Tim Patterson, aka TradeshowGuy, writes and broadcasts regularly on subjects related to the business of exhibiting. Today, we publish seven of Tim’s ideas plus a few of our own on the theme of being quirky when you next exhibit.
Quirky, for this article relates to things that will help you attract more people to and onto your stand. Here are Tim’s ideas.
A helpful list of quirky ideas
Lists, where would we be without them? Well, I’ve put together the short list below of interactive things that can help draw a crowd to your trade show stand.
Create a small box with a lock. This is a box that contains a prize or a slip of paper that declares what the prize is.
Next, you need a bin full of keys; but only one of the keys opens the box. Each visitor that comes by your stand can try a key or two. Once the key has been tried, it goes into the discard bin. As the keys (say, a couple of hundred) slowly go down to just a few, more and more people will keep trying to get the thing to open. Once the prize box has been opened the winner gets a prize, and another prize is inserted in the box and you start all over again.
Meantime, you have collected the details of all participants.
Hold the front page. Yes, actually hold it and be on it!
With this idea, you create a larger-than-life mock-up of a newspaper front page. You create your own headlines and front page stories.
Your stand contractor can make and print the wall for you. Part of the design is to have a hole cut in your page so that people can stand behind it and get their picture taken. Most will then post this on social media. While on your stand, invite visitors to sign up for a newsletter or for something else that offers the chance to win some cool stuff. Or, just give them some swag if they post the photo on their social media accounts.
Go big with Jenga
Make a big Jenga set, only have each block relate to a specific question or topic that relates to your product or industry. Once someone pulls a block, you can talk about the topic, answer the question, and find out if the visitor has any questions about the topic. Capture their details and you have another qualified lead.
Bean bag games
This is very simple but don’t underestimate the effectiveness. Create a bean bag tossing game in a prominent part of your stand. Invite attendees to try their skill and win branded items as prizes. A simple and cost-effective way to get people to stop at your stand. Qualify your participants as they play or while they are waiting to do so.
Shiny, happy people…
Give away LED flashing pins with your logo. Tell visitors that a ‘secret shopper’ is going to be walking around the tradeshow floor giving away swag to people wearing the flashy things. Obviously …walk around the show and give out some prizes taking photos as you do so. Other visitors see this which adds to their interest in those “flashing pin things” which seem to be appearing all around the show. “Where did you get that pin?”
Image from Decor Puzzle
Specialist printing for photo opportunities
Use special printed flooring that gives visitors opportunities to photograph themselves standing over something fun or interesting. How about a spot with footprints and some clever graphic and text including a hashtag phrase? Or, you could use an image of some kind or some 3D effect like the one shown above.
You can also use the same kind of thinking to create printed wall effects in one area of your stand. Even small stands can have these photo opportunity sections built into one of their walls. These are fun and quirky things that help make your stand attractive to visitors.
The rise of the robots!
Get a promotional robot. They are excellent attractions when it comes to engagement with visitors. You can hire a robot, you don’t have to buy one and they come in all shapes and sizes. Click on this link for more on robots. They definitely fit with a quirky and interactive approach to exhibiting!
More quirky ideas you could consider
You can’t get quirkier than Comic Con. This article highlights a creative frame of mind that you might want to incorporate into your trade show planning.
A Dutch trade show has installed a powernap area at its latest edition – this is in a bid to help visitors and exhibitors make the most of the event. This could be stretching quirkiness if it went on your stand but, you’d certainly get publicity….
What about creating walking billboards for your business around a show and venue. Enter “walking billboards” in your search engine to find a supplier.
Not so much quirky but helpful when you need some exhibiting inspiration.
Graphics can be quirky if you involve a designer. They can help your business make a big impact in crowded show. Find out how in this article by Brad Green of Digital Art.
About the Author
After 25+ years as a radio on-air personality, Tim Patterson became TradeshowGuy. He blogs regularly at TradeshowGuyBlog.com and is the host of the weekly vlog/podcast TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee. After spending 9 nears as VP of Sales and Marketing at Interpretive Exhibits, Tim is currently owner of TradeshowGuy Exhibits in Salem, Oregon. His company works with exhibitors to improve their tradeshow marketing presence and bring in more qualified leads. Find him on Twitter at @TradeshowGuy and on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/timothypatterson/.