Games, contests, and demonstrations that help you acquire leads.

“If you have a fun game in your booth relevant to your industry, while your competing entities down the aisle have nothing but brochures,” says Nathan Yerian, director of strategy at the marketing firm Adhere Creative, “where do you think people will end up?” Good activities can make your booth a hot destination and promote your company and product.

To create a good activity and use it well:

  • Choose an activity that fits your brand. A tech company, for instance, should use activities that look advanced and futuristic.
  • Offer prizes. Samuel J. Smith, managing director of the trade show activities company Interactive Meeting Technology, says that prizes make attendees think, “I’ve got to go to that [booth activity], because they’re giving away an Apple Watch” or another coveted item. 
  • Train your staff. Rehearse your booth workers until they can run the activity easily. 
  • Promote and publicize. Before and during the show, use email blasts, social media posts, and ads on the show’s app and other media.
  • Collect information about attendees who watch the activity. Some of them are probably potential buyers. While they watch, you or a booth worker can scan their badges.

The following five activities can attract attendees while spreading information about your company.

1. Games with company information 

Two-thirds of a show’s attendees will readily play a game that informs them about an exhibitor’s product. So says the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), a trade show industry study group. 

You can put information on a spin-and-win prize wheel, a putting green, a Plinko board, or any other playing surface. As the game goes on, the participants and spectators will read your message over and over. 

2. Educational presentations

At the latest DesignCon, engineers gathered at the booths of software company Ansys, circuit-board designer Mentor, and other exhibitors. Company experts revealed their firms’ hottest new tech and put key facts and images on a nearby video screen — a smart tactic, since bright visuals and interesting information can grab an audience. 

To make the attendees watch the whole presentation, Ansys and Mentor held prize raffles — and announced the winners when the presentations ended. 

3. Product demonstrations

If your product moves, lights up, or makes sounds, it can attract attention. Some tips:
  • If possible, let attendees use the product. They’ll believe their own hands and eyes. 
  • Keep it short. A demo should run no longer than 15 minutes. 
  • The person who runs the demo should know enough about the product to answer technical questions. 
  • Like educational presentations, a demonstration can offer a prize to attract attendees and hold them until the demo ends.

4. Trivia quizzes and other knowledge contests

TV’s Jeopardy! and the app HQ Trivia prove trivia’s popularity. Interactive Meeting Technology’s Smith says that the company’s trivia competition is one of its most effective tools.

You can stage a trivia contest at your booth, with a prize for the winner. To keep the participants and spectators interested, your quiz should cover their industry. You can even salt in questions and answers about your product to educate the attendees in a fun, entertaining way.

5. Photo activities 

A photo booth or backdrop featuring your logo will attract attendees to take “Look, everyone, we’re here at the show!” photos.

Tell the attendees that you’ll enter them in a prize drawing if they post their photos and your hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. In that way, the attendees will publicize your company to their friends and colleagues.

A photo setup or other activity can make you a star attraction on the expo floor. It can help you market your product and acquire leads. And it can be a lot of fun. 

Why not give it a try?

Join thousands of service and support professionals this year at HDI's events. About 90% of attendees are decision makers with direct involvement in selecting and purchasing solutions, and they are looking for YOU!