Trade Show Booth Trends from Across the Pond

By C&EN Media Group

Reading Time: 4 minutes

On April 1st, Analytica opened its doors to the laboratory, biotechnology, and analysis world in sunny Munich, Germany. The C&EN Media Group was exhibiting at the show to promote both C&EN magazine and Analytical Chemistry, a journal published by the American Chemical Society, and the most cited journal it in its field. Wendy Wise, manager for webinars and lead generation for C&EN, took a little time to explore the show floor and its fantastic displays. Read on below to hear her take on exhibit floor booth trends from across the pond!


When exhibiting at a show like Analytica, with over 35,000 attendees, it’s difficult to secure walk-in booth traffic unless you’ve worked diligently before the show on an integrated marketing strategy to attract attendees: through social media competitions, video, well-placed advertising, or VIP meet-and-greets. There are, however, other quick and dirty marketing strategies that many of us rely on – giveaways, fun events, unique displays, and food. As an exhibitor, I like to take time out to walk the show floor and see what tactics ingenious scientific marketers are using to attract booth traffic. Some examples of what I’ve seen at this year’s show are pictured below.

Coffee Bars

No one does coffee like this continent, especially at tradeshows. Though I expected there to be caffeinated beverages on the show floor, I didn’t expect this two story café / bar from Merck Millipore, which you can see in the upper left hand corner of the photo below.

Exhibitor booth doubling as a two-story cafe

Exhibitor booth doubling as a two-story cafe

Needless to say, this was a huge hit with attendees.


Eins, Zwei…G’Suffa! If attendees didn’t have the time to trek downtown to the world famous Hofbrauhaus for beer and singing, they could certainly find a drink here on the floor.

Get exhibitors to take a seat at your booth: offer alcohol!

Get exhibitors to take a seat at your booth: make it a bar!

There were a number of beer and pretzel hours, but for those who may have had a bit too much beer, hair of the dog was available. Starting at 11am, over at the Joint Analytical Systems booth, a fully stocked bar resided. Flowery drink included.

Attendees will talk about your creative treats, bringing leads to your booth

Waffle stick


I had been on the hunt for killer marketing strategies to share with you all, but kept getting distracted by the smell of powdered sugar from the Restek booth.

The circus tent cotton candy stand that also doubled as a waffle-on-a-stick dispensary had a line that was double digits deep when we encountered it.

In wonderful advertising fashion, the waffles were presented with a sticker highlighting the company – and I heard they were delicious too.

A Live Lab

This show is all about the instruments. The most unique display I saw on the show floor was the “live lab” area put on by Analytica itself, showcasing a number of products from exhibitors. Show off your products with a live lab

Well-known scientists would use the area to report on applications, methods, and techniques in a real laboratory setting. It served as a great benefit to current exhibitors, as well as an interesting use of space to really engage with attendees.

The companies who supplied the products for the showcase were also on hand to answer questions from the audience after each of the presentations, giving them a specific platform to discuss how their products worked.


It’s all about the money

You could spend money on a give-away, or you could just give away money!

I have to say the winner for the most fun and interesting display was, in my opinion, Restek.

Not only did they hand out sugary treats, but the booth included a coffee bar, and they had one of these: a ‘money machine’! Pictured at right is a lucky participant trying to collect.

In conclusion, when sales and marketing are together at a tradeshow, the goal should be to connect with current or potential clients through a thoughtful integrated marketing campaign months in the making.

Then again, if I’ve learned anything here at Analytica, it’s that in a pinch, cotton candy can do.


We want to hear from you:

Have you seen a creative booth or activity that generated buzz at a tradeshow? We received this great picture on twitter, – or let us know in the comments below.

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