Drawing a tradeshow crowd is the boiled-down essence of the reason for exhibiting at a tradeshow. With hundreds or thousands of competing tradeshow exhibits, every single one of them wants to find a way to draw the biggest crowds throughout the tradeshow. Having a crowd – and knowing what to do with it – is the best path to success in your tradeshow marketing endeavors.
Given that, let’s take a look at ways you can spend a little money and draw a crowd.
- Hire a pro. Professional presenters know what they’re doing. They will put together a short presentation designed specifically to not only draw a crowd but inform and educate the crowd about your product or service.
- Have an exhibit that is visually appealing and feels comfortable to walk into. Many exhibits look great but feel intimidating and will turn people away. Does your exhibit invite visitors to come in?
- Do consistent pre-show marketing. Letting people know what to expect at your show is one of the keys to getting people to make a special trip to your exhibit.
- Have in activity that relates directly to your product. Digimarc’s appearance at the National Retail Federation expo in New York gave attendees a hands-on experience that was unique and unforgettable.
- Leverage your social media activity. Make sure that all posts include the show hashtag and your booth number.
- Have a famous person in your exhibit. No, you can’t hire the Brad Pitts, George Clooneys or Jennifer Lawrences, but you can hire an author or speaker that is well-known in your industry to draw a crowd.
- Have a well-trained and fun booth staff.
- Offer food. Yes, at a food show, you won’t stand out that much. But at a non-food show, it can help draw a crowd. One exhibitor I saw years ago at a tech show made smoothies for visitors. Since it took a minute or two for each smoothie to be made, the staff had plenty of time to chat with folks in the smoothie line to determine if they were prospects or not.
- Offer a unique giveaway. Promotional items are a dime a dozen, but if you are offering something useful and cool, word will get around.
And remember – once you have drawn a crowd, be sure you know what to do with them!
Megan Bell ,
Nice article Tim. The pre-show marketing activities are very important for a successful trade show, especially with most companies being so active on social media. People do not have time to get into a booth and know about a product or a concept for the first time. The idea of offering food always works and attracts a lot of people, who are hungry and tired from all the walking. People should also have sufficient space to move inside a booth, and this has to be taken care for even smaller booths. If they get trapped inside, other people would be reluctant to step in.