trade show tipsDrawing a Crowd: 5 Fun and Effective Trade Show Ideas

Trade shows are big business in the United States and it's no wonder due to the value that companies receive by exhibiting at targeted trade shows within their industry each year.


Did you know?


- Forty-six percent of executives attend at least one conference or trade show annually.


- Eighty-one percent оf trаdе ѕhоw attendees are the principal purchasing agent in their company.


- Sixty-four percent of marketers who have a booth at a trade show claim that the quality of attendees was their #1 reason for choosing which shows they should exhibit at during the year. Other important considerations include cost and geographical location.

In light of these statistics, it's important to plan and execute your trade show strategy well, and above all to remind yourself that what you want to create at your booth is nothing less than a true experience. It's human nature to want to go to where there are crowds. After all, everyone wants to have fun, interact, and be where excitement and new advances are happening.


Here are five trade show ideas to make your company's booth the biggest draw at your next show:


  1. Partner with another business to giveaway something big:

Contact a complementary business in the city where the show is being held to see if they will join you in giving away something bigger than what you can afford alone. A new Mac? A HD TV? A teardrop RV? A tiny house? Consider businesses that aren't your competitors but sell to the same target market. Rather than paying for their own booth and marketing they might want the visibility and opportunity to partner with your firm. Usually, high tech items and useful items are the most popular with attendees.


  1. Hold interactive events at your booth to draw crowds:

Wow them! Bring in an entertainer, like a mime, a break dancer, a magician, a trick dog, or a palm reader. Even if you're not in Las Vegas, you can set up a roulette wheel and let trade show attendees try their hand at winning some prizes that are ideally tied to your products and services.


  1. Align your booth promotion with a local sports or entertainment event:

Do some research beforehand. Which teams are playing during the show? Which concerts and plays are in town that week? Grab some tickets to a sought-after game or event and you'll need to make sure you have enough employees to handle all of your booth traffic.


  1. Look for new, innovative ways to reach out to trade show attendees:

Take the Image3D RetroViewer for example. It's a high tech version of the nostalgic toy that was popular in the 1950s and 1960s that is sure to bring joy to attendees. A great example of a successful trade show story, comes from a company, Webroot, who was searching for a strategy to make a splash at the RSA Conference and tradeshow. They partnered with Image3D to create a fun, effective visual experience, leaving RetroViewers in the hotel rooms of select trade show attendees. Almost all of the attendees who received the room drop viewers clicked through the reel and returned them to the Webroot booth. The company was able to generate more than 700 leads from the conference, a 314 percent increase from the previous year.


Veritas Software, another Image3D client, mailed RetroViewers to key editors and bloggers. The result? More than 50 articles were published in the press about Veritas, including pieces in major trade publications.


  1. Hold a photo contest:

Nearly all trade show attendees will have a smartphone, right? Why not hold a contest to see who can take the best photo of something related to the show or the city where the show is held? You can load all entries onto an electronic slideshow software program and display them on a big screen in your booth. Be creative. Make it the whole experience funny and entertaining.