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How To Attract An Audience To Your Trade Show Exhibits

May 31, 2008
Many companies that exhibit at trade shows find that they need to do something extra to draw attention to their trade show exhibits. And, that's not too hard to understand - just entering a trade show hall or convention center is an assault on the senses from all of the exhibitors vying for the attention of the trade show attendees.

So, how can you break through the crowd and have your trade show exhibit stand out in a way that draws the interest of prospects, media and key influencers?

Incorporate Visual Excitement

Incorporating movement, color, lights and action imparts a feeling of energy that draws attendees to your trade show booth. New technologies enable you to build drama and visual excitement using such techniques.

A good example is the use of 3D video/laser image displays suspended from above. Gobo lights that travel across tension fabric provide opportunity for changing color and evoking mesmerizing interest for your trade show exhibit.

Bring On the Big Guns

Bringing on big guns can run the gamut from hiring major sports figures to major Hollywood personalities to major recording stars for personal appearances. Or, perhaps bringing on a renowned guru that your attendees would flock to see would make more of a statement and draw more serious attendees.

In recent years, some trade show exhibitors have hired Tom Hanks, former San Francisco 49er quarterback Steve Young, and recording stars such as Foo Fighters and Maroon 5 have been feature attractions at major trade shows.

Not a fit for you budget? Try stealing some thunder with paid celebrity look-a-likes. Elvis may be departed but if he makes an "appearance" at your booth you will surely draw interest.

Showcase Your Company Website

Do you have a really compelling website? If your website is a winner, and particularly if it is the kind that trade show participants would find useful on an ongoing basis, it just makes sense to use this as bait.

Incorporate your website on a large backdrop using such techniques as holographics and waterscreen projections. Attract them into your show booth with participation in the interactive elements of your website.

Add Interactive Elements to Your Trade Show Exhibits

An interactive booth is a great way to draw in trade show foot traffic. Invoking multiple senses - touch, feel, sight and sound - is an outstanding way to attract them to your exhibit and to imprint a lasting memory on them. Experiential activity is far more exciting and longer lasting than one-dimensional trade show exhibits.

Leverage Your Energetic Trade Show Staff

Which booth would you want to visit? One that has a subdued, indifferent booth staffers milling around or one that has friendly, smiling and proactively engaging (yet not obnoxious) staff?

It's simple really. Smiling, energetic and well trained booth staff can go a long way toward attracting and keeping the attention of trade show attendees. Pay attention to providing that training to your staff and making sure that it is maintained throughout the long hours of the show.

If you think creatively about this, you can take the task of attracting an audience for your trade show exhibits to a whole new level. Make a game out of it. Try a few of these techniques and notice the changes. Toss the ones that don't work as well and try some new ones the next time until you hit on a winning combination of tricks to ensure that your trade show exhibits stand out from the crowd.
About the Author
Dick Wheeler is President of Professional Exhibits & Graphics, headquartered in Sunnyvale, California with showrooms in Sacramento and Sunnyvale. Find more ideas for how to get the most from your Trade Show Exhibits in the news section on their site.
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