This year, the flashing gizmo was a USB-powered fan which spun and revealed a clock face on its blades as it spun. It was very eye-catching, and almost everyone who saw it stopped and tried to decode what they were looking at. These light tricks only last one time. After you've seen the USB-powered fan clock, it won't grab your attention again. Another booth had last-years light show, a scattered green laser pointed at their products, but mostly everyone was ignoring it.
Engage customers by tossing them a Frisbee or football. This seemed to be working for a mattress saleswoman at the show. She was among the mattresses, far enough away that a good game of catch was possible. She'd just get a guy's attention and toss them the football. Instinct took over and she was immediately and intimately connected to that guy. If she threw the ball a little short, the guy might end up sprawled across one of the mattresses, experiencing it's comfortable firmness.
Provide a toy or something to interact with on a short table. Seeing a Lego castle or a 4x4 Rubic's Cube on a table is a pretty good way to rope in a customer. I only saw this technique employed by toy vendors.
A few jewelry vendors and one small tool vendor enticed the crowd with rows and rows of tiny boxes of products.
The items were small and interesting, so people were naturally drawn in to take a close look. It was a little like a treasure hunt, looking at dozens of different items and trying to find the perfect little payoff.
Paid "booth babes" are a well-known way to attract people to your presentation, but that's more of a large convention phenomenon. For small venues, attractive but approachable salesmen and women are a standard. Larger booths can have magicians, contortionists or aerialsts.