4 Easy Ways to Capture Trade Show Attendees’ Attention

3 SECONDS! Literally, that’s the amount of time you have to catch someone’s eye and draw them into your trade show booth. If you’ve ever attended a trade show and walked the convention floor, you know how easily it is to get distracted. You see a friendly face heading towards you and strike up a conversation, you bump into someone and spill coffee on your shirt, and then there’s the sudden bathroom trip. There always seems to be something that keeps you from the main reason why you’re there in the first place – checking out the exhibitors booths.

In order to insure your trade show booth gets noticed and you reap the benefits of your investment, take the above average approach. This is not the time to settle for “just ok graphics” or your “should have replaced it last year” booth. If you’re settling for average, you’ll end up being, well, just average. 

So, here’s a few quick ways to get you noticed at your next trade show. And you’ll be surprised how easy they are too!

#1 Do something different or unexpected.
Keep it simple, but be bold. This often pertains to the graphics on your trade show display, so take a peek at them a few months ahead of your next trade show and switch things up. Large, bold images that are relevant to your brand are always a good start. Adding a few key points to really hone in on your marketing message can also be added. Deliver a simple message that’s intriguing, invites people to stop and find out more.

#2 Play a game.
Let’s face it, people are competitive and love playing games. Having something interactive in your booth will start a buzz, which will get people talking around the trade show floor. Try a game like Plinko, Minute to Win It, or a questions game like “Would you Rather?”. Set up a monitor to post a leader board and people will get even more excited to see their name up there. Just choose a game that doesn’t take too much skill. If you find an appealing activity that offers them a chance to win a prize and gets a little mental engagement at the same time, trust us, they’ll stop.

#3 Ask questions.
There’s a lot to be said for knowing how to positively engage with someone. So what’s the best way to start a conversation? Ask a question, any question! Start with a simple yes/no question, then build off that. You’ll quickly find out if this particular person is interested in what you have to offer or not. One question will lead to another question, which leads to another and before you know it you’re in a full blown conversation with someone you just met 10 minutes ago. And if you’re lucky, you also have a new lead to bring back to the office with you.

#4 Offer a sitting area or charging station.
Although this may only be an option for larger booths with the extra space, this is probably the simplest way to draw people in your booth. Give random visitors a place to sit and recharge their devices, also try offering bottled water or a snack as well so they stick around for 5-10 minutes. And with a well placed monitor in front of them, they may also watch a video about your company or product to pass the time. These few simple things just might lead to an engaging conversation and possible client down the road. It’s a win-win!

FINAL THOUGHTS:
While we realize there are hundreds, probably thousands, of unique ways to capture trade show attendees’ attention. All it takes is simple planning before the show, execution during the show, and a timely follow up after the show. Trade shows may seem daunting at first, but once you get a few under your belt, you’ll be a professional exhibitor in no time!