A glass fishbowl is an icon of old-school trade show exhibiting. But it’s time to retire it — for something better.
Most likely you’ve seen an exhibitor put a glass fishbowl on their booth counter for visitors to toss in their business cards in the hope of winning a prize. Exhibitors draw a card for the winner, and keep all the cards as potential leads.
But, like rotary phones and carbon copies, using glass fishbowls to gather trade show leads leaves you at a severe disadvantage compared to what’s possible with today’s technology.
Not to mention how many high-tech companies also exhibit at shows in other sectors, as new entrants and disrupters in traditional industries.
We are a good fit with tech exhibitors, whether it’s for a single large show, or as part of their annual show schedule. While every exhibitor has their own objectives, they often tell us this is their motivation for choosing us:
1. Tech Exhibitors Require A High-Tech Activity To Match Their Brand
Tech exhibitors know they need to host an activity to stand out from their neighboring exhibitors. But, that activity can’t be a glass fishbowl to catch leads, or an old school prize wheel, or any other activity that works without the power on. They need something tech-driven, to fit with their tech-centric products. They understand their image will be tarnished if their booth attraction doesn’t match visitor expectations.
If you are attending EXHIBITORLIVE 2019 in Las Vegas from February 25th to 27th, we’d love to see you there!
Using our SocialPoint Audience Engagement Platform, we can brand, style and configure over 25 different audience engagement games and activities for mobile phones, tablets or big screens – without doing any programming.
Stop by our booth and:
Play and witness how our interactive trade show games boost booth traffic and attendee engagement
Discuss your company brand, target audiences, and exhibiting goals to get recommendations on which of our 25 interactive games and activities fits your needs best
See our bold digital screens we can customize to your brand with our software platform faster and for less
Discover how our games also capture, convince, qualify, and report your trade show leads
Hear success stories of fellow exhibitors, exhibit houses, and marketing agencies
Play To Have Fun, Try Our Games, Win Prizes & Bragging Rights!
See What’s New!
See the vastly expanded capabilities of our Digital Fishbowl, EXHIBITORLIVE’s 2018 Buyers Choice Award Winner, which can now drive many new interactive activities that feed digital content to a flat screen monitor
See the newly-released Audience Participation Game, that takes gamification to a whole new level for your sales and customer meetings, plus improves lead capture and measurement from trade show passport tours
Meet our growing customer success team
Visit SocialPoint at EXHIBITORLIVE 2019, Booth #950
Meet Us At The Show!
We would love to demonstrate how we can help you drive more booth traffic, increase attendee engagement, and capture more measurable lead data with our interactive trade show games. Come play for fun, prizes, and chat about how we can help you achieve your trade show goals.
What do you get when you choose a SocialPoint interactive trade show game? More than fits on a single screen!
There are actually 4 kinds of digital screens that come with each of our trade show games. The 4 kinds of screens not only come in different sizes, but also help you achieve different key trade show goals: Attract attendees, engage and capture leads, and measure your results.
1st Interactive trade show game screen: Big monitors that attract attendees
The big flat screen TV monitors main goal is to attract attendees into your booth. They present intriguing, game-generated content that tells passing attendees that something cool is happening here, and they should check it out. Our games output digital content that display on a large screen of your choice.
These large screens are attendee-facing and therefore are customizable to your brand assets (logo, type fonts, colors, product images, and backgrounds). Let’s take a look.
With our Challenge Bar Trivia game, the big screen is a constantly-updated leaderboard showing the top 5, 10, or even 20 scoring game players, often with a photo of the big prize, company brand, or the game theme.
To attract even more attention, some exhibitors make this big screen even bigger. For example, iBoss combines 4 flat screens into one larger digital display:
And Cisco Live made an epic leader board to stand out even more and be an even bigger attraction:
With our Virtual Prize Wheel, the big screen can be the prize wheel itself, listing the variety of prizes attendees can win. This prize wheel also spins when an attendee plays, creating more visual intrigue for passers-by.
2nd Interactive trade show game screen: iPads or tablet computers that engage & capture
The second kind of screen included with our interactive trade show games is the iPads or tablet computers that game players play on. These touchscreen tablets engage your booth visitors and capture their lead data. These screens can also be customized to match your visual brand elements. Game players can spend from one to many minutes, especially if they return to play trivia repeatedly to get a higher score. We’ve seen clients use as few as one to as many as 9 of these in one booth at a time.
3rd Interactive trade show game screen: Personal computers to administer and measure
This third kind of screen is not seen by the game players, but it available to you as the game host. It’s the admin screens that you can use to make easy changes to your game set up and to measure your results. For example, for admin use, you can make on-the-fly changes to trivia questions that players say are too confusing, or change the proportion of times you want a certain Virtual Prize Wheel prize to be awarded.
For downloading leads, measuring and reporting results, you can see in graphic and chart form how well your game performed. See even more about our included game analytics here.
You don’t even have to be at the show to use these kinds of admin screens – you can login to our web-based platform from your office to see how well the show is going. And you can download leads at any point during the show, or once the show is over, without having to be in your physical booth.
4th Interactive trade show game screen: Smartphones for attendee engagement & booth staffing
With the addition of our new Attendee Participation Game, now even the smallest screens can become powerful tools for engaging trade show (and event) attendees. Attendees can use their smartphones to play individual games, and track their overall progress through a series of potential challenges and prize opportunities.
The smartphone screen is also where booth staffers can access our Lead Manager App, which is a free companion app to our trade show games. Booth staffers can see all the info captured about your booth’s game players. They can also add more info to further detail and qualify your trade show leads. This is a great resource at shows where there is no badge scanner, or when you want to avoid paying for one.
Because they are all interconnected via the Internet, SocialPoint interactive games and activities have evolved into complex digital products that simultaneously interact on 4 kinds of screens. This sophistication gives you large screens to attract more visitors, touchscreen tablets that engage booth visitors and capture their lead data, computer screens to administer games and report on your results, and smartphone screens that engage attendees and provide powerful lead capture tools to your booth staff.
If you’d like to see more about how you can drive more booth traffic and capture leads with our fun interactive trade show games, feel free to contact us with questions or to discuss your event with one of SocialPoint’s Digital Strategists. We’ll help you generate a serious increase in excitement, crowds, and leads.
With all the logistics you have to manage for your company’s trade show program, you might feel justified in skipping trade show promotional activities. But that would be like planning a party, and not sending out all the invitations.
Sure, the show organizer will get people to the show floor. But it’s up to you to get them to your booth space.
Here are 7 reasons why trade show promotional activities are so worth your effort:
1. Attract more booth traffic
As attendees wander down the aisles, their eyes are bombarded by structures, images and words from all sides. What wins in that sensory battle? Motion and sound – which you can do best with activities. Activities in your booth catch and hold their attention, and if enticing enough, bring them into your space, leaving your neighboring exhibitors staring at you in envy.
2. Attract the right booth traffic
Even better than more traffic is the right booth traffic. You can create activities that appeal especially to your target audience (product demos, time trials, industry trivia games). Then, announce your activity pre-show via email, phone calls, and social media, and with signage and crowd gatherers during the show.
3. Help booth staffers start conversations
All your booth staffers need help starting conversations. The introverts especially need the help, but even the extroverted sales people may feel uncomfortable in the trade show setting that’s so different than their day-to-day environment. A clever activity relieves your booth staffers from having to strain to start conversations for hours on end.
4. Build trust
Today’s trade show attendees are better informed. They’ve already researched on the web to find which companies offer what they are looking for. So, visit potential vendors at the trade show to gauge credibility. A strong activity in your booth can build trust. Your activities can be designed to overcome objections and prove your empathy for your clients’ main challenges.
5. Make attendees remember you
Trade show promotional activities can also boost awareness of your company brand and image among attendees. Especially activities that are surprising and hook visitors’ emotions. Make your activity photo-worthy so they want to share it on Instagram and their other social media accounts. Even better, give them a giveaway with your logo that is thematically-tied to your promotional activity, to remind them even more of the experience they had in your booth.
6. Increase leads and sales
When your trade show promotional activities bring in more of the right attendees into your booth, engage them in better conversations, and have them remember you better after the show – guess what? You’re going to get more leads from the show. Even better, if it’s your goal, you’ll get more sales.
7. Increase trade show ROI
While often the first thing dropped off the to-do list, trade show promotional activities can be the secret sauce that can boost your trade show ROI. You’re already investing in the booth space, show services, travel, and exhibit design. Spend just 5% to 10% more on a good trade show promotional activity, and you can increase your sales from your trade show leads by 50% to 100%. It’s some of the best money you can invest.
I hope that after reading this article, you’ve taken out your trade show checklist, and put a big star next to trade show promotions, to ensure you create an activity that brings in more traffic and results.
If you’d like to see more about how you can drive more booth traffic and get more qualified leads with our interactive trade show games and activities, feel free to contact us with questions or to discuss your event with one of SocialPoint’s Digital Strategists. We’ll help you generate excitement, crowds, and leads.
Healthcare exhibitors choose to use our interactive trade show games for many of the same reasons as their exhibiting peers in other industries. But not always.
The most common reason exhibitors use our games is to drive more booth traffic, and in that respect, healthcare exhibitors are similar – our games help fill their booth with attendees. Those attendees can then become leads and sales, or stronger relationships with influencers:
While many healthcare exhibitors are concerned about rules limiting the value of gifts and giveaways they can offer, not all healthcare exhibitors limit their gifts. Some healthcare exhibitors are interacting with audiences that fall outside healthcare’s complex, stringent rules, so they can still offer substantial gifts.
These less-regulated shows can be because the audience is not considered providers, or because the event is held in another country, or because it’s a healthcare company’s own sales meeting, or for other reasons.
In these two examples, Amplifon offered headphones as a prize, and Starkey offered a smart phone:
Why healthcare trade show attendees play games, even without major prizes
We’ve also seen exhibitors still use our games to boost traffic and interaction, even without offering valuable prizes (to abide by their industry gift rules).
Our Challenge Bar Trivia Game attracts healthcare professionals who want to compete against their peers for top-score bragging rights. They also want to test themselves on their knowledge. Because our Challenge Bar Trivia Game includes a Leaderboard that prominently lists highest-scoring game players, competitive healthcare exhibition attendees still strive to win.
Healthcare exhibition attendees play trivia to learn
Some attendees play trivia in healthcare exhibitors’ booths to learn. Each exhibitor writes their own trivia questions, which tend to be about a company’s products or services, but can also be about the subject matter of expertise of attendees.
For example, Thermo Fisher Scientific enticed attendees to play their customized trivia game to “raise their neuroscience IQ” (this is a screen shot of the game splash screen players see when they start).
Our client Bio-Rad went even further to encourage booth visitors to compete for recognition instead of prizes of monetary value, by awarding trophies to top-scoring game players:
Healthcare exhibitors, we’re eager to get started
Interactive trade show games are still a popular promotional choice for healthcare exhibitors, even though they are more limited by their industry rules about what they can offer their booth visitors. Games can help healthcare exhibitors get more booth traffic, visitor interaction, and relationship-building. Healthcare exhibition attendees are still motivated to play games, even in the cases where the exhibitors are limited in the value of the prizes they offer.
If you’d like to see more about how you can drive more booth traffic and get more qualified leads with our interactive trade show games , feel free to contact us with questions or to discuss your event with one of SocialPoint’s Digital Strategists. We’ll help you generate excitement, crowds, and leads.
Over the past few years, our company has increasingly partnered with leading Exhibit Houses to create interactive trade show game activations for their exhibiting clients. We have been impressed by the commitment, care, and expertise they bring to their clients’ trade show marketing.
We also wanted to uncover their vast experience creating effective trade show marketing campaigns, especially with technology. So we asked them to share with a survey. Survey respondents were all either Exhibit House Account Executives or senior management, all with client-facing responsibilities.
So first, we’ll provide their best advice on what exhibitors should do to create effective trade show marketing campaigns. Then, we’ll share their answers to our more detailed survey questions.
What Exhibitors Need For Successful Trade Show Marketing Campaigns
Most of their expert advice focused on the same 4 elements: the exhibitor’s brand, their target audience, planning, and objectives. With so many other potential ideas to discuss, those four must be important!
Here are their answers. Note: some survey respondents answered anonymously.
1. Focus on your brand
The most popular topic of advice from Exhibit House survey respondents? They advise exhibitors to focus on their brand when creating their trade show marketing campaigns:
“Take the time to really think about your brand message and purpose. Begin from there.” — John Mitchell, MC2
“Whatever it is… it needs to be memorable (and associated with the exhibitor’s brand and drive an action that will drive the exhibitor’s goals.” — David Brull, Kubik
“Stay focused on the brand presence that has been created, and if that doesn’t exist, it would in our best interest to guide them toward creating one. Integrate it with other media – social, advertising, etc. Also utilize pre-show campaigns to get in front of your target audience in order to make it a success.” — Gary Donatell, CenterPoint Marketing
“Any campaign should strengthen the brand and be consistent with the other marketing they are doing.” — Aaron Reitmeier, Showcraft
“Create a brand activation where you engage at least (1) of the attendees (5) senses.” — Erik Streight, Excalibur Exhibits
2. Focus on your target audience
Many other Exhibit House experts also advise their clients to focus on their target audience first and foremost:
“Do what’s best for your target audience, and create buzz with what you’re doing.” — Conner Brown, Pinnacle Exhibits
“Start with the key visitor experience and work backwards to the campaign.” — Anonymous
“It doesn’t need to be complex or expensive but know who you are targeting, what they worry about, and how you will make their life easier. Also connect with them all over the show, not just at your booth.” — Anonymous
“Envision who you want to enter your booth space at least six months in advance. Then target your marketing to that audience.” — Mel White, Classic Exhibits
3. Plan in advance
Planning is another very popular focal point of advice:
“Start planning months before you need to.” — Tim Patterson, TradeshowGuy Exhibits
“Allocate the appropriate amount of time and budget to execute a comprehensive campaign!” — Rick Klimek, Epic Experiential Marketing
“Plan accordingly and then execute effectively.” — Kevin Carty, Classic Exhibits
“Planning then implementing.” — Jay Burkette, ExpoDisplays
“Start the planning process as early as possible. Be open and transparent about your budget. Hold creative solutions and concepts accountable to measurable objectives to avoid subjective decisions.” — Anonymous
4. Set goals and objectives
Exhibit House experts also repeatedly advised that exhibitors stay focused on their goals and objectives. (A few of the comments above also mention goals):
“Have a goal. Target the top tier you’d like to be in front of. Then get creative on ways to get time with that dream group of prospects. Make an internal contest for your sales force so they have incentive to be the difference.” — Robin Clinton, 2020 Exhibits
“Trade shows, like any marketing, should be thoughtful, strategic, targeted, executed flawlessly and measured.” — John Reisert, Skyline Exhibits Kentucky
“Create objectives upfront and make sure everything you do along the way aligns to those objectives.” – Anonymous
To create a winning trade show marketing campaign, you need to set campaign goals, create campaigns that focus on your brand and target audience, and then create a plan that gives you enough time and resources to succeed.
Exhibit House Survey On Trade Show Marketing & Technology: Perspectives, Roles & Preferences
Survey Executive Summary
Some of the most interesting insights from this survey include:
Exhibitors value sales results more than marketing results
Exhibitors value the marketing potential of trade shows, but often deploy insufficient resources for marketing success
Exhibit Houses do far more marketing than just exhibit design
Top trade show marketing methods include experiential marketing, interactive technology, and integrated marketing
Exhibitors could improve results with more booth staff training
Exhibitors want marketing campaigns most of all that are creative and innovative, appealing to their target market, and brand-centric
Exhibit Houses report that their exhibiting clients’ most-likely issue with a viable marketing campaign is lacking the funds to implement it
96% of Exhibit Houses are involved in their exhibiting clients’ interactive technology
Exhibit Houses are three-times more likely to favor experiential marketing
Here are the results of their responses to a number of questions about trade show marketing and technology.
Exhibitors Driven More By Sales Than Marketing Results
This may be a surprise to some of the people who pursue trade show marketing: it’s actually sales results that matter most to exhibitors.
While 52% of Exhibit House survey respondents agreed that their clients viewed sales and marketing as equally important, 44% said that sales results were more important, but only 4% said that marketing results were more important.
Therefore, almost all exhibit houses say that sales results are important (52% + 44% = 96%), while only 56% (54% + 4%) say that marketing results are important to exhibitors.
So, while there are nearly 3 times as many people who search Google on “trade show marketing” versus “trade show selling,” it’s sales that matter more to exhibitors.
Exhibitors Value Trade Show Marketing More In Spirit Than Action
We asked Exhibit House experts to choose any of six statements to agree with about their exhibiting clients’ attitudes and actions regarding their trade show programs. They told us that four out of five exhibitors (81%) value the marketing power of trade shows. It’s how they execute on that value that differs from their attitude.
That’s because two-thirds (67%) of exhibitors choose to have a logistics-based person managing their program, rather than a marketing person. Plus, almost two-thirds (63%) of Exhibit House survey respondents agreed that exhibitors invest too little time or resources to drive marketing success.
Having watched their exhibiting clients for years and years, exhibit house executives say that only a quarter of exhibitors (26%) put sufficient time and resources towards their trade show marketing, and only a fifth of companies (19%) give their trade show program to employees who can bring a marketing background to all their trade show interactions and duties.
The hope is that the more-common logistics-based person is getting enough guidance from a marketing supervisor, or that their exhibit house is filling the marketing gap, so that exhibitors can create winning trade show marketing campaigns. Otherwise, exhibitors are not committing enough internal marketing resources to succeed.
Exhibit Houses Do Far More Marketing Than Just Exhibit Design