Today’s events landscape is crowded, and competition for attention is fierce. Creating “buzz” on the trade show floor is pivotal to drawing attention away from the competition, increasing traffic to your booth, and maximizing return on your investment in face-to-face marketing.
The most successful traffic builders incorporate your key marketing messages, provide attendees with a fun way to engage with your brand, and personally experience your value proposition. Here are some of our favorites:
Visual Imagery Brings Your Story to Life
Collaboration is a powerful way for people to engage with your brand. When you make them a part of the conversation, it becomes a meaningful and lasting connection.
Our client, an insurance services company, wanted to learn what attendees thought was their greatest challenge when planning for retirement. This would create an opportunity for the sales team to fully engage with them and share their robust portfolio of solutions.
Graphic Facilitation was the answer. Graphic Facilitation is the art of capturing important points from a discussion and modeling them visually in “real time.”
Here’s how it works. Throughout the event, our graphic facilitators literally bringing attendees’ challenges to life on a large 30-foot wall. Armed with marking pens and a keen talent for listening and drawing, the graphic facilitators captured in quick, informal words and pictures the concerns and challenges raised by those in the audience.
When people saw their challenges brought to life, they were engaged and wanted to share their stories. Plus, they wanted to hear and identify with stories shared by others. Following the discussion, participants posed for a picture in front of their illustrated challenges, and CDL compiled the portraits into a digital photo album that was sent to the participants following the show.
Was it a success? In addition to engaging prospective customers and generating great leads, our client felt their conversations with prospective customers were both engaging and meaningful. They were confident that the one-on-one interactions would generate important results for their business.
Gamification Drives Brand Adoption
Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and author of two recent New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers: Contagious: Why Things Catch On, (2013) and Invisible Influence: the Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior (2016). Dr. Berger has spent over 15 years studying how social influence works and what makes certain products and ideas “catch on.” His studies have shown that “gamification” is a key catalyst for word- of-mouth marketing.
Dr. Berger says most of us are hardwired to notice games, and are excited to participate, watch, and — most importantly — share our experiences with others. That’s a precise “fit” with the goals of exhibiting at a trade show — to get people’s attention and to get them excited about buying your products or services.
Corporate Dimensions has adapted many of Dr. Berger’s ideas to the trade show environment, with fun competitions that draw people to your booth and helps transform them from attendees … to prospects … to customers. Here are a few ideas:
Game Show Kindles Competitive Instincts
Our technology client was planning for one of their most competitive shows. They had three new software products for financial services professionals that had just been launched, and they wanted a way to educate and inform prospects about these exciting new offerings. The key to success was to get people to interact with the software products at the trade show.
CDL decided that Gamification was the solution, and developed a fully customized “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” competition designed to inform, motivate and sell.
We built a fully branded stage in the middle of the booth and hired a professional emcee who served as the host. Sales representatives gave each attendee a card encouraging them to go to visit each of the product demo areas. Once they participated, the sales rep stamped their card, and the completed card was placed into a fish bowl. Every 30 minutes the Emcee selected two cards and two more people got a chance to participate in the game and win prizes.
All day long the booth was surrounded by a crowd 40-people deep. A video cameraman recorded the games, and the contestants could be seen on large screens strategically placed at the corners of the booth – drawing even more people to the booth.
The gameshow competition was like a magnet, drawing attendees to the booth and educating them about the client’s new products.
‘Guess How Many’ to Win a Prize
Another game idea is to have attendees guess the number of objects in a container — coffee beans, jelly beans, pennies or even marbles. The person who comes closest to guessing the amount wins a prize or a discount.
For example, at a recent trade show in Seattle, a software client wanted to educate prospects on their new analytics tool. We created a Coffee Café in their booth – displaying their product solutions on a Chalkboard Menu like you see in the most popular coffee shops.
Attendees could grab a free cup of coffee, learn about product offerings, and speak with “baristas” who were product experts. Attendees then answered specific product questions on an iPad, provided important demographic and contact information, and registered their guesses on how many beans were in the large, highly-visible container. We posted the top three winners on Twitter during the show and on the Chalk Board in the booth.
The free coffee bar, along with the game, served as an ice-breaker that drew people to the booth and helped foster communication between the sales representatives and trade show attendees.
Golf and Racing Games Boost Booth Traffic
Golf and Racing are two of the most universally loved and recognized sports worldwide, so incorporating these activities in your trade show exhibit is a great way to attract passersby. Attendees can’t resist the urge to compete and hone their skills. Corporate Dimensions provides a range of fully-customized sports-themed options to drive traffic to your booth.
When you host a golfing activity in-booth, for example, you’ll be amazed at just how fast your exhibit will become “the place to be” on the show floor. Your booth will be filled with attendees looking to hone their putts and improve their drives. You can even add a golf pro to offer tips to help attendees drop a few strokes from their game.
Classic arcade-style games are another great option. We helped our manufacturing client incorporate their marketing message into a booth attraction headlined “Driving Our Clients’ Business for Results.” We brought in arcade-style racecars that would allow up to eight people to race against each other at one time.
We branded the cars with the client’s logo and used a specially-designed carpet so the booth appeared to have an inlaid race track. While attendees stood in line to compete, sales representatives gathered their information on iPads. We took the person’s photo and they were given their “Driving Credential”; a fully-branded photograph with the client’s marketing message and logo. Credentials were attached to a branded lanyard, and attendees were asked to wear them during the experience.
A digital leader board captured all the action, and winners were announced at the end of each day. The best part was that most of the show attendees wore their driving credentials long after they participated in the Driving Experience – promoting the event throughout the entire trade show.
Everyone Needs a Great Headshot!
Corporate Dimensions’ “Headshot Lounge” is an opportunity for tradeshow attendees to obtain a professional headshot for their LinkedIn or Facebook profiles with a unique tie-in to your company and brand.
Our professional photographer will take professional headshots of attendees and immediately provide proofs on-site. Attendees select from their proofs, and selections are automatically touched up with pre-selected, flattering filters tailored to each participant. The photo can even be customized with your branding! Then the photos are sent instantly to attendees’ email accounts.
CDL’s Headshot Lounge is a great opportunity for lead generation and data capture – you collect names, titles, email addresses and any other information requested in the sign-up screen – providing a way to qualify and connect with potential customers after the event.
The Headshot Lounge can be used in any location – tradeshows, conferences – even at customer locations. And you can enhance the experience with a Make-up Artist and a Blow-Dry Bar to make sure everyone looks their best.
A professional headshot’s a unique takeaway your customers and prospects can really use – a proven traffic-builder and positive, memorable experience!