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IPPE 2020 Trade Show Recap

About the Show

The 2020 International Production & Processing Expo, otherwise known as IPPE, took place from January 28-30 at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) in Atlanta.

IPPE, which is one of the 30 largest trade shows in the United States, is actually a conglomeration of three shows: The International Feed Expo, the International Meat Expo, and the International Poultry Expo.

It is branded as the “world’s largest annual poultry, meat, and feed industry event of its kind.” IPPE includes educational sessions and interactive exhibits that apply to everyone “from feed to fork” in the egg, poultry, and meat industries.

The show has experienced rapid growth in recent years, requiring expansion to three exhibit halls within the GWCC in 2019 and now four in 2020.

IPPE has four stated goals that the show is intended to focus on:

  • Innovation – Bringing together buyers and sellers of the latest technology in products and services to make the industry, and the businesses within it, successful.
  • Education – Learning from experts in free and paid educational programs on topics that cover industry interests. IPPE includes over 160 hours of education sessions, covering topics like food safety, plant operations, sustainability, and other relevant themes. Whether you’re an industry veteran or a newcomer, there is something to learn from these sessions.
  • Global Reach – Attracting more than 8,000 international visitors from 130 countries. IPPE offers services including buyer matchmaking and meeting prearrangements, in which translations are provided if necessary.
  • Networking – Meeting new people and rekindling old relationships with leaders across the sectors.

In an effort to stimulate business growth, IPPE gives back 100% of its revenues to the industry. Sponsoring organizations use the money to provide critical research, education, crisis management assistance, public relations, and regulatory assistance to help businesses.

The Exhibitors

The 2020 show brought in more than 1,300 exhibitors from all over the world, demonstrating their products and services in over 573,000 square feet of exhibit space.

Exhibitors showed off a variety of technology, equipment, supplies, and services used in the production and processing of eggs, meat, and poultry as well as feed manufacturing. The expo encompasses industry players at every step of the supply chain, from animal feed producers to human food distributors.

Some prominent industry segments that were represented at the show include feed milling, hatchery, live production, processing, marketing, and support activities.

Below are selected exhibit categories from IPPE:

  • Animal Health & Sanitation Products
  • Facility Design & Engineering
  • Feed & Pet Food Ingredients
  • Feed Manufacturing Equipment
  • Packaging Equipment & Supplies
  • Processing Equipment & Technology
  • Slaughtering Equipment
  • Transportation & Storage Services
  • Wastewater Treatment

Read on to learn more about the people who attended the show and the activities available to them.

The Visitors

Because the exhibitors covered a wide array of functions within the industry, it makes sense that the pool of attendees was just as diverse. Some 32,000 visitors graced the trade show floor; these people included operation and plant managers, purchasing agents, engineers, researchers, and consumers.

This show is known for producing a strong international showing. 8,063 visitors were registered as internationals, hailing from 129 different countries. The most well-represented region outside of the US was the Caribbean, Latin America, Mexico, and South America, which brought in a total of 3,334 visitors.

In addition to the traditional exhibits on the trade show floor, there were a variety of activities available to IPPE attendees. Show floor activities included a Hot Wing Eating Contest, as well as “Taste of IPPE,” where Atlanta chefs showed off top recipes featuring beef, pork, and poultry.

Our Clients

While there were many impressive displays among the 1,300-plus exhibitors at IPPE, we were particularly interested in nine of them. Why? Because there were nine booths at IPPE that Metro Exhibits designed and fabricated for our clients. These innovative brands are some of the market leaders in various production and processing industry sectors, such as animal health & nutrition, feed additives, processing equipment, soil fertilization, and biocidal technologies. Continue below for a summary of each client we worked with to create an innovative and inspirational booth at IPPE 2020.


island trade show exhibit

APC is the global leader in the manufacture and sales of blood-derived functional plasma proteins and red blood cell products. In other words, they help animals and plants thrive and maintain normal immune function. They pride themselves on sustainability, global reach (9+ countries where facilities operate and 58+ countries in which products are sold), and research and innovation.



10x20 trade show booth

Biochem is a family-owned German company that produces and sells feed additives for animals. They particularly focus on supporting gut health and optimizing nutrient utilization. Biochem sells its products to farmers and veterinarians to help them maintain and improve animal health. The company employs over 220 employees from 30 different countries, within Germany and abroad.


Devenish is a global agri-technology company, based in the UK, that specializes in animal nutrition. They start with research and development in areas such as nutritional solutions to diseases, improving feed conversion rates, and gut health. Their diverse range of products and services apply to the swine, poultry, and ruminant sectors of the industry. Devenish has its global headquarters in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and exports products to over 25 countries worldwide.


trade show exhibit for ippe

ICC Brazil provides health and animal nutrition solutions. Specializing in innovative products, many of which are made with yeast, ICC strives to add value to the nutrition chain on an international level. They are esteemed in the industry for their developments in increased productivity, biosafety, and animal welfare. While based in Brazil, ICC provides logistics and production to serve over 55 countries.


innovad trade show display

Innovad is a Belgian company that develops products to create a safer, more sustainable, and more productive livestock industry. Their animal health solutions target animal stress control, intestinal health, feed attractants, and antibacterial digestive aid, among other issues. These solutions are specialized for many different animal categories, including cows, pigs, poultry, seafood, and house pets. Innovad’s products are distributed in over 70 international markets.


knecht trade show booth with hanging sign

Knecht is a manufacturer of sharpening equipment for all kinds of knives used in the food industry. They produce a wide variety of grinding and polishing machines – both automatic and manual. Knecht also specializes in cutter knife systems that are intended to make handling as easy and safe as possible. They also offer custom machine development to suit specific client needs. Knecht offers consultation services in over 30 countries worldwide.


trade show display ippe

Liptosa is a family-run company that specializes in animal nutrition and disease prevention. They offer feeding additives designed to enhance animal health and development while combating a variety of illnesses. Their products offer solutions for a wide range of animal feed types, including poultry, swine, cattle, bees, fish, and pets. The company is based in Madrid, Spain, and is present in over 56 countries across five continents.

OCP Group

ippe trade show exhibit

OCP is a Moroccan-based company that specializes in soil fertilization. They strive to bolster plant growth and increase crop yields to sustainably feed the world population. OCP, which has been operating for almost 100 years, claims 31 percent of the global market share of phosphate in all its forms. The company operates worldwide, with locations in North and South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.


trade show exhibits

Virkon, a brand under German chemicals company LANXESS, is a range of biocidal technologies used to produce disinfectant solutions for commercial livestock producers, veterinary hospitals, and farmers. These disinfectants are engineered to promote animal health. Virkon’s products help to inoculate a wide variety of animals from diseases, including horses, pigs, poultry, pets, and even first responders in the midst of an emergency disease outbreak.


All things considered, IPPE 2020 was a great success. Key industry players gathered to network, teach, and learn, all for the benefit of the production and processing industries. Here at Metro Exhibits, we’re proud of the work we did to help several great companies show off their products and services in a unique and engaging way on the trade show floor.

Looking ahead, IPPE 2021 will be held from January 26 to January 28, once again at the GWCC. We’re eager to see what exciting new activities and educational sessions will be announced leading up to the show.

It’s never too early to start planning for a big trade show, so if you want to exhibit at IPPE 2021 (or any other upcoming show), check out our custom design and rental exhibits here. If you have any questions or ideas you’d like to discuss, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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top medical trade shows

The Top 10 Pharmaceutical and Medical Trade Shows in the US

The healthcare and pharmaceutical industry is one of the most important and rapidly expanding sectors in the world – and medical trade shows are one of the most effective industry tools for professionals to meet, network, and share ideas.

Every healthcare company shares the goal of providing the best medical facilities and technologies possible. With this in mind, pharmaceutical and medical trade shows are designed to display the latest innovations in healthcare, empowering major industry players to learn and grow.

Trade shows effectively facilitate networking between multiple stakeholders in these fields. They also introduce the newest medical equipment and products to retailers and consumers.

Exhibiting at a trade show is a fantastic way to network and open up new possibilities. Here, we’ll outline the top ten pharmaceutical and medical trade shows in the United States. To start, let’s give a brief overview of medical trade shows and their benefits.

What Are Medical Trade Shows & What Are The Benefits?

medical trade shows

A trade show or trade fair is an exhibition at which businesses or individuals in a particular industry gather under one roof. Together, they share ideas, listen to speeches, and promote their products or services. In addition to allowing industry professionals to trade ideas, these shows allow for potential consumers to come and learn about all of their different purchase options within the sector.

While there are trade shows for just about every industry you can think of, this article is dedicated to specifically discussing medical and pharmaceutical trade shows. These shows form a critical and exciting aspect of the medical field. They provide the ideal environment for learning, presenting, and collaborating, which are all essential functions in moving the industry forward.

Many health professionals are required to attend a certain number of conferences and shows per year in order to stay updated on the latest research and best practices in their field. This means that if you are an exhibitor targeting professionals in the medical field, a pharmaceutical or medical trade show is ideal for reaching potential clients and business partners.

Also, businesses focusing on medical supplies or pharma equipment will benefit greatly from trading at a show, as trade shows often showcase the cutting edge of technological innovation within the industry.

Trade shows offer many benefits that make them worth the investment if done correctly. One reason to attend is that they have huge potential to build brand visibility and improve outreach in a cost-effective way. Products and services are also showcased in an accessible way to customers.  It’s an ideal space to learn and exchange ideas in a casual yet organized manner.

Having clarified the definition and purpose of trade shows, we encourage you to continue reading to discover ten of the largest medical and pharmaceutical industry trade shows in the US.

1. BIO International Convention

This medical trade show is held annually in June, finding its home in a new city each year. Its official website boasts an impressive 8,400+ companies and 17,000+ show attendees. These biotechnology and pharma stakeholders gather here for a week of intensive networking.

The goal of this trade show is to bring together a wide range of life science and application areas. This includes biomanufacturing, drug discovery, biofuels, and cell technology, among others. Attendees are encouraged and supported in their efforts to discover new opportunities and partnerships at the event.

If you’re looking for a trade show that focuses on expanding the future of the biofuel and biomanufacturing fields, then the BIO International Convention is worth checking out.


The Florida International Medical Expo, or FIME, is one of the top medical shows in the country. It touts itself as the leading Medical Trade Fair in the healthcare market. It’s held annually during the summer at different Florida locations each year.

FIME showcases exhibitors from surgical equipment and laboratory suppliers to medical technology providers. There are over 1,100 exhibitors every year, and the show has attracted an incredible 52,000-plus attendees in past years. One of the unique aspects of FIME is its truly international nature; over 45 different countries are represented in the exhibitor list.

Due to the size of the event, FIME is a must-see for those interested in sourcing or selling medical supplies. The range of products available is unmatched. FIME has the largest collection of healthcare service providers and product manufacturers under one roof. If you’re interested in learning more about healthcare sourcing and procurement, FIME is the place to be.

3. The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo

The Clinical Lab Expo is “the world’s largest exposition for clinical laboratory products and services,” according to the event website. The meeting is usually held in late July or August, with its location switching between Anaheim and Chicago each year.

This show aims to offer an incredible chance to link with worldwide leaders in laboratory medicine. Delegates at the expo learn the most specialized technical skills in the field.

Attendees can expect to gain relevant, up-to-date knowledge of essential research in the industry. This show features involvement by over 800 top brand exhibitors in the pharmaceutical industry and over 20,000 attendees. The AACC’s Clinical Lab Expo is a tremendous opportunity for healthcare professionals to learn more about the latest in clinical laboratory advancements.

4. Annual World Congress on Anti-Aging Medicine

This congress is run by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) and occurs annually in Las Vegas, usually in December.

The event website boasts that it is distinct from any other healthcare conference, “due to [its] extensive educational offerings and programming.”

5,000+ people attend this event and get a range of exclusive opportunities, including 85+ educational sessions and access to over 400 companies in the industry. With this experience, they’ll receive an immersive education in Anti-Aging & Integrative Medicine. Attendees can expect engaging, interactive talks by hundreds of world-renowned keynote presenters, and representation from over 50 different countries.

The latest research on nutrition, hormones, and gastrointestinal treatment approaches will be presented at this conference. Attendees receive information about redefining their ideas of medicine. Additionally, they’ll get a set of resources to take back into their own clinical practices.

5. National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Annual Convention

The NCPA Annual Convention is the country’s “premier event for community pharmacy owners and their teams.” It takes place annually during October, in new locations each year. Upcoming shows will be in Nashville (2020), Charlotte (2021), St. Louis (2022), and Orlando (2023). This show expects to bring together around 3,000 attendees and over 200 brand exhibitors.

Attendees should expect over 30 hours of education covering every aspect of the pharmaceutical business. They’ll interact with hundreds of vendors showcasing services, products, and technologies. The conference aims to assist people in succeeding within a variety of roles, whether you are an entrepreneur, technician, pharmacist, or student.

This show is a unique opportunity for students in the field to attend and learn from others further ahead on their professional journey. Independent pharmacy is an $80 billion marketplace, and therefore interacting with local pharmacists at a grassroots level is a priceless benefit for the industry as a whole.

Attending the show will help you to keep up with the newest trends and developments, and share ideas with peers from all over the country.

6. MD & M West

This show is one of the most prominent showcases of MedTech suppliers in the country. It takes place in a different US city each year, generally in the West or Midwest. Whether you’re looking for testing solutions, intelligent sensors, or smart packaging, you’ll be able to source them from MD&M West.

The conference showcases a full spectrum of MedTech solutions. You’ll be able to network with and learn from 20,000+ industry professionals and 1,900+ suppliers. Additionally, the conference offers interactive events, free presentations, and educational activities.

This gives delegates the exciting chance to get involved in their own learning. Activities facilitate new ideas and perspectives that are shared among those who attend.

7. Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association Summer Meeting & Expo

The Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association is a division of the American Psychiatric Association, which is accredited by the Medical Association of Georgia to provide continuing medical education for physicians. They’re the only statewide organization representing Georgia psychiatrists and their patients. Their members are dedicated to promoting professional values and ethics in the practice of psychiatry.

This conference takes place annually in early August at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort in Fernandina Beach and aims to improve patient access to quality mental healthcare. The GPPA encompasses about 700 psychiatrists who come together to share ideas, protocols, and treatment strategies to ensure the mutual improvement of its members – as well as the psychiatric field as a whole.

The GPPA Summer Meeting & Expo offers informative talks and activities. These focus on lifelong learning, professional development, and supporting education and advocacy for the profession. For those who attend, the show guarantees new insights and fresh perspectives in the world of Psychiatry.

8. Society of Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) Annual Meeting

This annual meeting takes place in June, with a different city hosting each year. The event features as one of the top trade shows in the pharmaceutical industry, due to its status as the “premier educational, scientific, research, and networking event” in the fields of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging.

The show expects thousands of attendees ranging from leading physicians, radiologists, cardiologists, and pharmacists to scientists, lab professionals, and technologists. Those who attend will gain a deeper level of understanding of relevant clinical, scientific, and academic concepts. Delegates have the chance to network during interactive events.

The interactive activities are the perfect chance to break the ice and to facilitate discussion and collaboration at the event. This is a wonderful way to grow in your professional career if you are interested in the nuclear medicine industry.

9. Society of Critical Care Medicine Annual Congress

This conference takes place annually in February, with the location changing each year. The Society of Critical Care Medicine is the largest non-profit medical organization in the critical care industry.

This Congress unites members from the critical care field under one roof. It’s an exciting mix of multi-professional, multidisciplinary experts in one place.

Delegates have the amazing opportunity to witness participation from leading experts. Top researchers in the domain of critical care medicine are expected to present cutting-edge research. It’s the event of the year if you’re interested in staying up-to-date on critical care advancements.

The purpose of Critical Care Week is to raise awareness of common issues faced by professionals in the field. The event encourages cooperation between critical care team members to improve the outcomes and experiences of critically ill and injured patients. If you’re interested in sharing ideas, learning, and improving patient outcomes, then the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s Annual Congress is a great place to be.

10. OR Today Live Surgical Conference

The last trade show on our list is the exciting OR Today Live Surgical Conference. The show is a great place for perioperative nurses and SPD professionals to congregate, collaborate, and learn from one another.

The event is held annually in August, taking place in a new host city each year. Attending the surgical conference can be beneficial for different kinds of people – from those who are looking for inspiration within their established careers, to those who are simply looking to earn credits for their continued education.

The event provides an exciting space in which world-class speakers are brought together to empower, motivate, and facilitate networking between perioperative professionals. If you’re going, prepare to engage with top surgeons and experts in your field and to emerge as a more confident and knowledgeable professional at the conclusion of the conference.

The Next Steps

If you’ve reached this point in the article, it’s clear that there are many interesting and valuable medical trade shows from which to choose.

All of the expos mentioned above enjoy impressive attendance – both from contributors and attendees who are simply there to observe. One of the main reasons for the success of these trade shows is that they provide the much-needed space for professionals of a specific medical sector to teach, learn, and network.

These shows provide a unique opportunity to source the most innovative products, solutions, and ideas. For manufacturers, it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase some of their latest offerings to a captive audience who are passionate and already invested in their industry.

In most cases, people will have the chance to see the devices live and in action. This interactive effect means that people are drawn in and are encouraged to interact with one another, as well as the technology itself. This makes it the perfect place to start and extend business and professional relationships.

So, now you’re armed with the information, what are the next steps?

If you’re looking for more information about a particular pharma trade show or medical fair, please contact us. We provide information and support for trade show requirements – check out our Trade Show Checklist here.

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trade show booth ideas

Tactical Trade Show Ideas and Booth Layouts for the Most Traffic

Trade shows are a cost-effective way to reach consumers. A study concluded that the average cost of an in-person meeting at a prospect’s office is $259. The cost of the same face-to-face meeting at a trade show? $142.

Success at a trade show begins with planning far ahead of the event. First, you should set a measurable goal that guides your efforts. A clear, realistic goal motivates every member of your team.

Do you want to gain new leads or to close sales? Is the goal to build brand awareness? Are you launching a new product or promoting an existing one? These are some of the questions you should consider when you’re setting your goal(s).

Your objectives inform decisions on marketing materials, giveaways, and booth design, among other things. Think of the trade show as part of your marketing strategy.

Even when you know what you want to get out of exhibiting at a trade show, it can be overwhelming when considering the best strategies to achieve your goals. Keep reading to learn about different trade show ideas that will help you to produce the biggest return on your investment.

Build Momentum Before the Event

It takes more than a free pen and candy to attract the right people to your trade show booth. To drum up excitement and anticipation for your exhibit, it is good practice to promote the event ahead of time. Here are a few simple yet effective ways to tell everyone you’re attending the trade show:

  • Add a notice to your company’s email signatures
  • Send a newsletter to current and potential clients
  • Engage with the trade show and its attendees on social media
  • Write blogs and other social posts about the show
  • Directly invite customers to attend the show
  • Create a hashtag for the event – or get involved with an existing one
  • Flaunt discounts that will be available at the trade show

Make sure anyone interested in your product or services knows where to find you at the event. Follow the organizer’s social accounts and share relevant posts with your followers.

These tactics create extra awareness and excitement about the upcoming show – and should lead to a higher volume of booth visitors.

Focus on Your Audience

Don’t try to appeal to everyone – it’s impossible to do so. Instead, do some research to understand who your target audience is, and what strategies they might be most receptive to.

Do your customers like loud and exciting displays? If so, then be sure to use bright colors, visuals, and sounds.

If your clients prefer calm, fill the booth with comfy seating and soothing colors. Always design your booth and marketing materials for your target audience.

See if you can access the registered attendee list before the event. Make sure to abide by any rules on what you can and can’t do with the list. Never spam all the attendees.

Look for current customers on the list. They’re your best source for sales and referrals. Contact them to arrange meetings, invite them to cocktails, and reveal special perks.

You can also leverage the list data to send custom messages to your ideal customer. Share useful information about the event and the host city, and invite them to visit you at the show. Make sure that you’re bringing value to the audience – instead of making it about your company, make it about what your brand can do to make their life better.

Include links and relevant hashtags so attendees can find you before, during, and after the event.

Embrace Technology

Ever-advancing interactive technologies offer more immersive and personalized experiences for trade show attendees than ever before. Use accessories like tablets, touchscreens, and digital signage to attract attention.

It’s much easier to engage attendees when your display contains eye-popping digital visuals. Adding that “wow” factor will encourage more social media posts and selfies, which provide you with more free publicity.

An interactive screen with a survey or contest is one way to capture email addresses. Visitors can provide their email addresses in exchange for a chance to win a prize.

It is also possible to successfully leverage technology that isn’t a part of your booth. Often, trade shows have apps that send push notifications to visitors in real-time. Exhibitors can use this technology to communicate with attendees through the app.

Utilizing app technology can allow your company to capture data, improve attendee engagement, and save money on printing. It’s also an intuitive and convenient method of communication for attendees.

Use the app to invite visitors to your booth for a presentation or contest. Always offer something of value and be sure to include a call-to-action.

Taking advantage of the endless possibilities to incorporate technology into your trade show exhibiting experience can pay dividends to your company if used correctly.

Offer a Special Discount

Trade show attendees expect freebies and discounts. Can you offer a special price for products or services purchased at the show?

This creates an urgent reason for attendees to buy. The discount can be anything from BOGO to a discount that’s only available at the event.

Customers often buy when they know they must act right away to take advantage of the deal.

Another option is to provide a discount code at your booth that works for a limited time after the show. You can track sales related to the code to determine the ROI.

No matter what kind of deals you decide to offer, establishing a sense of urgency can strongly encourage customers who are on the fence about your products or services to make a purchase on the spot.

Strategic Layout Ideas

Regardless of whether or not you have a prime booth location at the trade show, your booth’s layout is tremendously important.

What are people going to see first as they approach your booth? Are they coming from the side or front?

Will people pass your booth on the way to an auditorium or food court? Consider all the foot traffic patterns before arranging items in your booth.

A corner booth is a challenge since people can enter from more than one direction.

Lighting is an important component. The way your lights are set up can influence where passersby look first – which can, in turn, determine if they are interested in visiting your booth or not.

You can also create drama for a new product with a spotlight. Lamps convey a warm and inviting space. Lights in display cases can illuminate your products to bring your visuals to the next level.

If it’s your first trade show, get expert advice on your booth design. The pros can guide you on optimizing your lighting, visuals, and displays in ways that will look fantastic in any location.

Create a Seating Area

Trade show attendees spend a lot of time on their feet. Adding a couch and a couple of big chairs to your space can turn your booth into a much-needed resting spot for trade show attendees. Invite visitors to sit and relax.

Create a seating area that matches your message. Use colors and furniture that complement your brand and its products.

Display these products in their natural setting. For example, a company that sells adventure gear could create a cozy, rustic cabin.

Once people sit, you can start a conversation and show them what you have to offer.

Add a Charging Station

People want to charge their phones as much as they want to sit in a chair. Provide both and you’ll have a popular booth.

A charging station is always appreciated. People stay as long as it takes to charge their phones, and this affords you an invaluable opportunity – a captive audience. Take advantage of the opening to engage them in conversation.

Provide Hydration

Attendees prefer water over candy at trade shows. A bottle of water helps people stay hydrated as they traverse the long rows of the trade show.

Brand your bottles with a custom wrapper. Other attendees who see the bottle will find your booth to get their own.

Make sure you have enough water bottles to accommodate the crowd. You can slow the number of giveaways by making it a prize for playing a game.

This is an effective way to provide value to customers while getting your brand out on the trade show floor for more people to see and hear about.

Use Visual Marketing

Use visual marketing more than text when designing your booth. People respond immediately to images, whereas they may not be willing to stop and read a long message.

Keep the message clear and concise. Always use your brand’s colors and style for recognition.

Extend the visual identity to your staff. Everyone should dress in brand colors. Incorporate a logo on a shirt or hat so booth staffers are easy to identify.

Choose matching outfits that suit the business. The staff for a finance company may dress in suits or business casual. Staff for an athletic shoe company could wear sportswear.

Either way, a cohesive team looks professional and builds an identity for your brand.

Entertain the Attendees

Entertainment is a popular strategy for increasing trade show booth traffic. It attracts attention and keeps people interested in what you’re offering.

For a complete win, make the entertainment about your product. A product demonstration that includes drama or humor is a good choice.

Effective branded entertainment has lots of appeal. If it’s connected to or complements your business, then it’s easy for staff to engage with visitors.

An experienced entertainer can include key brand benefits or products in the act. This works for magicians, fortune tellers, singers, artists, and comedians.

It’s a clever way to put your message in front of your audience in a memorable way.

Interactive games like money-blowing machines, game shows, and virtual experiences draw traffic. Make sure your staff encourages visitors to take part. It’s another way to begin a relationship with potential buyers.

Add a photo booth to your display for built-in entertainment. People love posing for photos with coworkers and friends. Add a branded backdrop and props to the photo booth.

When visitors enjoy their experience, they will remember your brand. Make sure your products and selling points are part of the entertainment.

Samples and Branded Giveaways

Trade show attendees expect freebies. They don’t care if it’s a pen, hat or flashlight. Most will take home anything they can get.

The best giveaways are samples of your product.

Demo the product in action. Show how your product solves a problem. Let them taste, touch, and try on the product in your booth.

Hand out samples people can try at home. People love the chance to try a product before they buy it. Use branded giveaways so consumers can find you online later.

If your budget is tight, use a game to distribute samples. Create an activity consumers must win to receive a giveaway item.

While people wait in line to play, your staff can engage them in conversation. Give out a variety of items to keep the game interesting.

Use Social Media During the Event

Start conversations on social media and continue them during the trade show.

Stay active on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter throughout the event. It’s a good way to engage with followers and fans who attend the trade show.

Invite them to visit you. Announce demonstrations, giveaways, and samples happening at your booth.

Use These Trade Show Ideas at Your Next Event

These trade show ideas can help increase traffic at your next event. If you still have questions, contact us today.

We can help with everything from a portable booth to building a custom exhibit.

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trade show statistics

10 Trade Show Statistics To Help Maximize ROI

When you’re trying to implement new marketing strategies to improve your ROI, a Google search for content marketing ideas can make you feel like you’re grasping at straws.

Video production, organic social media, Facebook ads, webinars, and other content marketing tactics all require resources that you may not have access to or be ready to utilize just yet. You also might not have the time to commit to learning about these options when you’re looking for immediate results.

In the constantly evolving stages of content marketing, what if an often overlooked strategy remains one of those most effective? That strategy is a simple face-to-face meeting and a handshake.

The Content Marketing Institute seems to agree. In-person events remain one of the most effective forms of content marketing.

There is always a debate surrounding the most effective methods for generating leads. You’re here because you understand that all leads are not created equal. From a single trade show, how many leads do you think you can generate? 100? 300? 500?

Leads from in-person events, such as trade shows, have a unique advantage over leads sourced through the phone or internet: they have a face attached to them. You get to understand the client’s needs, and they get to understand your capabilities, in a much more comprehensive manner than would be possible in any chat log or email chain. How long would it take to organize hundreds of face-to-face meetings between your sales team and leads? This tedious process could take months, even for the most efficient teams. If you plan correctly for a trade show, you can consolidate hundreds of these meetings into a single weekend.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of ten helpful trade show statistics that are sure to maximize your ROI and make your next exhibiting experience memorable and worthwhile – for both your company and your clients.

1. Trade Shows Deliver Unique Value

Let’s double down on the fact that not all leads are created equal.

99% of businesses that exhibit at trade shows can attest to this claim. These businesses report that trade shows offer unique value that can’t be provided by other marketing channels, which is why they spend so much time developing marketing strategies for exhibiting.

This concentration of in-person interactions leads to higher conversion rates at trade shows. These individuals are walking around and coming directly to you. The power of touch cannot be understated – eye contact and a handshake can leave a much more meaningful impression than online communication. Those visiting your booth have control of the engagement – they’re speaking to you because they want to learn more. Doesn’t that sound nice for a change? We spend all this money and effort to reach out and flag down passersby and here they are, seeking your company out in person.

Count them as pre-qualified leads. Maybe they’re on the fence, but them wandering into your space makes it easier for your sales staff to convert.

This is where the trade show follow-up comes in. It is highly important to follow up with every potential client who provided their information. Letting them know that you appreciated the opportunity to interact with them, and reminding them of the value you can provide their brand, is essential to the conversion. Even a quick “thank you” will go a long way.

2. Exhibitors Get More for Their Money

Attending trade shows is one of the most cost-efficient ways for exhibitors to make meaningful connections and generate high-potential leads.

The estimated cost of a face-to-face meeting with a lead at a trade show is $142. On the other hand, the cost of a regular in-person interaction at a potential client’s office would be roughly $259.

81% of trade show attendees hold buying power. Even if you stumble across the 19% who don’t, over half of them will be likely to schedule an appointment with one of your salespeople for a future date.

Even stepping away from your booth is a good way to make these types of connections. Meeting people on the floor, in the bar, and at other events within the show is a good way to branch out.

3. Goals: Exhibitors vs. Attendees

Exhibitors attend trade shows to pursue the following goals:

  1. Increase Sales
  2. Increase Brand Awareness
  3. Interact with existing clients

There’s a running theme here. Exhibitors tend to utilize trade shows for customer management. Not only do they actively seek out new customers, but they nurture existing relationships as well. It can be tough to maintain meaningful relationships with clients whom you have connected in the past.

What about attendees? The primary reason for attendees to visit trade shows is almost universal:

92% of trade show attendees are there to view demos of new products. Keep that in mind when planning. Offering up a new product or service is what will draw the most eyeballs – of both new and established customers – onto your exhibit.

4. Revenue Generated from Trade Show Meetings

Leads are nice, but revenue generation is what matters at the end of the day. Therefore, you want to make sure that you can experience revenue growth as a result of investing in trade show exhibits.

The Oxford Economics and Events Industry Council found that 6 million international participants generated $38 billion directly from trade show meetings.

There is plenty of revenue to be made. Good preparation pays dividends to those who exhibit at trade shows. We hope that the statistics within this article help you carve out a plan to maximize your potential at a show before attending.

5. Attendees are likely to find new suppliers

If you don’t flaunt your brand and its competitive advantages at trade shows, your competition will. Showing off your brand at events like these will keep you at the top of the customers’ minds, and deflect attention away from your competitors.

77% of attendees will find, at a minimum, one new supplier – and that goes to show that they’re actively looking. A trade show boils down to leading the horse to water, and you want to make sure that potential clients are being led to the right place.

If you want to learn about how to attract the 77% of attendees who are looking for new a new supplier, read these secrets to success.

6. Companies Dedicate Jobs to Event Planning

The companies gaining the most benefit from trade shows understand their ROI so well that they often hire dedicated staff whose only job is to focus on the handful of events that the company prepares for each year.

These are positions called event planning and management employees, and this tactic is becoming more and more prevalent as the competition skyrockets.

Now, we aren’t suggesting you go recruit event planning majors at the state university down the road… But your competitors are. The very least you can do is exhibit at these trade shows and define to the attendees how you stand out from alternative options. You don’t need your own event planner to do this, just a knowledgeable team of employees to attract your potential leads.

7. Retention is Important

Let’s move on to think about nurturing the relationships you already have established. Over half of marketers have said that trade shows and similar events also help to strengthen their existing customer relationships.

This act of relationship nurturing helps to ensure that your connection with clients stays strong throughout the years, and keeps both sides up-to-date on changes and important aspects of your business relationship. Nobody wants to work with a client that feels stagnant – show off to your existing customers what you’ve been working on recently to keep things fresh and engaging.

8. 1/4 of Marketing Budgets Go Towards Events

To further investigate how much companies dedicate towards trade shows, let’s take a look at their budget allocation.

Studies show that B2B companies spend 29% of their entire marketing budget on live events such as trade shows, while B2C companies spend about 19% of their marketing budget. This may seem excessive to the naked eye, given the relative infrequency of these major events. However, based on these expenditures, it’s clear to see how important these companies feel trade shows are for their customer relationships, brand recognition, and sales.

With all of the planning, designing, and renting that goes into a successful exhibition, these numbers make sense. Strategically using trade show services can help to improve cost and time efficiency and develop a quality representation of your brand.

9. Tech Tactics

Trade show exhibit booths are evolving. They’re a practical use of space, often used not only as an eye-catcher but also as a useful way to allow your leads to interact with your brand. By extending your booth with computer portals or gimmicks like photo booths and other interactive displays and software, you can draw extended retention within your exhibit booth.

Of the most popular technologies that marketers use to give them a competitive edge, 45% say photo booths are the most popular, 44% use event apps, and another 44% use live streaming tools.

The use of live streaming is a brand new concept. Technology for these kinds of tools has only been around for a handful of years. However, the companies utilizing this tactic are reaping the benefits. For example, the best sellers of cheap Cialis online. For example, trade show organizers have found that those interested enough to watch a live stream of an event are 30% more likely to attend the following year.

That’s a huge advantage for your company. If you can live stream from your exhibit, you’ll be at the forefront of potential customers’ minds for the following year, and all those new attendees will want to visit your exhibit.

The companies that find the most success from in-person events prove themselves to be thought leaders. Incorporating a variety of high-tech aspects to your exhibit, as trivial as they may seem, will build up your company’s image and reputation.

10. How You Pioneer Industry Trends

We have covered how attendees want to see “new.” That’s great, but not every business can come to each trade show with a brand new product. In today’s world, if you plan to exhibit at three trade shows, by the third one, your novel new product will no longer retain its novelty.

So how do you stay fresh? You need to own the new trends in your industry. If you find ways to show how your company is leading in a particular way, that’s your free way of bringing something “new” to the event.

Let’s just take the fast-moving consumer goods industry as an example. In 2018, e-commerce equated about 6% of total FMCG sales. Nielson reports that by 2022, e-commerce will swell to the excess of $400b, accounting for 12% of total FMCG sales.

If you’re an FMCG manufacturer, you can educate your leads on subjects like this, and describe how you plan to add value to your customers with this new information in mind.

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The Best Trade Show Game Ideas

Best Trade Show Games - Metro Exhibits

The very best trade show games are those that are different and persistent. You need ideas for games that will help your business stand out and get noticed at a convention. Some of the best marketers know how powerful games can be at expos.

Jonah Berger, in his study of what makes something likely to be shared acknowledges “gamification” as a known catalyst for word of mouth marketing.

In a very real sense, most of us are hardwired to notice games and are excited to participate or watch- and more importantly, share their experience with others. Also, notice the keyword, “excited” in that last sentence. You are attending a trade show to get people’s attention and get them excited about buying your products or services.

This is why incorporating game ideas for trade shows could be a fantastic way to create some buzz, other than of course your trade show booth. Trade show booth rentals are a great option for this reason- so that you can keep your brand image up to date without the added expense. Custom trade show booth builds can also add the appeal, but a good budget is needed. Now that you understand the strategy behind trade show games, here are a few ideas for your next event. Also you should know, as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases- but our goal is to simply give you ideas for the best in trade show game options, and at the end of the day you choose the best game idea for yourself.

The Prize Putt

Best Trade Show Games - Metro Exhibits

The prize putt is a great game that doesn’t take too much skill if you buy the right style. Ones that are more luck than skill tend to get a lot more people to play. Give it a shot, this trade show game gets a lot of booth traffic. If done right, it may just get you some leads too.

Check out Prize Putt on Amazon

Matching Contest

Best Trade Show Games - Metro Exhibits - Matching Trade Show Game Ideas

One of the more unique ideas that we’ve seen is the Matching Contest. This game works by offering stickers to wear on the front of their clothing. These stickers would be printed with a number, symbol, or the like, of which two of every variation of stickers would match. So the contest would require attendees to find their match at the show and come back together to your exhibit to win a prize (say something nice like big screen TV).

Of course with the stickers also showcasing your logo, it’s huge brand visibility play. It’s an opportunity for attendees to ask, “Hey, what’s that sticker you have that everyone is wearing?”

Can people see others associating themselves with your product or service? If you get enough people to play the game, you extend the visibility of your brand to various parts of the show.

Social Media – Twitter Prize Draw

Best Trade Show Games - Metro Exhibits

Companies are taking a tactical look at using Social Media channels for trade shows. Some are considering Nitreo for Instagram to boost their numbers before a big show, but there are other ways you can bring it in. Why not mix it into your gaming strategy?

One customer of ours used a large flat screen to show all the latest Tweets with specific hashtags on Twitter. Next, they had attendees tweet at them using that hashtag (#companyxcontest), selecting 1 lucky user every hour the show floor was open to collect a prize.

The company would then tweet back notifying the attendee of the win. #Score.

As some know, all tweets that include your specified hashtag gets its own folder in Twitter, where all of those tweets can be viewed in one place. This way, you can measure you marketing efforts quantitatively.

Gaming Consoles

Best Trade Show Games - Metro Exhibits

There are a few people who may be at a conference because their boss told them to go and they are just looking for a fun time. They might not be the best people to do business with but they could help you attract people to your exhibit.

What better way to attract visitors than to have some attendees having fun at your booth? More social gaming consoles like Nintendo’s Wii can create a buzz for attendees walking the trade show floor. You could consider Gamecube Roms too, but keep in mind the atmosphere of the show you’ll be appearing at.

Choose a fun game that will be universally appreciated by both genders, and keep track of the high score of that game. If someone beats the high score offer a prize and update the score.

Again, the more social the game the better. The more people that can play at one time- the more buzz you will generate.

The Prize Wheel

Best Trade Show Games - Metro Exhibits

Some companies integrate a prize wheel into their display area. Does this work? Yes, a prize wheel works because it is eye-catching and well known. Another reason that a prize wheel works is people think, “Hey, free stuff.”

Free stuff is always a good reason to stop at a booth. The prize wheel could serve as the simplest and effective icebreakers all the event game ideas.

Making a game out of getting free stuff should incorporate some competition. If you give the opportunity to win small and big prizes, it turns into a competition. Not only are you getting something free, but you want to try and win big.

Prospects can spin the wheel if they give you a business card. You can then give them promotional giveaways or even coupons. If you use this trade show game idea, make sure it is accessible. A friendly staff member should stand in front of it and invite people to participate.

Far more people will participate if someone asks them to spin the wheel. It’s common nature to be on the edge of wanting to participate in a game, and sometimes you just need that extra push.

Browse Prize Wheels on Amazon

Role Doubles, Get a Prize

Trade Show Game - Dice

Prize games are the best, as long as it’s a great prize. Rolling doubles is an easy concept and quick. People would be interested in this because it won’t waste a lot of time, but it’s a great conversation starter and you can grab their contact info in the process. Make sure you offer a great prize, like an Echo Dot, a Fire Stick, or a Tile Key Finder.

Browse Large Dice on Amazon

Trivia Games

Best Trade Show Games - Metro Exhibits

This is one of the more common ideas used at trade shows, although it can be very effective. It gives people the opportunity to show off their knowledge in front of their colleagues.

If you first focus on giving that person a moment of glory, they usually then give you the courtesy of some attention to what you and your company provide.

Placing the convention attendees’ interests first can always open the conversation up in a way that’s less aggressive. If they answer a tough question correct, and then get rewarded with a prize… you may have just made their day. That is then associated with your brand.

Browse Trivia Games on Amazon

General Drawings

Best Trade Show Games - Metro Exhibits

Get give us your information, get a prize. We’ve all seen this before. Using idea is as simple as getting trade show attendees to drop their business cards into a fishbowl and then draw prizes. This approach may be simple but it can also be highly effective for getting attendee information!

If the event is filled to the brim with your target audience, your goal should be to get as many attendee information as possible. This trade show game strategy could be the one for you.

Browse Ticket Raffles on Amazon

Counting Games

Best Trade Show Games - Metro Exhibits

Another game idea is to have a container with a certain number of objects, like candy or marbles. The person who comes closest to guessing the amount gets a prize or a discount.

Like other games, it can serve as an ice-breaker that can foster communication between your representatives and trade show attendees. It’s a great way to get their information as well so that you can contact them if they won at the end of the show.

This is yet another example of a simple and effective way to get information from your target audience.


Best Trade Show Games - Metro Exhibits

Ah, yes of course! Plinko is a classic game that always brings a nostalgic fun to the trade show floor. Have someone fill out a contact form for a chance to win a prize. Make the prizes something fun- but useful.

Browse Plinko Games on Amazon

Bean Bag Toss Games

Best Trade Show Games - Metro Exhibits

This is something that people are familiar with and would have an easy time stepping up to give it a shot. The best games for any expo are ones that people actually play. Give it a whirl!

Browse Bean Bag Games on Amazon

Games Don’t Make or Break Success

Using one or a combination of these ideas will help you gather information in a way that’s fun for the visitor. However, the success of the game is not all up to the game itself.

Games attract people who walk right past your booth. You cannot do this without a good first impression.

As always, make sure your booth is naturally eye-catching and has a great design to get the attention of attendees that are far away from your booth. Your game is not the first impression someone has of your brand- your display and your brand imagery is what catches their eye and attracts them to your booth.

We see a lot of exhibitors believe their game choice was the problem when in reality their booth was not a good representation of their brand, which in turn affects their booth traffic.

Remember the most important thing you can do at a trade show is attract visitors, meet people, collect their information, and cultivate a positive relationship. Good luck with your game choice and always remember to cater your trade show booth’s marketing strategy to your audience. Create a goal that can be measured (ex: number of booth visitors to the number of visitors who’s information was gathered) to determine your game’s success.

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