If you are a marketer and have been on the trade show floor, you know first-hand how it can be challenging to attract, engage and share your message with the right attendee. In fact, the number one question asked about exhibiting is just that-“How do I get attendees to come into my booth, interact with our sales reps and remember our message?” This episode of Rock Your Trade Show has actionable steps and a case study to help you attract, connect and engage with attendees.
5 Steps to Boosting Engagement at Your Next Show
- Identify your Ideal Customer Avatars (ICA) (there will be more than one).
- Determine what is most important to each ICA –you need a multi-tiered messaging strategy.
- Create a Story –people remember information when it is told in a story format.
- Include an unexpected experience-attendees retain information when they learned in an unusual way.
- Have a Call to Action (CTA) that will allow you to continue your conversation after the show
Step One: Determine who is your ideal customer avatar
Establish your ideal customer avatars and create a profile for each personality that might be coming to the exhibit. There will be more than one and you may not be able to speak with all of them.
Step Two: Find out what is most important to them
Determine what is most important to your “avatar” types. Resist the temptation to have one overarching message and tailor your messaging to be specific for each personality you want to engage with at the booth. Someone in purchasing has different concerns than a VP of Marketing for example.
Step Three: Create a memorable story.
Now that you have your multi-level messaging, it’s time to create a story around it. You can create several stories within an overarching theme so that each ideal customer avatar is receiving the information most important to them.
Step Four: Make the information delivery unexpected.
People forget fast-the best way for them to remember your message is to have an engagement where they are physically doing something to learn the information. Ideally you will have a combination of materials and not only one thing-like a touch screen. Finding a surprising material or method to experience the message will be remembered longer.
Step Five: You need a Call to Action.
What do you want to be the outcome after the show? How would you like to stay connected with your ideal customer? If you ask them to do something like sign up to stay in touch, this continues your interaction beyond the last day of the show.
CASE STUDY: The Art of Interaction
At the ExhibitorLive show in Las Vegas, there was a lot of competition to reach the attendee. The trade show floor many interactive experiences to attract attendees. How can you stand out in a crowded environment? This is a case study that will give you ideas on what you can do to increase interactions with key target attendees at your next show.
Exhibitus created a customer journey that started in the aisle with visually seeing architecture that looked like an art gallery. After attendees were asked about the mobile structure, and next they were invited to experience the art of targeting, messaging and engagement inside the booth.
There were four stations for engagement each allowing dialogue to understand what was the top challenges might experience in their exhibit program. Attendees took a journey moving from one station to the next and had a personal experience with the different areas in the gallery.
The attendee journey started when attendees approached the architecture of the exhibit. The structure looked like a museum gallery to fit our theme “The Art of Interaction”. Attendees were curious about the suspended orange balls they saw and were asked “What do you think that looks like?” Having an opening question makes attendees feel comfortable and it’s the first step on your dance together.
Engagement Station 1: The Art of Targeting
A touch screen interactive that looked like a Seurat painting was on the wall and the attendee was asked to find the three attendee targets and weed out the people they didn’t want to meet. The experience highlights how not all visitors are people you want your staff to engage with at your show and why it is so important to find the right attendee.
Engagement Station 2: The Art of Messaging
A gallery with three Picasso style paintings used conductive ink to create an interactive experience. Projectors combined with computer programming created an unexpected experience when a hand was moved to different places on the painting projected messages and images appeared almost magically.
Engagement Station 3: The Art of Engagement
This was a fun area where attendees could take a “selfie” photo with a Magritte style painting. If the attendee tweeted their own photo out with #Exhibitusartofinteraction their name was added an additional time into a drawing for an Alexa.
Engagement Station 4: The Art of Giving
We believe the arts are very important to a child’s development and partnered with the Dreaming Zebra foundation. A donation of art kits is being made for homeless children in Atlanta and attendees signed their name. Attendees also received a colored sticker to show they made a donation to this charity.
Call to Action: Take the Free Trade Show Program Assessment Survey
Attendees at the end of their journey received an adult coloring kit and a link to take a free assessment on their trade show program. For every person who took the survey they received an additional name in the Alexa drawing.
If you would like to learn more about how to create an experience like this one, or have an idea for a future show send me a note, I would love to hear from you!