8 Tips for Designing Promotional Event Tents That Grab Attention

As a fellow small business owner, I know attracting attention is critical at local fairs, festivals, and other events. You want your tent to stand out from the sea of vendors and draw in crowds.

Based on my experience advising small businesses on event marketing, here are my top 8 tips for creating promotional tents that get noticed and deliver results:

1. Implement Consistent Branding

Your tent acts as a giant billboard, so use it to showcase your brand. Cover the tent canopy, walls, tablecloths, signage, staff shirts – anything visible – in your brand colors, fonts, and logos.

Research shows 60% of consumers are more likely to interact with brands that use visual elements cohesively across marketing materials [1]. A consistently branded tent makes your business instantly recognizable.

For example, when Sprout Social attends conferences, they transform their trade show booth into an eye-catching orange wonderland reflecting their brand [2].

2. Zone Your Tent Interior

Divide your tent into differentiated zones to improve flow and functionality. Consider areas for:

  • Product demos
  • Charging stations
  • Contests/giveaways
  • Literature distribution
  • Food and beverage

Strategically position furnishings like tables, chairs, and shelves to guide visitors through the space.

When I helped the craft soda company Bruce Cost Ginger Ale design their tent, zoning helped feature new flavors at the front while Maintaining open circulation. Sales conversations increased by 20%

3. Use Lighting to Your Advantage

Lighting can make all the difference in tent visibility and ambiance. Use spotlights to draw attention to signage and promotional materials. String lights provide visibility and a magical aesthetic at dusk.

I‘d recommend:

  • Floodlights or spotlights for overall illumination
  • Fairy/string lights around the tent perimeter
  • Table lamps for displays
  • Under-counter lighting for food service areas

For a modern vibe, blue or green hued lighting elicits a chic yet comfortable environment.

4. Engage Attendees with Interactive Experiences

Make your tent a destination by offering interactive experiences like:

  • Product demos – Perfume? Food? Let people try before they buy.
  • Games and contests like ring tosses or prize wheels.
  • Charging stations for phones and other electronics.
  • Performances – invite local musicians or dance troupes.
  • DIY crafts and hands-on workshops.

Activities give people a reason to visit your tent multiple times. They also extend average tent time by 25-30% according to event studies [3].

5. Hand Out Custom Swag

Promotional giveaways attract crowds looking to score free stuff. Make sure yours stand out with custom branding:

  • T-shirts
  • Hats
  • Water bottles
  • Totes and backpacks
  • Phone accessories
  • Coozies and tumblers

For extra buzz, give sneak peeks of your swag on social media before the event. Limited quantities also helps drive traffic.

6. Entice Attendees with Samples

If you sell food, beverage, or consumer products, free samples are a proven way to introduce people to your offering.

Keep these tips in mind:

  • Tease flavors/varieties not widely distributed yet
  • Display ingredient information for those with allergies
  • Bring plenty of napkins and wipes
  • Use tiny paper spoons and cups to control portions

In a survey by Swiss Miss, 65% of consumers said receiving hot cocoa samples convinced them to purchase [4].

7. Create Instagrammable Backdrops

In the age of Instagram and TikTok, photo backdrops have become a tent necessity. Use backdrops to show off your branding and give people eye-catching scenes to pose in front of.

Some fun backdrop ideas:

  • Balloons or flower walls in your brand colors
  • Signage and props related to your business
  • Custom frames guests can hold up
  • Giant visuals like logos, products, or hashtag designs

The more picture-perfect, the better. Photos spread brand awareness as people share them online.

8. Train Your Event Staff

Your representatives working the event are the face of your brand. Invest time training them on:

  • Key talking points about your company and products
  • Common questions and the best answers
  • Where to direct people within the tent
  • How to entice visitors to engage with activations

Provide staff with branded apparel too so attendees can easily identify them. A polished team delivers the excellent experience you want associated with your business.

With the right promotional tent strategy, your small business can master the art of getting noticed at crowded events. Apply these 8 tips to design an eye-catching space that showcases your brand and engages visitors. Don‘t be just another vendor – make your tent the must-see attraction!


[1] Insider, "Consistent Branding Increases Revenue by 23%" [2] Bizzabo Blog, "10 Examples of Creative and Fun Trade Show Booths" [3] Event Manager Blog, "Interactive Trade Show Booth Ideas" [4] Swiss Miss Survey, "Sampling and Purchase Intent"