5 Activities to Engage Trade Show Attendees and Get Them to Your Trade Show Display

January 16th, 2017

The very first thing a trade show exhibit needs to do is to get people to come to your booth. Once they arrive, your trade show exhibit needs to engage them by offering them informative, interactive, and useful information. While there are many ways to attract and keep visitors to your trade show exhibit (graphics, messaging, sales pitches, digital presentations, etc.), integrating activities into your trade show exhibit is a particularly effective method. Following is a look at some of the things you can do in your trade show exhibit in order to attract and engage visitors.

IXIA booth v2














Conduct raffles and prize giveaways in your trade show exhibit.

At first glance, a raffle or prize giveaway might feel clichéd. However, the chance to win something is an irresistible draw for many people. And, in order to earn that opportunity, people are often willing to provide information that you can then use to build a list of potential leads to follow up on after the trade show. Raffles and prize drawings are most effective when they incorporate two things. First, they should offer a prize that aligns with your products and services (i.e. a free consultation, product sample, free year of service, etc.). Second, consider running your raffle or prize drawing over social media. By advertising it ahead of time, you can earn more traffic to your booth (and garner more leads) than if you had waited until the trade show to make the competition public.

Hold pop up educational events in your trade show exhibit.

You come to a trade show hoping to raise brand awareness, generate leads, and close sales. Attendees, however, often come to the show ready and willing to learn more about the industry. When you get these two goals to align, you can expect to see more traffic (and more conversions) at your trade show exhibit. And, one of the best ways to feed attendees’ thirst for knowledge while also advancing your goals is to introduce educational events at your booth. These events often work best if they are focused on the topics in your industry that are of particular interest at the time. That way, your event is appealing and relevant to the majority of attendees at the trade show. In addition, educational events are often successful if they are staged as pop up events. This means that they are unplanned and unannounced and happen in the middle of your booth during busy times. Their sudden appearance can spark curiosity and draw in visitors to your trade show exhibit.

Hold panel discussions and presentations in your trade show exhibit.

Similarly, you can feed attendees’ hunger for information and education by holding panel discussions and presentations at your trade show exhibit. Unlike pop up educational events, these should be planned and announced ahead of time. That way, you have the chance to get industry experts on board to help with the discussion, as well as create buzz about the event beforehand. There are a number of different panel discussions and presentations you could consider. As with other educational events in your trade show exhibit, you should choose topics that are of interest to the people in your industry at the time. In addition, you should use experts. Third, consider an engaging format, such as a Q&A session that allows attendees to interact with the presentation.

Share content in your trade show exhibit.

Content on your website is important for educating and engaging your website visitors. While your trade show exhibit will obviously be different from a website, that doesn’t mean your visitors’ thirst for content is any less than it is when they are surfing online. You can help to satisfy that thirst by sharing relevant and informative content with your trade show exhibit visitors. Sharing content through a trade show exhibit can include handing out hard copies of literature such as brochures. However, another approach that may work better is to disseminate the information electronically through flash drives, email, etc. Plus, if you obtain attendees’ email addresses or request contact information in exchange for the content you are providing, you will build a contact list for future use as well.

Give away samples of your product at your trade show exhibit.

Perhaps the best way to help people learn more about your products is to let them try those products. Of course, you want them to pay for your products and services. However, small sample giveaways can create buzz around your trade show exhibit as visitors stop by for their free sample and stay to learn more about what your business can do for them. Examples of sample giveaways include a free month’s trial of your new software, a sample tube of your new lipstick, or a cup of your Fair Trade coffee. In addition, sample giveaways have the advantage of winning people over to your business. For example, say a visitor has brand loyalty to your competitor but stops by your trade show exhibit because of the free sample you are offering. Then, once they try your product, they become convinced that your product is better. You have won a new customer who would otherwise have ignored your booth. By allowing people to enjoy your products or services firsthand, you have the opportunity to win them over for future purchases.

IXIA booth v1 large













Conduct a product launch at your trade show exhibit.

Finally, consider conducting a product launch at your trade show exhibit. By introducing your latest product right in the middle of your booth, you have a great way to get the attention of attendees who will want to know what all the excitement is about. And, once you have the big reveal, you can spend time capturing leads and sales to make the launch an even greater success. Successfully implementing activities into your trade show exhibit will require you to build certain features into the exhibit ahead of time. For example, you need space for educational events and presentations. You might consider signage to publicize your free samples or giveaways, etc. Your exhibit company can help you to create a custom trade show exhibit design that successfully makes this kind of space for activities that will both attract and engage visitors.