Motivating people to visit your trade show booth is essential to your success at the event. Without attendees coming to your exhibit and speaking with your staff, you cannot effectively communicate your marketing message or qualify leads. Trade show contests will not only bring people to your booth, but they can also infuse your audience with excitement. The key is to follow a proven strategy to ensure your contest is successful.

Today, I’ll provide a step-by-step plan for organizing and executing trade show contests that can significantly improve your booth traffic.

Choose An Exciting Prize

The prize you’re offering must excite your customers, prospects, and other attendees. If it fails to stimulate their interest, your trade show contest is unlikely to generate substantial traffic. Ideally, your prize should have a connection to the products your company sells. For example, if you manufacture fuel injection systems for performance vehicles, offer attendees the chance to win a free set of fuel injectors.

Another idea is to give each person who visits your trade show exhibit the chance to win money. A cash cube money machine or prize vault will not only excite those who are trying to win, but will also spark attendees’ curiosity throughout the trade show.

Train Your Staff

The ultimate goal of your trade show contests is to attract people to your booth so your staff can qualify them as leads. That requires a bit of upfront planning. First, make sure you bring at least one employee whose attention is solely dedicated to helping people participate in your contest. Second, train your entire booth staff to approach those who are waiting to participate and engage them in conversation. It is only by speaking with attendees that your employees can determine whether they represent qualified leads worthy of following up with later.

Spread The Word

Trade Show Booth PromotionDon’t leave the promotion of your trade show contests until the day of the event. Start weeks in advance. Send out mailers to everyone on your customer and lead lists. Mention your contest in your newsletters, on your website, and even on the phone when you speak with clients and prospects. Reserve advertising space at nearby hotels. Also, have two employees standing at each entrance to the convention hall handing out flyers to promote your contest. If possible, have them stationed at the entrances before the doors open.

Organizing trade show contests can be a fantastic way to kindle excitement amongst your customers, leads, and attendees. The important thing to realize is that a successful contest does not happen on its own. It takes strategic planning. But, if executed properly, it can deliver a substantial return on your investment.


About the author:

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.