5 simple ways to attract visitors to your exhibition stand

An increasing number of artisan food and drink producers, and even some specialist retailers are choosing to exhibit their product at trade shows. When it comes to powerful visual merchandising and retail display, your exhibition stand is no different. You want an attractive but versatile solution? One that’s easy to set up and doesn’t cost a fortune? Sounds simple enough. It’s certainly true that budgets can be tight when it comes to exhibition costs at trade shows, and there is always a need to justify the expense. Many custom built stands don’t come cheap, still, well designed exhibition stands can be hugely rewarding for you in the long run. It’s vital that you ensure a steady stream of interested visitors and leave with a black book full to brimming of potential orders and contacts; and your name on everybody’s lips! That’s the idea anyway. With many retail display, visual merchandising props and signage options on the market, here are a few simple steps you can take that won’t cost the earth and will ensure you’re well prepared in advance.

Your exhibition stand MUST clearly and effectively define:

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • How you can help


Quick, efficient and cost-effective visual merchandising solutions. This is where you consider the shell of your exhibition stand. It’s all very well having a fancy design but if you cannot afford costly 3rd party set designers and set builders, consider a pop up booth instead. A banner stand, collapsible table-top displays, ready-made wooden display stands are all attractive options. Or build a simple set from authentic materials like vintage apple crates and chitting trays; an affordable alternative when bought at wholesale trade prices too. In our range of retail display units, we’ve included a specially designed 10 x vintage apple crate display unit on wheels, ready made up and ready to go! It recently appeared in the ‘Stars of my shelves’ feature in Fine Food Digest.


Antique Crates for Retail Display

Deciding on a visual merchandising theme or story can often help you plan the way you lay out your product. Using basic principles of retail display, a simple chocolate bar can look even more enticing when it’s displayed in a gift-wrapped hamper. Maybe you produce coffee, why not drape your display stands in authentic hessian sackcloths with your coffee beans spilling out. With a range of unique one off retail props from the PropShop to enhance your trade show displays, you can skip the traipsing through junk yards, because we’ve done the work for you.


Turn your products into profit generating gifts. Unless you’re produce ‘pull items’ or essential food products that people MUST have, many artisan food and drink manufacturers are actually producing ‘luxury’ items. That’s when the ‘how you present it’ becomes even more important. With a range of finishing touches and hamper basics like gift jar boxes or wicker baskets, there’s no excuse for not making it obvious to retailers how they can turn your product into an impulse purchase gift. You can read more about visual merchandising 101 here


We recently wrote about the attention span of consumers and how you have less than a few seconds to make an impact. Now imagine that, coupled with the chaos that trade shows create. How easy it is to ‘walk on by’. Don’t leave your message to chance. Work on your trade show displays signage, pick up reversible chalkboard signs and use retail clips and tags that tell retailers about the product your selling. Whatever you do label it!

NB. Don’t forget this is a great opportunity to shout loudly about your social media platforms. Have QR codes to hand or run competition for people who like you on facebook or start following you on twitter.



Even up to 10 days before trade shows, there is still time to order printed branded gift bags, promotional bags to give away; printed bags that feature your logo and your name. This is a great way to advertise your brand even after visitors walk away. Bags for life, jute bags, juco shoppers, cotton shopping bags, are all the rage at the moment, so it’s imperative you choose a great design, a great print and a quality bag that stands out amongst the others.




There are 3 comments for this article
  1. Merits at 10:00 am

    Another great method for engagement at exhibitions is to have some interactive elements, such as tablets and touch screen, interactive presentation, apps etc. This helps draw people in to a stand and stay active, giving you more time to approach prospective visitors.

    • Bobby Stearns at 1:27 pm

      Indeed – we call them touch points in the visual merchandising game – tasting in wine shops and delis works much the same way. There is a reason why Apple stores are so successful – they’ve learned the connection between touch and buy. Still, many shops and retail outlets fail to understand the benefit, we see signs up and down our high street telling us ‘do not touch the fruit’ or ‘careful, leave the merchandise alone’ They miss a trick. You don’t 🙂

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