Put A Little Vegas In Your Next Trade Show
Why do people go to trade shows? With plenty of consumer information readily available on the Internet, they can get much of the information they need by simply surfing on their tablet, laptop, or phone. Trade show exhibitors must offer something more to engage people that they cannot get from behind a screen. When deciding to participate in a trade show, exhibitors must ask themselves two vital questions: What are consumers looking for? And how are you going to deliver?
Trade Shows Must Exceed The Normal Customer Experience
No show does customer engagement better than the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held every January in Las Vegas. The 2015 show included nearly 3,700 exhibits and attracted over 170,000 visitors who saw the newest phones, wearable technology, appliances, robots, and even a driverless car. In the vast, high-tech sea of exhibitors, not every booth was able to stay afloat. The most successful exhibitors were those that incorporated an array of techniques aimed at mesmerizing viewers, leaving an impression that far outlived the show itself.
How To Create A Buzz With Interactive Displays And Tradeshow Attractions
While many strategies were used to enthrall visitors, the most favorable incorporated the following:
- Interactivity. Users can read about new cell phones, smart watches, interactive tablets with pen and touch displays, and video games on CNET, but CES is set up so visitors can see them up close and even try them. The hope is that the hands-on approach, in which consumers see and test products like the new Ultra HD 4K TVs with Quantum Dots, they are more likely to develop a liking for the product, ultimately leading to a purchase.
- Larger-than-life displays. When it comes to capturing consumer attention, bigger is always better! To promote their home automation system, SmartThings constructed a four room smart home. As visitors could walked through, they could scan QR codes to trigger animated videos that explain the technology in use in each room.
- Celebrities. Many companies at the show used celebrities to pitch their products. The current year’s show included an array of spokespersons and brand ambassadors, including Nick Cannon, Dr. Phil McGraw, Ryan Seacrest, and the rapper 50 Cent to engage visitors. These celebrities result in a large number of wholesale orders at the show and create a buzz around the product that will hopefully result in consumer sales. Post show advertising spots include the celebrity in an attempt to capitalize on the success of the show.
- Visitor amenities. Walking a large tradeshow can be tiring for attendees. Not to mention the abundance of visual and auditory stimulation can get in the way of networking opportunities. Many companies supported visitor lounges. In the CES Social Media Lounge, there were plenty of opportunities to grab a coffee, charge your phone, rest your legs, and have conversations with important people in the industry, a group of colleagues or customers. Some companies, such as Skype, had their own lounge within the larger one where you could relax and connect.
- More visitor engagement. In true Vegas spirit, the CES show offered many flashy games to attract crowds of interested attendees. Raffles, prize wheels, cash cubes, video games, and prize vaults with tie-ins to company products decked the aisles. Not every company in the show had a product launch or a major announcement at the show, so using tradeshow attractions allowed any company to engage attendees.
What Happened In Vegas Shouldn’t Stay In Vegas
Few shows attract the crowds of CES, but attendees at any show are eager for information. They also want and expect engaging technology and exciting attractions to make it worth attending the show live. To leave a lasting impression and achieve maximum ROI, be sure to incorporate the right mix of interactive displays, provide services and amenities to visitors, and incorporate attention-grabbers that might include colorful displays, celebrity spokespersons, and show attractions.
About the Author
Jon Edelman provides exciting trade show marketing ideas, including advice about prize wheels, customizable scratch-off cards, money blowing machines, and other exciting trade show attractions. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, lead generation techniques, and networking with trade show vendors. Helping to build a referral-generating system, his ideas continuously lead to a boost in sales and revenue.