A Lesson From Game Shows: 3 Trade Show Booth Ideas for a Successful Trade Show ExperienceIf you have ever watched a game show on television, have attended one, or have even been lucky enough to participate in one, then you know how exciting it can be. Consider a game show like Wheel of Fortune for example. What is it about this sort of game show that keeps people coming back for more?

The excitement and sheer hysteria that is generated from spinning a wheel and anticipating the fortune that is going to befall you is incredibly tantalizing for both the audience as well as the participant.

By bringing this sense of excitement to your trade show, your booth can be equally as engaging. The trick is to know what gets audiences excited and create trade show attractions around that concept. The following are several convention booth-marketing ideas to help you keep your audience engaged.

Turn An Experience At Your Booth Into an Interactive Game

Why do we love game shows? The thrill of anticipation and the interactivity keep the mood upbeat and hold our interest. When people become bored, they become disinterested — you goal is to keep both participants engaged and to stop crowds in their tracks.

Don’t be afraid to go big with your interactive games. You’re investing a lot of money to participate in a trade show — it only makes sense to go the extra step and to design a booth that really grabs attention. Not only will bringing a big attention getter work in your favor on the trade show floor, your booth is likely to be mentioned by bloggers and industry journalists covering the event. Creating a fun event that people naturally gather around and snap pictures of can bring you a lot of coverage at the trade show and beyond.

Interactive Game Ideas:

The Cash Cube Money Machine is a serious attention grabber at trade shows. Not only is it fun for the people inside the money machine who are grabbing cash or coupons, watching participants grab at cash is entertaining for the crowd as well!
Interactive Game Ideas
It’s no question that slot machines draw massive crowds. With a promotional slot machine you can organize a promotion with the same level of intensity as a casino, but without any special licenses. Because promotional slot machines don’t dispense real cash, you can use them anywhere. And because the reels can be customized for any promotion you can dream up, the possibilities are endless.

Taking a literal cue from the success of one of America’s most popular game shows, a Wheel of Chance is a proven trade show attraction tool. The wheel can easily be worked into a variety of different trade show game ideas and is easily customizable for your specific event.

Entice Participants With Prizes

When it comes to trade shows, you don’t need lots of “big prizes.” One big prize can certainly drive visitors to stop in and try — but you don’t have to bust your marketing budget on prize giveaways. Whether a prize is small or large, people just naturally want to win one! When participating on a nationally syndicated televised game show, people expect big prizes like cars and jackpots, but in a trade show atmosphere, thoughtful yet inexpensive giveaways can have the same type of draw.

Consider giving away useful and inexpensive logo imprinted giveaway items that double as prizes and as long-lasting advertisements for you company. When choosing prizes, look for those that are unique, useful, and that relate to your industry and target audience.

Entice Participants With PrizesFor example, if your target audience are techies, consider a logo imprinted flash memory drive or a wifi finder. If you’re in the banking or finance industry, consider giving away logo imprinted piggy banks. Every time they use one of those items, they will be reminded of where they got it and from whom.

For a broader approach, consider a giveaway that will be useful on the trade show floor and in the future such as a logo imprinted lanyard or badge holder on which to hang their trade show badge or a logo imprinted canvas bag to carry their trade show swag. With these types of items, they will not only remember your company in the future, but also advertise your company on the trade show floor.

Pre-Arrange An Audience

Before a game show airs, a great deal of planning takes place to ensure that there will be an audience turnout. Smart trade show marketers can do the same.

“Hoping” that people will stop by your trade show booth is not a plan for success. Like any business event, a successful trade show event requires planning, communication, and some marketing.

Pre-Arrange An Audience1. Work to gain a list of registered attendees and other exhibitors.

2. Identify which companies and individuals are in the right target market or demographic for your products and services.

3. Reach out to those companies and give them a strong incentive to stop by your booth. For example, consider sending scratch off tickets that reveal a prize they can pick up at your booth or a code that may unlock the Prize Vault at your booth, inside of which is a mystery prize. Another option is to arrange to have a scratch off ticket handed to every trade show attendee as they arrive and sign in to receive their badge. This ensures that every person who enters the trade show has been given a ‘ticket’ to stop by your booth.

Just like popular TV game shows, there is no reason why you cannot pack an audience before the show even begins.

What can you learn from the success of game shows and their ability to excite and engage an audience? How can you incorporate the strategies of some of your favorite game shows into your your trade show marketing strategy? Creating an exciting and engaging event can leave a lasting impression on your prospects, making your own ‘show’ a number one hit with your target audience!



Jonathan Edelman provides helpful advice about trade show strategies. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, follow up techniques, and using trade show marketing strategies to boost revenue.

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