6 Tips to Drive Attendees to Your Trade Show Exhibition

June 17, 2022

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Driving traffic to your sponsor and exhibitors’ booths is a top priority as both an event organizer and an event sponsor yourself. While you hope that the trade show you’re working with has set you up for success, it’s also important to consider what you can do to drive traffic to your own booth. Utilizing the tools provided to you, your own ingenuity, and a few creative ideas, you’ll be able to drive traffic to your booth and maximize your event ROI.

In this week’s blog, we’ll talk a little bit more about some fun, creative ways to entice trade show attendees to stop by your booth (both digitally and on-site)!

1. Offer Free WiFi

How many times have you gone to a conference, tradeshow, or meeting, and been stuck with slow service? You can’t access your emails, you can’t check your social media to see what other professionals are talking about, and you can’t send a text message to your colleague to make sure they have everything they need if you’re on break. Offering and advertising free WiFi at your tradeshow booth will give attendees a chance to catch up on their missing notifications.

For an extra boost, offering coffee will make your booth a friendly spot for attendees to stop by. While not all attendees will be great leads with this tactic, as they sit back and enjoy their cuppa Joe, your sales team has an opportunity to see if you’d be a great match together.

2. Run a Contest

For every person who stops by your booth and finds out more about your product or service, whether online or onsite, put their name into a contest. At Stova, we’ve hosted contests at our own booths ranging from gift card giveaways to a top-of-the-line coffee and espresso machine. Having a giveaway brings in new leads who might not have taken the time to stop by your booth, but it also rewards those who have already scheduled appointments at your booth.

Bonus: For the individuals who schedule meetings online or onsite ahead of time, put them in their own giveaway category! The more meetings you have pre-scheduled during the tradeshow, the more prepared your sales team will be to hopefully close on a deal.

3. Attend Trade Shows as an Attendee First

Compile research on the trade show you want to sponsor and exhibit at, first. While this may not be reasonable for some, we’ve found that when you know what to expect from the trade show and conference in question, you can set goals and level-set your expectations prior to the event day. Another tip we suggest is to ask your event organizer what event platform they will be using, what resources are generally available, and test them yourself. If you’re attending the event as an attendee for the first time, don’t be scared to ask questions and navigate the technology on your own! Knowing if the organizer and tech provider are aligned will benefit you in the long run, if you do choose to exhibit with them.

Stova has launched a new tool for event organizers to streamline the sponsorship and exhibitor pipeline. ExpoPRO is your new best friend in exhibitor management, and allows you and your sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, and internal employees, to stay aligned throughout the entire trade show process. Find out more!

4. Reach Out to Existing Customers

Existing customers and prospects should be one of your first resources for trade show exhibitions. Inviting existing customers and prospects to visit your booth, have a coffee, and discuss any new and upcoming products, is a great way to continue the growing bond between your organizations. This might get costly if you’re offering to pay for their entry ticket or flight to the onsite trade show, but it might be beneficial to your organization in the long run. What is a $600 entry ticket against a possible $100,000+ contract, right? Weight the risks and rewards with leadership, sales, and stakeholders, if applicable.

If your attendees can’t make it to the onsite tradeshow, be sure to have in-depth knowledge of how the trade show works with virtual attendees. Is there a virtual event experience you can capitalize on? Maybe the onsite ticket and flight become a registration to the virtual event and a chat on the virtual platform. Talk with your event organizer and see their virtual capabilities before you decide to exhibit with them, especially if you have a global audience you want to reach.

5. Make Your Booth Interactive

Much like we suggested earlier, making your booth fun and interactive is a game-changer. There are organizations that bring games to their booths, baristas to serve coffee as a pick-me-up after a long day, or even serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks with kitschy names. Depending on the audience, the environment, and trade show rules, these might be great options for you to consider.

Another option for an interactive environment is to make your booth Instagram-worthy. While your onsite attendees may not have the full capability to benefit, you could get creative and offer photo booth options within the event’s virtual platform. Create a trade show and product-specific hashtag for the event and utilize social media. Word of mouth goes a long way – the more people see your booth on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook, the more likely they are to want to know what you offer.

6. Host a Speaking Engagement or Product Demonstration

Whether you want an industry professional or a star-studded lineup of motivational speakers, know your audience. Hosting a small group product demonstration within your booth is one way to welcome soft leads into your pipeline. They might be interested, but not interested enough to schedule a one-on-one product demonstration. Or, maybe, they want base knowledge to take back to the decision-maker in the organization. Small group presentations are interactive, informative, and great lead drivers for your sales team. With professional speakers, your crowd might get a little bigger. It’s important to discuss with the trade show organizer what the capacity for your booth is and if you might block the flow of traffic if your speaker is highly requested. At that point, it may be best to schedule an event off-site, in the trade show’s designated meeting areas, or in a nearby restaurant for maximum return.

Learn more about how Stova can help make your trade shows better for attendees and exhibitors and learn more about our latest product: ExpoPRO.

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Whether your event is virtual, hybrid, or in-person, enhance your attendee’s journey with an event ecosystem built for your audience. Ready to walk through Stova's event technology solutions? Schedule some time with us today.