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Why Do Companies Miss the Boat at Trade Shows?

Posted by: Jim Harris on 4/10/2010

When was the last time you went to a trade show? What vendor made the most powerful impact on you? What product or service really “caught your eye” and how did they do it?

There are only two reasons to attend a trade show – to see and to be seen.

Trade Show Games - Solving the PuzzleIt’s commonplace to attend trade shows and walk around all day and get the free bags, brochures, business cards and things that blink. Vendors are there to promote their newest product or service while others go there to collect intelligence on their competitors. If you attended a national trade show that had about 5,000 exhibitors, you could expect to have somewhere around 150 – 250 visitors per day at a booth. It would be very difficult to make that many sales calls are in a day.

Before your company decides to be an exhibitor at a trade show, ask these questions:

  • Why are you exhibiting – e.g what is your expected outcome?
  • Who is your target market, what are they most interested in – and why?
  • What is the message you want to convey, and how should that be done?
  • What do you want to get out of the show?

 

One creative and impactful method of leaving a lasting impression is to have an interactive game or experience that integrates video, graphics and animation. An interactive game provides the following:

  1. Ability to better communicate how a product or service really works
  2. Attracts visitors to your booth
  3. Opportunity to make an important “first impression”
  4. Allows the participant to obtain valuable product or service information 
  5. Stimulates multiple senses (sight, sound, touch)
  6. Visitor can engage and have a fun experience.
  7. Can be integrated with a lead retrieval system that will allow the vendor to follow-up with the participant afterwards.
  8. Can be integrated with a contest. E.g., Top 5 scores on a quiz wins a prize.

 

According to Simmons Market Research Bureau study, 91% of respondents ranked trade shows as “extremely useful” as a source for product purchasing information. By using an interactive video game kiosk at your next trade show, you engage a person with the video that builds brand awareness for your company. This can further result in driving traffic to your website, creating loyal customers and influence future buying decisions.

So, at your next trade show are you going to see, or to be seen?
 

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