article on compelling demos or how to simplify your presentations.

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