3 Trade Show Contest Ideas to Generate Booth Traffic When it comes to trade show marketing, offering a good product is not enough. There are plenty of exhibitors who offer high-quality products, yet struggle to attract visitors to their trade show booths. Attendees crave stimuli that catch their attention and refuses to release it. By incorporating exciting and creative trade show contest ideas into your trade show marketing plan, you can generate more booth traffic and attention on the convention floor.

Below, I’ll describe 3 of my favorite trade show contest ideas. Each of them represents a proven strategy for exciting your customer base, increasing your exposure, and drawing visitors to your trade show exhibits. I’ll also explain how to ensure that your trade show contest is successful.

#1 – Prize Wheels

Prize wheels have an irresistible charisma. From attendees’ point of view, they add color and flavor to an otherwise dreary day. As attendees walk through the convention hall, they’re confronted with rows of exhibits that offer little to no excitement. A colorful wheel of chance not only offers them a welcome break, but it also gives them the chance to win a free prize.

Prize wheels can be customized to fit the theme of your trade show exhibit. As attendees give in to the urge to spin the wheel, your booth staff can subtly engage them in conversation about your products.

#2 – Treasure Chests

A treasure chest promotion is still one of the most overlooked trade show contest idaes. That creates an opportunity for your exhibit to stand out and attract attention. When attendees walk by your booth, they’ll notice the treasure chest; it will instantly trigger their curiosity.

The treasure chests – and their accompanying keys – can be designed to fit specific themes. You can use a familiar pirate chest with skeleton keys, or opt for a transparent Lucite chest to excite passersby with the prizes contained within.

#3 – Prize Vaults

Trade show marketing is largely about creating excitement in attendees. The right trade show contest ideas will bring visitors to your booth and help form the bridge across which your staff can begin qualifying them as leads.

For example, prize vaults are an instantly compelling trade show contest idea. A see-through safe contains a prize like a IPod Touch for example, or what appears to be a bag of money. A mechanism is attached to the outside of the vault that lets visitors type in a code. If a visitor manages to type the right code, the vault opens and they win the prize or the money. Meanwhile, as attendees stand in line to try their code-cracking skills, your booth staff can start conversations with them.

You can give your booth visitors a chance to win $10,000 without placing your own budget at risk. Instead, invest in a prize vault insurance policy. If an attendee wins, imagine the exposure you’ll enjoy at your trade show exhibit.

How To Make Sure Your Trade Show Contest Ideas Work

Each of the trade show contest ideas above can attract a constant stream of attendees to your exhibit. That said, you can substantially increase your booth traffic by planting the seeds of excitement before the show. The key is to plan a creative way to let your customers know about the contest.

For example, suppose you’re planning to use a treasure chest promotion. Chances are, you’re already communicating with your customers through newsletters, mailers, and other methods. Have custom mailers designed that include the keys to the chest. Anything bulky that arrives in the mail is going to attract your customers’ attention. By letting them know of the upcoming trade show and giving them a key that might lead to a fantastic prize, you’ll create excitement and draw them to your booth.

Trade show contest ideas are similar to any trade show marketing effort. They can lead to enormous success at the show if you put a few things in motion beforehand. Use the trade show contest ideas above to generate more booth traffic at your next event.