Adding a trade show interactive has become one of exhibitors’ favorite tools to getting today’s more reluctant show attendees to cross from the aisle and into and their booth space.
Why are trade show interactives more necessary than ever? Let me count the ways:
- Attendees today have more control of the buying process, because they can easily get product info from the web. So, exhibitors must offer a more compelling experience attendees can’t get online to get them into their booth.
- Attendees love technology, and spend much of their personal time playing with their phones and tablet computers consuming digital content. So, tech-driven interactives meet their expectations – especially with Millennials, which are now the largest generation in the workforce.
- Attendees are overwhelmed with too much work and not enough time. So, when they return to work after the show, they all too quickly forget much of what they learned, except for the most compelling experiences.
- Time-starved attendees need a more personalized experience that gives them just the information they need, in a faster and more memorable fashion.
- The high potential sales value from trade show visitors justifies investing more to create greater impact and results from each face-to-face interaction.
For all these reasons, trade show interactives are more popular than ever.
Trade Show Interactive Definition
What actually is a trade show interactive? It can have many elements about experience, senses, journey, and more. Here is our definition:
A trade show interactive takes attendees beyond just looking at displays or conversing with booth staffers. With a trade show interactive, attendees interact in a staged, planned, personalized, multi-sensory way with objects, technology, games, and people to more memorably experience the exhibitor’s marketing message or story. A trade show interactive can be as small as a trade show game on an iPad or as large as an entire island booth.
After all the planning, investment and hard work, imagine standing in an empty trade show booth while attendees simply walk on by.
If you’ve been in that situation, chances are you were frustrated, while your bored booth staffers wished they were somewhere else.
Trade shows are too expensive to do without having a consistent flow of traffic in your booth. Here are 4 reasons your booth traffic is too small – reasons you can fix to turn that trickle of booth traffic into a flood.
1. You’re Not Hosting Engaging Trade Show Activities
Trade show attendees have changed in two major ways, that make it harder to get them out of the aisle and into your booth. And both of those causes are from technology.
Stacey Rosenberg, Marketing Specialist at Aurora Diagnostics, wanted an interactive trivia game as part of their large booth at the American Academy of Dermatologists (AAD) show for three main reasons:
- Have a fun, interactive booth with an activity that was quick and easy to play, to get more people into their booth
- Have an additional way to gather leads beyond the show’s badge scanners (which often lacked attendees’ email addresses)
- Showcase company services and benefits by including easier company-specific questions mixed in with dermatology-based quiz questions
Aurora Diagnostics first used SocialPoint’s Challenge Bar Trivia Game at AAD 2018, with excellent results: “Wow! Quite the turnout!” affirmed Rosenberg. “About 30% of our booth visitors played the game.”
“I was happy to get 332 additional leads at the show. The game was actually an easier way to collect leads than asking everyone to scan badges, which some people are put off by.”
In this increasingly tech-driven world, you may hear from colleagues who look at seemingly old-school trade shows and think, “Why should we continue to exhibit?”
Well, because trade shows continue to provide so much value to B2B marketers. Value that may be surprising at first glance.
So, in case you or someone from your team is feeling reluctant to pack their bags for a bustling three-day trade show in sunny Las Vegas, here are 6 reasons why trade shows bring unique value to your company:
1. Digital Marketing is no picnic
Yes, as a B2B marketer, you have a wide palette of digital marketing tools to employ. But access to tools doesn’t mean success is guaranteed. For example, many marketers have found social media to be hard to do for more than build awareness, lacking success at generating plentiful sales leads. And social media is no longer free media – it’s now pay-to-play, and increasingly more and more pay.
One of top three trade show goals for B2B marketers is to strengthen key relationships. And no relationship is more valuable than their relationship with existing customers.
Yet, most exhibitors put greater effort into generating as many badge scans as possible, rather than creating a pro-active plan to take full advantage of their rare face-to-face time with multiple clients.
That’s a lost opportunity to boost sales and profits. You may be acquainted with some of the eye-popping economic stats that support focusing on retaining your customers:
Educate Prospects, Qualify Buyers, Recruit Top Talent: Achieving 3 Different Goals With Trade Show Trivia Games
There is surprising versatility in achieving different business goals with our Challenge Bar Trivia game. It all comes down into what your goals are, and writing your trivia questions to meet your specific goal.
For all our clients, our trivia game brings in more booth traffic and engages visitors. That’s reason enough for most clients to value it.
However, some of our clients have also realized 3 other major strategic business goals. They purposely sought those results by how they choose to write and set up their trivia questions:
Interactive trade show games do a great job of driving more traffic to your booth. But they can also keep that larger crowd of attendees in your booth longer, too.
Here’s how two of our interactive trade show games increase attendee dwell time:
Challenge Bar Trivia: Play It Again, Sam
When your booth visitors play the “three strikes and you’re out” version of our Challenge Bar Trivia game, it can take up to 10 or more minutes as they answer up to 25 questions. That fun experience keeps them in your booth for an extended period. And as they answer questions, they learn about your products and services, plus get to know your booth staffers who helpfully give them hints on quiz questions. They also can stay a longer time when they play the Game Show version of our trivia game.
Our award-winning game just got even better.
Our Digital Fishbowl Game won the Buyers Choice Award last year at EXHIBITORLIVE 2018, as an easy kiosk game that motivated attendees to self-enter their lead data to win a prize.
Now we’ve radically expanded the capabilities of this game to create engaging, big-screen digital content, too.
Here’s how it works: As attendees enter their contact info on iPads or other tablet computers in order to win a prize, they also engage in one of 5 possible activities (listed below). It’s very quick for them to answer a question. Their answers create digital content that displays on a large results screen.