Scratch Off CardsI’ve been holding trade show contests before and during trade shows in order to generate buzz among my customers and attract crowds to my booths. Trade show contests are incredibly effective for grabbing attention and creating excitement at the trade show. Executed correctly, trade show contests are part of a larger trade show marketing strategy. To close more deals, you need to generate more leads.

Collecting leads begins with attracting the right people to your exhibit. Trade show contests can play a key role in attracting those people. Today, I’ll share 3 ideas for trade show contests that I’ve been using successfully.

Trade Show Contest Idea #1 – Scratch Cards

As I’ve mentioned in recent posts, you should begin telling your customers about your trade show booth months before the event. Using scratch cards are a great way to inject fun and excitement about your appearance at an upcoming show. I’ll share with you a strategy that works particularly well. First, don’t list the names of prizes under the scratch-off surface. Instead, customize them with numbers to entice your customers to your booth. Then, mail the cards to your contacts weeks before the show, requiring them to visit your booth to get their prize.

Trade Show Contest Idea #2 – Prize Wheels

This idea appeals perfectly to 2 natural human instincts: attraction to spectacles and the chance to win something for free. Prize wheels can be custom-designed to fit with the theme of your exhibit, including your company’s logo. Small or large, these wheels can stand in front of your booth, drawing the attention of attendees. You can further leverage them by mailing your customers “tickets” to spin the wheel at the show. Like scratch cards, the tickets will generate excitement and encourage your customers to visit.

Trade Show Contest Idea #3 – Money Blowing Machines

Money blowing machines, also called Cash Cube Money Machines are one of my favorite trade show contests. In my experience, they have attracted some of the largest crowds to my exhibits. Booth visitors step inside the machines and have the chance to grab dollars, prize vouchers or certificates that quickly circulate around them. If you’ve ever witnessed one of these money blowing machines in action, you’ve probably seen hordes of attendees coming to investigate. To increase the excitement further and generate even more interest, you can hold a contest on the trade show floor, allowing people to win tickets to enter the machine.

Part Of Your Trade Show Marketing Plan

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of your contests when you see the crowds they begin generating. The most important thing to remember is that the 3 contest ideas I’ve just described are a part of your long-range trade show marketing plan. Your main objective at the event is to qualify leads. That’s what brings in new business. The ideas above are merely a means to that end. I’ve been using all 3 successfully for years and recommend you do the same.


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.


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