Ways to Draw Crowds to Your Tradeshow Booth

by Dick Wheeler - Date: 2007-01-25 - Word Count: 687 Share This!

This is a fairly typical scenario for tradeshow marketing planners: You have made the decision to have a tradeshow exhibit in your industry's leading tradeshow. You have planned properly by selecting the appropriate tradeshow, nailed down the key objectives and goals of your company's tradeshow marketing team, and hired professionals to build a dramatic, eye-popping tradeshow display. Now all you need to do is wait for visitors to find your tradeshow booth. You believe in the motto " If you build it, they will come," right?

Well, not exactly. With tens of thousands of square feet of tradeshow floor and hundreds of competing tradeshow exhibits, prospects finding their way to your company's tradeshow booth can be an overwhelming challenge.

Fortunately, there are proven ways to get crowds to your tradeshow booth.

According to Elaine Cohen, Founder/President of Live Marketing in Chicago, you need to be imaginative and pro-active to stimulate tradeshow exhibit traffic. You will need to design a fully integrated crowd-gathering campaign for success in getting visitors to your tradeshow exhibit. Once there, you need to educate them, connect them with a sales representative, and get them to take a desired action.

Cohen sites an example of a crowd-gathering tradeshow campaign that she designed to produce highly successful results for Purina Pro Plan(r) at the National Dog Show in Philadelphia in 2005. The campaign was titled "The Difference is Real --Real Meat, Real Commitment, Real Experts." The tradeshow live presentation was so successful that it was repeated at the Philadelphia's National Dog Show in 2006, and also at the 2006 Chicago Dog Show and the Detroit Kennel Club Show.

Cohen not only got people to Purina Pro Plan(r)'s booth, but had them actively involved once they were at the tradeshow booth: Here's what drew the visitors:

The stage was set with banners at the entry to the tradeshow hall announcing Purina was the presenting sponsor of the show. Signage was displayed inside and outside the event venue. In addition, the tradeshow exhibit had the prime location at the hall entrance.

High-energy music, visuals of great looking dogs and colorful signage drew tradeshow visitors' attention to the Purina Pro Plan tradeshow exhibit and theatre.

A crowd-gatherer greeted visitors and directed them to the tradeshow exhibit by inviting them to learn how to get the most out of the show. People movers such as a presenter and a booth ambassador enticed people into the tradeshow booth and moved them from activity to activity. Visitors got insights into how their dogs can lead happy, healthy lives. Purina brought ten staff members to work the exhibit-brand specialists, experts and field sales people.

A live theatre presentation featured a presenter who gave away complimentary Purina Pro Plan hats, and entries into a drawing to win a year's supply of Pro Plan food for their dog. Pro Plan Frisbees and dog food bag clips were awarded to those who answered questions. The audience eagerly participated.

Many tradeshow visitors who wore their hats around the show floor were rewarded by being spotted by roving exhibit staffers. Those who were spotted received coupons.

The results were significant:

1,222 consumers experienced the live presentation over the 2-day show.

60-80 people participated per presentation, with many standing and sitting around the theatre area (the theatre had 30 seats). This exceeded the initial goal of 400 by over 300%. 1,672 people completed all three activities.
2,000 Pro Plan hats were distributed.
100 Pro Plan hat wearers received $5.00 off coupons from Pro Plan spotters
1,000 Frisbees were given out.
3,500 coupons were distributed.

In order to have a successful tradeshow exhibit experience, therefore, you must have a plan in place to bring people to your tradeshow booth and also give them a good reason to spend time at your tradeshow booth-no matter whether your presentation is at the McCormick Convention Center in Chicago, the Kaiser Convention Center in Oakland, the Moscone Center in San Francisco, the Hannover Exhibition Center in Germany or the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

Remember, the next time you exhibit at a tradeshow, by having pied pipers attract a crowd to your audience-focused, live tradeshow presentation, your tradeshow exhibit will become a crowd-pleaser.

Related Tags: trade show, trade show booth, trade show display, trade show exhibit, trade show graphic

Dick Wheeler is President of Professional Exhibits & Graphics, headquartered in Sunnyvale, California with showroom in Sacramento. Firm is full-service premiere trade show exhibit, graphics and management services company. http://www.proexhibits.com

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