Creating an attractive trade show booth is just one facet of your overall trade show strategy.
No matter how innovative, colorful or interesting your exhibit is, there is always the challenge of drawing attendees in. For this reason, engagement activities are offered to bring people to booths and keep them there.
So today, let’s discuss purposeful engagement (not just gimmicky games) that introduce attendees to your brand, services, products, values and vision.
More often, we’re seeing companies using technology engagement activities. If you have been to any recent trade shows, you might see anything from virtual reality (VR) experiences to augmented reality games.
Here are some popular tech-based engagement activities used in trade shows today:
- Device Charging Stations: Everyone is using their mobile phones at trade shows. Therefore, there will undoubtedly be someone who forgets their charger or can’t find an outlet. We’re seeing a lot more booths offering free charging stations. While people stand and charge, companies are free to chat with visitors.
- Free Wi-Fi: We’ve all experienced spotty Wi-Fi at trade shows before. If the event location doesn’t offer Wi-Fi, consider creating a lounge set-up with free Wi-Fi access (if they ask you for the password, of course). This ensures you get face time with prospects while providing a high-value reward.
- Quizzes: With the use of mobile devices, quizzes engage attendees while allowing you to capture lead information and tailor content to that specific attendee. There may be an added contest element that allows people to be quizzed about the event, your company or industry. People love a good competition.
- Interactive Content: Interactive content comes in many forms. A scannable photo might lead to an augmented reality experience that describes your company’s products and services. Perhaps your manufacturing company creates a VR experience that allows attendees to see inside your production facility. Even video demos with touch screen interactivity draw people in.
It is critical that your technology offering not only engages attendees, but also educates them on your brand and objectives. However, tech-based engagement activities aren’t the only things that work. Let’s move on to some ways you can engage attendees while practicing corporate responsibility.
Whatever booth engagement activity you decide to host, there’s a great way get attendees to pay attention: charitable giving. For instance, we love recommending a plinko style game wherein we invite attendees to drop chips on a dollar amount. Then, the company can donate that amount to the charitable organization of choice on behalf of the attendee.
That was just one example! You can take common exhibit booth activities like games and contests and turn them into an opportunity to make a donation.
Why does this kind of engagement work?
Today’s consumers are interested in a company’s ethics and reputation. It’s a trust-building factor for many people. At Exhibitpro, we suggest using that consumer need to build trust and find opportunities for engagement.
Creating Purposeful & Memorable Experiences
Keep in mind that whatever engagement experience you create, you must ensure that it is relevant to your audience.
For instance, a family-friendly conference should work hard to engage all generations. Activities for children and parents alike (or both at once!) are critical to success.
At the same time, a tech conference geared toward software engineers has a different, and possibly challenging mode of engagement.
You know your ideal customer better than anyone. So, take the time with your team to think of some stellar ideas. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and run your ideas by one of your customers. They can offer insights that you may have overlooked.
If you create something truly successful, you’ll be able to add your booth engagement to your rotation for future trade shows.
Lead Capture and ROI
Let’s circle back to the nitty-gritty details of organizing a trade show.
No matter what trade show booth engagement activity you choose, make sure to have a solid lead generation plan. For all the effort you put forth in getting people to your booth, you want to make sure you collect the right leads and follow up with them. Here are three tips for making sure your company gets a return on investment:
- Gamify lead capture. In other words, roll your lead capture into your booth engagement activity. Instead of asking for an attendee’s contact info, they will be much more willing to give it freely when there’s something in it for them.
- Make your message clear. You don’t want unqualified leads. Make sure your collateral and signage states clearly what you do. When creating your booth engagement, make it specifically for your ideal customer.
- Follow up in a timely manner. Trade show excitement winds down faster than you think. When the show is over, be sure to follow up with attendees who visited your booth. It is most impactful to follow up within 3 days of the end of the conference.
Create an Experience You’ll Be Remembered For
The right trade show booth activity will go a long way in creating buzz, getting your company noticed, and capturing leads, but there are future benefits as well.
If you visit the same trade show year after year, what you do this year will impact the impression you make next year. Keep attendees coming back for more. Even though a prospective customer doesn’t need your services THIS year, they might need you the following year. For companies with long sales cycles, this is especially important.
Exhibitpro understands the importance of trade show engagement activities. Consider us your resource for all things trade show exhibit! Our experts have lots of ideas to help you generate leads.