Tradeshow Marketing

4 Ways to Set the Right Mood at Your Trade Show Booth

It’s never been more important to stand out at a live event than now. In this blog we talk about creating the right mood at your trade show booth, and how it can help.

There are a lot of factors to consider when getting ready to display your business at a live event. 

How can I maximize engagement? What should be the main focal point of the booth? Which marketing strategies are the best to increase ROI? 

Yes, it is great that you want to entertain the visitors, but it can never be the sole objective of your participation. While these are all evidently important questions to be asking yourself and your team, you also should consider what the attendee will be looking for. 

It’s important to establish the right mood at your trade show booth, so that you are meeting not just your marketing goals, but standing out from the crowd.

The average attendee spends about 13 minutes at each exhibit targeted for a visit, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research. Encouraging  attendees to stay at your booth with an exciting game is one thing however initially alluring them to the booth is a greater feat. 

So here are some other questions you should be fleshing out with your team in preparation for your booth presentation-

  • What mood does your business want to convey? 
  • Can personalization go beyond engagement? 
  • How can you maximize the layout and space at the live event for your booth?

Understanding how to answer these questions lies within general methods of booth display. These will help to generate the ideal mood that fits your brand’s story and goals. There are many different ways to uniquely display your brand at live events:

  • Unique interactive activities
  • Lighting and layout
  • Using color in your display
  • Telling your brand's story

Let’s get into it!

1. Unique Interactive Activities 

Your trade show booth must exemplify your brand image as well as evoke an inviting and enticing mood. As all exhibitors know, attendees are pulled in many directions at live events with so many booths competing for attendees' time. It can be overwhelming to marry your creative tactics with the overall theme of your booth. How can it blend together? You need an interactive activity at your booth that helps you achieve both these objectives. Here are some fun and unique trade show activities. 

  • Custom Trade Show Trivia Game: Of course, a great example of this is having a fun trade show trivia game centered around your brand’s theme. This addition can be both exciting for your attendees and highly successful in meeting your event objectives. And the ideas for interactive additions don’t stop there. With technology at the forefront of a lot of exhibitions, think about if tech ties in with how you wish to exemplify your brand image. 
  • Scratch Cards: While a custom trivia game is under the world of tech, think about Branded Scratch-Off Cards. You can distribute branded scratch-off cards among your booth visitors to keep things interactive and interesting. The exciting activity will keep things lively and attract more traffic to your booth and large displays to showcase the top prizes to make the game highly captivating.
  • Scavenger Hunt: A scavenger hunt is also one of the most fun games for trade show booths as it fascinates and arouses curiosity, and has been around much longer than tech. The game involves subtle clues based on which the participants must collect the hidden items spread across the play area. You can use the booth area or even the entire trade show floor to hide the items, but only after getting permission from the organizer and sometimes other exhibitors. And that’s where the problem also lies for this activity though. It needs space and you may not always have that luxury. 

If you’re looking for more ideas, do read this blog where we share, Top 10 Trade Show Games & Activities

2. Lighting and Layout

Lighting is probably one of the most important aspects of creating your trade show booth. Using the right shades, colors and hues are going to attract certain demographics. There is also the task of standing out amongst the crowd in a conference hall that probably has drab lighting. You want to stand out! 

The look of the lights and lamps is a really big component to your booth. But we are to remember about the principal, which is their layout. This is where color comes into play and how to marry it with your branding. According to BTWN Events, following the 60% - 30% - 10% rule is a great place to start when choosing which lighting to use. 

60% - Primary Color: First, you want to think about your brand’s primary color. This really goes along with telling your brands’ story, which we’ll talk briefly about below. Applying  your primary color to 60% of your lighting will unify the different elements of your booth design. 

30% - Secondary Color: Next, save 30% of your space to employ your secondary color. It will create delightful contrasts with your primary color lighting, and help to establish visual interest for the attendees. Having these accents will aid you in showing attendees the most important elements of your booth, such as a product or unique attraction or  valuable marketing messages.

10% - Accent Color: Finally, the accent color lighting should be the last 10% of your booth design. This color helps emphasize the important elements you make use of. This also can include a custom game, graphics, leaderboards or banners.


It’s good to note that this breakdown of color percentage in your booth can be utilized both with lighting and other elements. There are many different types of lighting that can be used in conjunction with color use, such as LED lights, banner lights, Fluorescent lamps or spotlight lamps. Though 

3. Using  Color in Your Display

When used strategically, color helps brands establish an emotional connection with people. For instance, what emotion do you resonate with a red color. Your answer would probably be anger, love, or war, right? Similarly, orange is known to elicit responses like joy, action, play, or warmth, or white typically stands for peace, calmness, and truth.

While the color used in display would depend largely on the color scheme followed by your brand in its logos, websites and other marketing collaterals, you can play around with it depending on the type of event you’re participating in. 

The idea is to grab a passing attendee’s attention and elicit a response. It is important though to use color clearly and cohesively, so that your brand is communicated effectively. Color has a way of doing all the talking, and so used correctly, will help to initially get the attention of your audience, as mentioned above. 

If you’ve not yet decided on the color to be used, read this quick guide on some of the possible colors you can use. 

4. Telling A Story 

A live event is the idyllic opportunity to tell your brand’s story to your peers in the industry. When getting down to the meat and bones of marketing, so to speak, figuring out what story you want to tell and how you bring in visitors to your booth is a very big step. A customer will never buy from you or hire your company if they don’t trust you, and they might never get to that trust if they don’t know you and don’t relate with you. 

Knowing what story you want to tell at a live event can affect the set up from top to bottom. Consider how to incorporate the answers to these Why’s into your booth: 

  • Why does your company do what you do, offer what you offer?
  • What drives you and what drives your business? 
  • Why are event attendees and customers coming to you? What can you offer them?
  • Why should event attendees use your service or product? 

As each brand, marketing goal and live event differ, there is no one special recipe for one exhibitor. However, following a general guideline of what statistically works to attract attendees and finding what works for your unique brand is a sure way to have a successful event time and time again. 

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