Models, music and magic tricks: a lot of trade show participants use these cheesy gimmicks to bring an audience to an otherwise bland booth. But are mesmerizing models who hand out fliers with a side of flirtation really a great method to attract attendees?
Whether you want to collect business cards to enter into your client database, cultivate buzz for a new product or simply build brand awareness, relying solely on booth babes and flashy PowerPoint slideshows just isn’t going to cut it. To show people that you mean business, you need an aggressive plan of action.
The most important thing that you can do in order to generate traffic to your booth is to plan ahead. Make a list of clients, colleagues and prospects that you want to draw to your booth. Try reaching out to them well before the show through email, phone or direct mail.
About 70 percent of show attendees know what booths they are going to visit well before entering through the convention center’s front doors. This is why it is so important for you to get on their list BEFORE the show and not try to woo them with free candy and blondes while they’re already making their rounds of the floor.
You should also make an effort to coordinate interview appointments with suppliers, clients and anyone you want to do business with in the conference’s location. It’s a great way to get face time with the people you might otherwise not get to sit down with and talk.
Inviting people to check out your booth isn’t usually enough - they need a solid incentive to make the visit worth their time. You can either feature a new product your company is launching or have a special offer, such as a price promotion or show discount that you can use to draw folks to your booth. You shouldn’t simply give away an iPad or television by drawing a business card out of a fishbowl. You want to actually attract your target audience. That’s why it’s critical to know the attendees before the event happens.
You can also set up private offices in your booth or reserve space time ahead so that you get to bond with your target audience.
Some companies at ad:tech in San Francisco decided to take a more creative approach to their booths that included beer pong tables, photobooths and other fun draws. Adding a playful touch to your booth is a sure-fire way to attract traffic.
This article is part of Allvoices’ series on ad:tech, the largest digital marketing and technology conferences and expositions. Check out allvoices.com/adtech for more of Allvoices’ ad:tech New York event coverage. This series is supported by ad:tech.