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5 SENSEable Ways to Create a Memorable Brand Impression at Your Next Trade Show

By July 22, 2020 No Comments

The five human senses are like curious kittens; they must be entertained or they will soon find another ball of yarn. Be the toy that everyone wants to dig their claws into! Design your trade show booth to excite all five senses, and your reward will be a fully engaged client base.


Your mom may have taught you not to judge a book by its cover, but your eyes didn’t get the memo. Visual presentations are the most effective avenue in marketing, and first impressions are vital to defining your brand.

Consumers assess a campaign’s visual strategy within the blink of an eye. In fact, it only takes 0.05 seconds for a first impression to imprint itself in a client’s mind. To dominate this valuable headspace, be bold, be brash, and be bright.

Murky displays require too much effort from passersby, so they will do just that: pass you by. Lighten up by adding video elements and high-key color schemes to your booth. You want guests to interact with your space and engage with your brand, and nothing will catch their attention more than an inviting, illuminated design.

Case in point: Google. Their Building a Better Bay Area initiative lured onlookers with interactive posters that inspired residents to visualize a brighter tomorrow for their community. Take a digital page from Google’s book and get positive, get traffic, and get visual!


Aromas are indelibly tied to seasons and holidays. The scent of pine evokes Christmas trees and pumpkin odors immediately conjure up Halloween. Play into your visitors’ festive side by teasing their nostrils with seasonal smells to pique their curiosity. 

An aroma creates a question in people’s minds. What’s that I smell? Be prepared to answer with tangible ways in which your product represents the holiday. For example, this July 4th, waft a stream of cinnamon apple pie in the air and bolster the stunt by showing how your organization reflects Americana at its best.

Downy built an on-the-nose campaign around the sense of smell in the form of scented text messages. To achieve their sweet success, they created smart devices with the capability to emit scents associated with their line of products. While you may not have the resources to manufacture a new model of smartphone, you have an advantage over Downy: a captive audience. Guests are lining up to experience your booth, so reward their time and interest with a feast for the nostrils. 


When you drive a BMW, you want to crank that pride of ownership up to 11. The luxury automaker understands the power of audio, so they designed their 2014 M5 model with microphones to pump the engine noise crisply through the vehicle’s sound system. 

Creating the perfect soundscape for your booth is a matter of market research. What does your demo want to hear? Are they classic rock or bubble gum pop? Set the tone for your trade show presence with tunes, sound effects, and ambient noise that puts guests in the mood to connect on the wavelength of their choice. 


You want your clientele to feel the love from your trade show booth. But how can you get tactile while still respecting social distancing and sanitization rules? Think outside the box and reconsider what it means to perceive the world… and your place within it.

Lean Cuisine created a wonderfully effective campaign in Grand Central Station, of all places. By installing scales in plain sight, the initiative invited participants to weight themselves in public but to ignore traditional benchmarks of beauty and judgment. Instead, individuals were asked to assess their life achievements, which far outweigh a number on a scale.

To leverage the power of tactile marketing, consider including a velvet swatch in your swag bag or mailing strategy. In the era of social distancing, find a way to embrace your customers without touching them physically, but rather emotionally.


Is there any word in the English language more lovely than “snacks”? Nope, we didn’t think so. Tasty treats are always welcome at a trade show. Attendees have been on their feet all day and they need a free sample to perk up their palates and focus their attention.

Where better to direct their taste buds than on your display?

Free samples are the lifeblood of expos, and the fastest way to a client’s hearts is through their tummy. But you don’t want to go through the trouble of cooking forgettable snacks that simply satiate an immediate hunger. You need to make a lasting impression. Bake up some cookies shaped like your logo. Concoct a signature beverage named after your organization’s most legendary party animal. Give your treats an attitude, a direction, and a flavor that lingers not only on the tongue but also in the mind.

People love sharing foodie pics on social media, so encourage them to serve up yours! Next to the free samples stand, create a pleasing backdrop where guests can snap selfies and post their photos with a hashtag that includes your brand. After all, a great meal depends on the right guest list, and inclusion is the main ingredient to success. Invite cyberspace to the dinner party and watch the leftovers pile up!


An important consideration to remember when designing your sensory trade show exhibit: don’t overdo it. You don’t want to be the loudest booth on the block, but you do want to rise above the noise. Patriot Exhibit Services understands this balance perfectly, and we can help you craft a memorable presence without drowning out your sense of good taste.

Contact us at your earliest convenience and let’s get sensible. 

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