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10 Interactive ideas to help engage your prospects at your next trade show

10 Interactive ideas to help engage your prospects at your next trade show

Getting people to connect with your brand these days can no longer be achieved with purely visual prompts such as signage and advertising, you need to think about encompassing all the senses. To really engage your audience at an exhibition or trade show, you should try and create an authentic and memorable ‘experience’. The aim of the game is to promote an emotional response in your audience – creating brand affinity. You need to get interactive!

The experiential connection at an event such as a trade show will build a devoted following which, in turn will drive sales and build brand loyalty.

Here are 10 interactive ideas for your next exhibition stand which will help to engage your audience:

1. Touchscreens

As with every other element of your exhibit, the technology you use should help your visitors interact and engage with your brand. Giving visitors a tactile prop provides an instant connection. You can use touchscreens to capture lead data, provide information or display a sales presentation ….or even just for fun – such as a quiz or competition.

The best interactive trade show ideas will often appeal to a competitive nature, so offer up a ‘high-score’ prize or set a challenge that involves ongoing collaboration giving you the perfect opportunity to contact your leads again after the show.

2. Prize wheels

Not only are you appealing to a natural, human competitive behaviour with something like a prize-wheel, it also provides a feature – especially if large and colourful and enhanced with lights & sounds. It can be a real drawcard, especially if you have a good ‘spruiker’ to build excitement and engage the crowds. Make sure at least one of the prizes is worth winning ( – and have a backup in case it does get won on the first attempt!)

3. Guessing Games

Another oldie-but-goodie is the ‘guess the jelly beans in the jar’ competition. If you can relate it to your brand or product – even better! For example, if you sell coffee; count the coffee beans.

Don’t be afraid to go large if your product is something like sporting equipment; you could have a bin full of tennis balls or make it a feature such as part of a wall filled with running shoes.

For people to enter, they need to leave their guess along with their contact details – so it’s really just a fun way of collecting lead data.

4. Large scale 3D Reproductions

Australia just loves huge-scale replicas (… Big Banana, Big Lobster etc.) It’s quirky and it’s a bit of fun….but it’s memorable! Particularly if it can be interactive such as the giant mobile phone or the Telstra Touch tab we created a few years ago showing the different apps as 3D dials. Just the motion of turning the dials is so much more effective in communicating the message than if it was just a 2-dimensional print.

5. Functional Working Displays & Equipment

Hands on experience trumps all when it comes to buying decisions. It’s not always obvious how a product works or what it’s capable of without seeing it in action. It depends what you’re selling obviously, but wherever you can, make sure you have enough space on your stand for live demonstrations. If your visitors can witness firsthand how something works, they will be far more likely to part with their money.

6. Professional Demonstrations

Brochures and promotional items are nice, but nothing sells a product quite like a hands-on demonstration. Try to tap into as many of the five senses as you can with your demo and hire a professional if you can.

Professional demonstrators will showcase your product with a bit more zest and it’s often worth the extra spend to hire someone specifically for the occasion. It also leaves you and your staff free to do the real work of collecting leads and making sales.

Keep it short though – attention tends to wane after about 5 – 10 minutes so you need to get the point across by then.

7. Live Celebrity Appearances

Whilst not exactly ‘interactive’ as such – hiring a celebrity as a motivational speaker will have an impact on your visitors. If you can align your brand with someone people admire and respect they will, in turn, project those same feelings onto your brand.

Professional entertainment agencies can let you know who might be available and it will certainly pump up your visitor numbers.

8. 3D Printing to Order

Exhibitors at trade shows have been using 3D printers to draw crowds in such areas as car shows, boat shows, jewellery trade shows and food and cooking demonstrations. Showcasing how 3D technology can be creatively utilised in different areas can be both entertaining and engaging for the observer.

One of the more appealing and fun uses we have seen this idea being employed is the creation of ‘mini-me’ personalised dolls.

9. Responsive Triggers

Shelves that light up when a product is lifted, floors that change colour as they’re walked across, robots who talk to passers-by, speakers offering up information when approached…. technology is offering up endless opportunities for responsive and automated ‘reactions’ which will engage your visitors.

10. Photo Opportunities for Social Media

Like it or loath it, social media plays a big part in the world of advertising these days, so might as well jump on board the bandwagon and get people snapping and posting pics of your exhibition stand on their own social media accounts. Whether you plump for an old-fashioned photo booth, an eye-catching backdrop or just some 3D props and scenery,  getting people to take photos and post on the WWW is a great way to get some free advertising out there and generate a bit of ‘buzz’.

Need more ideas? Contact Exhibitionco today and let us come up with something original and engaging to put your brand in the spotlight at your next event.