Six Ways to Attract a Crowd at a Trade Show




Setting Goals and ObjectivesTom Hanks, Justin Timberlake, and Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Steve Young were among the many celebrities participating in the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in early January 2006. The show floor was 28 football field’s worth of space with 2,500 trade show exhibitors vying for attention in 1.6 billion square feet of convention exhibits.

More and more trade show exhibitors are finding that a great way to get noticed is to introduce an element of show business into their trade show display appearance. According to technology industry analyst Rob Enderle, “Each year they’ve (CES) had more of a Hollywood presence and this year is the biggest year.” At the CES, Intel hosted a performance by the Black Eyed Peas, Motorola featured the Foo Fighters and Verizon Wireless had hip hopping by Yellowcard and Maroon 5.

Celebrities and celebrity look-a-likes, athletes and former pros, comics, actors, musicians, and scantily clad booth babes all are attention-getters that can draw crowds of business prospects to your trade show booth.

Clients often ask how they can add glitz and pizzazz into their trade show display experience. Here are a few things to consider:

1. The obvious first step is to hire show stoppers—this can run the entire gamut from famous celebrities to clowns on stilts. Even your smiling, energetic and well trained booth staff can do the job of attracting attention.

2. Make your trade show exhibit exciting by incorporating movement, color, lights and action. Practice what motion picture producers do when they yell into their bullhorns, “Lights! Action!” Gobo lights traveling across a tension fabric can provide changing color and mesmerizing interest. New technologies bring high drama to your trade show booth such as 3D video/laser image displays suspended above.

3. Display a sense of humor. Think Billy Crystal and have your trade show booth staff prepare a few funny things to say when they meet and greet attendees. Remember that humor sells and it also helps to break the ice and get your crew off to a friendly start.

4. Bring Internet access into your booth that showcases your professionally designed company website. Incorporate on a large backdrop screen robotics, holographics and waterscreen projections. Be sure to take into consideration your trade show exhibit supplier’s advice and expertise on graphics, portability and trade show cost management.

5. Make your booth exhibit interactive so that you can involve people with a touch, feel, sight and sound experience. Experiential activity is better and longer lasting than passive involvement.

6. Provide exciting, fun giveaways—large or small, everyone likes to win something. By offering a drawing on a glitzy prize –perhaps a two night free stay at the luxury resort –would make it fun for your trade show attendees to allow them to have the “magic continue”.

By thinking creatively you can take your trade show exhibit to another dimension.

A show biz element brings the “buzz” to your trade show exhibit. And, remember, there is no business like show business.

About the Author
Jon Edelman provides exciting trade show marketing ideas, including advice about prize wheels, customizable scratch-off cards, money blowing machines, and other exciting trade show attractions. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, lead generation techniques, and networking with trade show vendors. Helping to build a referral-generating system, his ideas continuously lead to a boost in sales and revenue.

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