Trade Show Marketing for the 5 Senses:

For most trade show exhibitors, the trade show gives you the chance to interact with your customers, so make sure that your marketing tactics appeal to all of the 5 senses.

Sight: Of course, sight might be the most obvious of the senses to appeal to at a trade show. Make sure that your trade show booth is visually appealing and informative.

Smell: Scent is a great way to communicate and influence emotion as well. Here are some details on scents and their emotional effects from the Scent Marketing Institute.


  • Safety, security and nostalgia: Talcum powder
  • Increased alertness: Peppermint, citrus
  • Relaxation: Lavender, vanilla, chamomile
  • Perceiving a room as smaller: Barbecue smoke
  • Perceiving a room as bigger: Apple, cucumber
  • Be more open to buying expensive furniture: Leather, cedar
  • Be more open to buying a home: Fresh baked goods
  • Browse longer, spend more: Tailored floral / citrus scents

Sound: Mood music might work to add some ambience to your booth, if that is something that works with your brand, definitely use it to your advantage. Sometimes music might get in the way of sales conversations and discussions. The other way that sound helps with trade show marketing is when you speak with confidence and thoroughly explain everything about your products and services is an informative manner.

Taste: Luring attendees to your booth is a classic tactic often used at trade shows. Some great ideas for trade show booth food offerings include: coffee in the mornings and after lunch time. Sweets and mints are always good old stand-bys. However, having a branded food or beverage, such as a mint tin, bottled water will make a lasting impression. If you can think of other ways to tie food into your brand or product, it is a great idea to use that. Cake and cookies that remind people of celebrations and happy times can play on the emotions as well as the senses.

Touch: You may not think that touch and marketing and selling your products or services go together, but they do. Customers like to be able to touch and feel what they are buying so be sure to have samples on hand. The other part of touch in marketing has to do with the sales staff. A warm and inviting sales staff is important to be touchy enough to be warm and inviting without turning buyers off. A firm handshake, for example is a good way to greet customers and studies show that you should shake hands a second time to make yourself more memorable.

For more ideas on marketing to the five senses, see

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