10 Contest Ideas to Attract People to Your Tradeshow Booth

If your company secures a booth at the latest trade show, it’s vital to create a great first impression on the hundreds of potential customers attending. But how do you make your company stand out from the rest?

Interactive activities such as contests will attract customers to your booth and provide a perfect opportunity to begin a conversation and make a positive first impression. Some trade show contest ideas to attract attendees include:


1. Social Media Contest

Create a hashtag for contest participants to use or encourage visitors to post pictures of your booth. Choose a winning post at the end of the event and encourage the attendee to come back to your booth to receive their prize.

2. Champion Charging Station

Long days at an industry event mean guests rely more on their phones and technology than usual, making it essential to have a way to charge them. One way to take your charging station to the next level is to create a QR code for visitors to scan. At the end of the day, you can select a certain number of winners for a gift card or other promotional materials.

3. Candy Jar Counter

Fill a jar with candy, pennies or other small objects and have attendees guess how many there are, submitting their guesses on their business cards. Participants may come back to your booth throughout the day to find out if they were correct, leading to more chances to connect and make a positive impression.

4. Postcard Treasure Hunt

Before the event starts, place postcards with your brand name throughout the venue. As attendees walk by your booth, make a point to tell them about the hidden postcards. Reward guests with prizes when they find your postcards and return them to your booth.

5. Sports Betting Contest

If a sporting event is occurring during your trade show, you can appeal to the fans in the crowd by playing a video or radio announcement of the game. Let guests bet on the next goal or pitch and hand out prizes such as water bottles or duffle bags to the winners.

6. Trade Show Carnival

Another fun contest idea for events is to host carnival games such as bean bag tosses or a basketball shootout. Since you’ll have multiple winners for your carnival games, you can sweeten the deal for attendees and your brand by offering small, branded items as prizes.

7. Spot the Difference Contest

Show two photographs at the event or post them on social media and have attendees guess the difference between them. Or, upload a picture of your booth and make a few small changes to see if anyone can spot the differences in person.

8. Classic Trivia Contest

Draw visitors in with a teaser question and then offer a longer quiz once they show interest. Offering the chance for trivia allows attendees to learn more about your products and gives you more time to talk to clients about your company’s benefits.

9. Fishbowl Raffle Contest

Fishbowl drawings take little effort, as they only require attendees to place their business cards in a container. At the end of the day, you can draw winners and attract them back to your booth for a prize with this convention giveaway idea.

10. Spin to Win

Everyone is a winner with a spin to win game! Allow attendees a chance to spin after they give you their business card or email address. Depending on their spin, you can offer small prizes such as pens or larger prizes such as tote bags.

Find Promotional Prizes at ePromos!

While offering games and contests is a great way to draw in customers, one of the best ways to keep them engaged is by offering promotional prizes. At ePromos, we offer a variety of items you can tailor with your company’s logo. Browse our branding ideas to find the perfect promotional products today!

Additional Tradeshow Resources:

Updated: January 16, 2023

About Author

Avatar photo

Heather D.

Reviewed by: Heather D. - Marketing Manager

Harbinger of the hallowed marketing halls of research, communication, and creativity. Strategic thinker who works best late at night or with coffee in hand. Steam-drives initiatives to heighten brand awareness and reach targeted audiences. Collaborates cross-functionally to obtain miraculous results to elevate ePromos to Platform 9¾.