As a child there was nothing more exciting than going to Disneyland. The overall Disney experience is both extraordinary and unforgettable. The memories still bring a smile to my face. As much as I loved Disneyland as a kid (and still do!), I realize I pull from those experience all the time while planning tradeshow event and exhibits for my clients. The best way to attract more customers to attend your trade show is to bring a "show biz" mentality to all your marketing and at-show strategies.
Think like Disney.
There was never a greater promoter than Walt Disney. Everything he touched was exciting, colorful, and bursting with energy. The Disney legacy continues as the Disney Corporation dazzles and entertains millions with its products, parks, and superb customer service.
What does Disney do that every trade show organizer should emulate? Disney injects a show business mentality into everything it does by creating an image that makes people smile and lets them know they're in for a first-class experience.
So when planning your pre-show marketing strategies, remember to think like Disney. Everything you do to promote and implement your show must be first-class, creative, and professional. Train your employees to provide enthusiastic and helpful customer service.
Make your trade shows interactive.
When people manipulate objects they often form an attachment to them. They get an idea of how the products work and are more excited about the possibility of buying them. So, set up audio-visual displays that attendees can easily operate -- they will feel like they are part of the show experience as they connect with your products. Create an iPad app that attendees can download for themselves or interactive with in your booth. iPad stands are a great interactive experience for your prospects and client’s. Incorporate QR codes into your graphics and business cards.
Put the Internet to work for you.
You can interact with potential attendees through the Internet, both in your pre-show marketing and during the show. Send out pre-show invitations. Check to see if you can get a free link on the show website. Post a “count down” on your website. Use your company’s Facebook page to promote the show. Tweet about the event and follow the show. Pinterest is a great way to promote the products, services and exhibit you will be showing. Carry all of these social media tools throughout the show and post show.
Make your shows unforgettable experiences.
How do you generate such an experience? Again, think Disney. Capture the imaginations of attendees by providing a wealth of sights, sounds, aromas, and entertainment, along with a high degree of interactivity. Details are what create a memorable experience. Imagine yourself walking down Main Street with all the details in the store windows, the costumes, and the smell of the candy shop. Add those experiences into your exhibit.
Make your trade shows fun.
Live entertainment, educational seminars, clowns, puppeteers, and magicians are just a few of the tools you can use to make your show fun and informative. Don’t rely on your products alone to sell the show biz experience. Booths filled with inanimate objects are boring and won't capture the attention of your audience. However, if you inject a little excitement into the show, you'll have attendees in the palm of your hand.
Provide lots of comfortable space.
Design your booth so you don’t sacrifice comfort for hardware. Booths that are crowded with display items make it difficult for consumers to focus their attention on each item. Set up your booth so that attendees can see everything clearly in an uncluttered space. Booths should provide good lighting, easy-to-read signage, and attention-grabbing graphics.
Inject show biz excitement into your advertising and public relations.
Your advertising should reflect the excitement, creativity, and flavor of your event. Observe how the producers of movies and Broadway musicals advertise their shows and incorporate as many of those elements as are feasible in your own advertising.
Your exhibition space is your stage. In order to generate interest, you must put on a performance that will keep attendees riveted and eager to come back for the sequel!