Every company on the trade show floor is looking for an opportunity to differentiate themselves from other exhibitors, but what are the most effective ways of doing so. There are many ways including: a powerful exhibit design, a great trade show staff and well-executed pre-show marketing, but there is another realm of easy-to-use and full proof trade show draws. These are the trade show gimmicks.
Gimmicks are present at every trade show whether it is games, giveaways, celebrity appearances or the like, but there are three in particular that stand out. These stand out trade show gimmicks are not only effective, but create a level of engagement with your brand that is memorable and lasts long after the show has come to an end. These three trade show gimmicks are headshots, massage chairs and photo booths, but what separates these three from the rest?
While attending a recent trade show, a company was offering professional headshots as their trade show gimmick. Professional headshots are usually hard to get, so offering them at your booth is a good idea. Naturally being in the industry, I was interested to see the type of draw this approach would have. The traffic generated through this method was sensational. There was a line of attendees at their booth leading out into the general walkways awaiting their chance to get professional headshots. This, of course, will mean that you need to hire a professional company that offers corporate photography services but this expense will quickly be made up by all of the impressions you’d make.
Depending on the focus of the trade show itself this may be more effective at certain types events than others, but overall, there is quite a demand for this gimmick. The line provided the trade show staff extra time and an open forum to interact with the attendees at their booth while simultaneously projecting the photos on a large TV screen to draw even more attendees to the booth. This type of cyclical traffic generation kept their booth space busy for the duration of the event.
Photo booths present a unique opportunity to link your brand to an enjoyable event, and subsequently boost your brand recall. Photo booths are a nostalgic and entertaining activity that attendees will associate with your brand when sharing their experiences at the show with colleagues, friends, family, etc. Not only does this gimmick draw attendees to your booth, put them in a positive mind set and warm them up for your trade show staff, but the byproduct then serves as a highly personalized promotional item. When the photo booth spits out the attendee’s photo strip with your branding on it, this is likely an item that they will keep when the show is over. Combining a unique experience with a branded keepsake is a great way to stay top of mind come purchasing time.
There is no need to advocate the effectiveness of a massage chair. This gimmick is about the most relaxing attraction possible for tired and weary trade show attendees. At a recent event in San Francisco, a company was able to incorporate 15-minute masseuse sessions for trade show attendees who needed a break, and it was an overwhelming success. This trade show gimmick in particular poses one major obstacle, and that is the ability to communicate your product and not waste time with unqualified prospects.
It is important to expect a large draw, and determine a way to filter out the qualified prospects with whom you want to spend your time. If you are able to locate prospective clients, current clients and even vendors pre-show and invite them to unwind with a complimentary massage at a specified time you will set yourself up for success. Find the best way to communicate your message to the right people while leveraging the draw of the massage chairs, and watch the sales roll in.
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