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. Here are some trade show booth ideas to attract visitors.

Ideas to Attract People to Your Trade Show Booth

Don’t settle for creating a lackluster experience. Explore these inventive, fun contest ideas to draw in attendees and create a buzz around your exhibit.


1. Social Media Contest

Social—Media-Contest giveaways

Create a hashtag for contest participants to use or encourage visitors to post pictures of your booth. Ask them to share their photos on Instagram, X, formerly Twitter or Facebook. Followers who see these posts and your hashtag will get excited to attend the event, too. This strategy also lets you track how well your efforts paid off.

At the end of the event, choose a winning post and encourage the attendee to come back to receive their prize. Be sure to give them exciting branded prizes that are worth trying to win, like a webcam cover or tote bag.

2. Champion a 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. When the trade show ends, select winners for a gift card or other promotional materials.

One on-theme prize you can offer winners includes a branded power bank they may continue to use long after the trade show, keeping your brand top of mind every time they use it.

Be sure to put up posters in the surrounding areas to attract visitors to your booth. You can also set up an inviting lounge area within your booth where attendees can relax and charge their devices. Here, your staff can engage guests in conversation about your products and services while handing out small promotional items such as bottled water and lanyards.

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. This tactic lets you collect their contact information. Participants may return to your booth throughout the day to find out if they were correct, leading to more chances to connect and make a positive impression.

When the day ends, call back the winner and offer them a surprise like a jar of sweet treats or a box of cookies.

4. Postcard Treasure Hunt

Before the event starts, place postcards with your brand name throughout the venue. Ensure these postcards contain facts about your brand, like your unique value proposition and services. 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.

Present them with exciting prizes like branded apparel. Cozy gloves and jackets are great options on a cold day, while everyone will appreciate essentials like sunscreen or a branded cap or hat on warmer days. Combining an exciting contest with valuable information about your company will help you create more brand recognition and increase conversions for your business.

5. Sports Betting Contest

Sports-Betting-Contest giveaways

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 branded water bottles, a personalized megaphone or face paint to the winners so they can further show their support to the teams playing.

6. Trade Show Carnival

Another fun contest idea for events is to host carnival games such as bean bag tosses, foam shooter games 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. These can include a cellphone grip and fidget spinners that double as bottle openers. Give younger contestants toys like branded bubbles or yo-yos.

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. This fun contest idea provides an excellent opportunity to engage in meaningful conversation with visitors about your brand and gain new leads. Be sure to give your winners valuable, long-lasting prizes such as branded earbuds to ensure they remember your company each time they use it.

8. Classic Trivia Contest

Drawing in visitors with a teaser question and offering a longer quiz once they show interest creates the perfect opportunity to promote your company to attendees without overselling. Trivia games let attendees learn more about your products and give you more time to talk to potential clients about your company’s products or services.

Try to keep it as fun and interesting as possible and turn it into a competition between visitors, offering small prizes such as branded snack gift bags to all winners. You can also attract more guests by writing the winners’ names and number of correct guesses on a whiteboard, encouraging people to return to your booth to see their ranking.

9. Fishbowl Raffle Contest

One of the best simple contest ideas involves a fishbowl raffle. 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.

While you easily gain your attendees’ contact information, you can also give them memorable prizes that ensure your contestants remember you too. Some giveaways that will get people excited to join your contest include top tech products like mobile charging pads, headphones and speakers.

10. Spin to Win


Everyone is a winner with a spin-to-win game! This contest involves a board with a mixture of small and large prizes that contestants can get for free by spinning the wheel. Allow attendees 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 or other branded apparel.

Find Trade Show Promotional Prizes at ePromos!

Using these 10 trade show booth ideas to attract visitors can help you draw in a larger crowd and create better experiences for your potential consumers. If you’re looking for impressive prize ideas for trade shows, ePromos offers a wide selection of promotional prizes to help keep your brand top of mind after participating in your contests.

ePromos is a promotional product provider that will add your branding to your contest prizes. For quality promotional prizes for your trade show games and contests, browse our large selection of promotional products today or speak with an expert at 877-377-6667.

Additional Trade Show Resources

Updated: March 7th, 2024

About Author

Katie Salerno Avatar

Katie S.

Reviewed By: Kaite S. - Marketing Brand Specialist

Tenacious brand warrior who is laser-focused on boosting our brand through effective social media presence and multiple resources. Principal producer of marvelous messages and email exposés. Message + Creative maestro who has an opening for a puppy co-worker with the expectation they stay clear of her pommes frites.