Imagine you’re attending a trade show. You’re walking up and down the seemingly endless aisles, passing dozens of vendors.  Each booth looks much like the one before it. They offer “swag” like stress balls, multi-colored highlighters, and the dreaded branded pens. Yawwwn.

But wait. You smell something. Something good. What is that?


Grabbing a customer’s attention at a trade show is no easy task. Most people decide within 5 seconds if they want to explore your trade show booth.  Between the crowds and the sensory overload, standing out means you have to be unconventional and rise above the noise (literally and figuratively). One way to do that is to offer a coffee bar oasis amid the swag-bag-toting chaos.

Not only will the aroma of coffee draw hungry and thirsty customers your way, but it will also present you with an opportunity to spark conversations and make connections. While your potential customers wait for their coffee and begin to sip, you can use this valuable time to get to know them and identify their pain points. We all know that relationships are a big part of growing your business. What better time to learn about their needs and how your business can address them than over an exquisite cup of java?

Customers who are overjoyed at the idea of free (and delicious, by the way) coffee are also more likely to share their fun discovery on social media. Posts about your booth can provide social proof of your outside-the-box thinking and attention to detail, not to mention some free advertising.

Speaking of free advertising, if you place company-branded coffee sleeves on each cup, you’ll end up with a flurry of mobile ads traveling throughout the arena, as folks walk around with their aromatic coffee and your logo on the cup. Other trade show attendees will see your business name and note your company as “the one with the coffee.” Not a bad way to differentiate yourself.

Offering trade show booth attendees a free high-quality beverage can be the surprise element that sets you apart and attracts more foot traffic into your booth. Just make sure you have a place for them to put down their stress balls while they enjoy their gourmet coffee.


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