While other B2B marketing practices fall by the wayside, tradeshows are still highly valued by young professionals, according to a recent study conducted by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research. The study found that tradeshows offer immense opportunity for brands, with 98% of professions indicating they gain tremendously from attending the events and 96% of recent attendees saying they find the shows value enough to continue attending.
The study found that the main reasons indicated for attending tradeshows are to shop, to learn, to gain experience, and to seek inspiration. So how can you grab the attention of these eager-to-learn professionals? Here are six unique ways your organization can stand out a tradeshow.
1. Games with Opportunity to Win AWESOME Prizes
Who doesn’t love a good challenge? Hosting a game at a tradeshow is a fantastic way to not only attract attendees to your booth, but it also gets people talking and incentivizes people to share your brand on social media and boosts the number of people that walk away with your branded swag.
Of course, motivating people to share their experience on social media can be one of the most valuable outcomes from your game. After all, nine out of ten tradeshows now offer a hashtag that attendees follow while they’re there.
Prizes that Motivate!
If you want people utilize their social media following to promote your brand and tradeshow presence, you’re going to have to offer something awesome, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay big bucks. Giving away a luxury item that people feel is a treat can be inexpensive and prompt a flurry of engagement. Offering up a grand prize such as American Express or Amazon.com gift card, tickets to a local sporting event happening during the convention, a dinner at one of the famed local restaurants or an Uber ride can motivate people to tweet, instagram and subscribe.
Here are a few games and contests that have been proven successes:
Trivia Questions with Tweeted Answers: Research shows that professionals love to drop knowledge and show off their skills, so asking an industry-related question and requesting that people tweet their answers for a chance to win one of the above prizes can spark the desire to participate and share on social media.
Prize Wheels: Asking attendees to spin the wheel for a chance to win one of several prizes is fast and easy and can energize the crowd if there is a sparkly grand prize.
Beanbag toss: Few can resist a nod to corn hole.
How Many in the Jar?: Whether you fill a jar with jelly beans or branded pens, asking people to take a stab at guessing how many objects are in a jar is a fast way to collect names and email addresses.
Want to make things interesting? Put passersby in a contest with one another! Have two spin wheels that allow two people to compete or turn your beanbag toss into a ‘who can get it closer’ contest rather than just an effort to sink the bag.
2. Bright and Effective Signs
In a previous post, we discussed the importance of signage, noting the research conducted by Paco Underhill, a psychologist and author of the book Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping found that people begin to interact with your display long before they’re even close enough to know what you’re selling. From 25 yards people begin to focus on your display, and from 10 yards away they know whether or not they want to stop. “It comes down to sight lines and signage,” Paco says.
Make sure your signage and display element make use of contrasting color and effective call outs. Here are a few unique ways your tradeshow signage can help you standout at a tradeshow:
- Ask an intriguing question that your product or brand addresses
- Give a specific statistic somewhere in your display. Has your product done something amazing for one of your customers? Tout it!
- Include a creative hashtag that your product addresses or solves. Why? Because whether the hashtag is used on social or not, people speak the “pound-sign language” these days, and hashtags make things memorable.
3. Elevate Your Space
Your tradeshow space should be a representation of your brand. But keeping it tidy, free of clutter and in good taste is obvious. How about you step it up… literally! Elevating sections of your display can literally put your brand on a pedestal and draw more eyes than the ones at standard level.
4. Offer Some Swag and Snacks
Business cards are nice and should never be ignored, but in today’s fast-paced and distracted world, it’s going to take a lot more to be remembered. Offering unique and branded snacks and swag, otherwise known as functional collateral, can motivate tradeshow attendees to stop by and also serve as excellent prizes for your games and contests. If your company attends tradeshows frequently, you can even keep a steady inventory of these items on hand so that they are relevant to the location and conditions. Calling for rain? Be sure to have your branded umbrellas. Headed to a chilly region? Have some company hoodies on hand to give away as prizes. Here are a few ideas that are sure to stand out:
- Hoodies and sweatshirts
- Chap stick
- Folding or handheld fans
- Chocolates with branded wrapping
- Cookies in the shape of your logo
- Chips in a branded bag
5. Make Use of Tech
Keep an iPad or two handy, you’re going to need it to capture email addresses, easy contest entries and show off your website. Better yet, you can create a landing page especially for tradeshow attendees and have it displayed on one of the devises.
If you feel like going the extra mile and have the resources, adding a QRT Code to your tradeshow collateral can drive your visitors to a specific landing page with a targeted offer.
6. Rent a Photo Booth
These days, no one can resist a selfie… or a photo booth. A photo booth setup can be inexpensive and easy to assemble, offering your brand a way to engage an audience using props in your brands key colors and branded photo paper with your organization’s contact information. While this option is a bit more involved, it’s sure to stand out and attract.