3 Tips For Building Engagement In Your Exhibit Displays

“Engagement” is one of the hot terms in marketing and consumer relations right now. It’s a word that gets thrown around a lot, mostly by businesses looking to “increase engagement,” but it’s one of those things that’s far easier to say than to actually do…. Especially when it comes to trade show exhibits and displays. custom modular exhibit displays with poster walls slatwall shelves closet storage and ipad kiosks

Basically, we’re living in an interactive world where consumers pretty much across the board, even up into the C-level suites, expect more hands-on interaction. They don’t just want to talk to people, they want to DO things. Not only that, but successfully getting people do participate in your activities, rather than those of competing expo displays, ultimately causes them to like you better and to be more likely to use your products in the future.

If you want to keep getting people’s attention, you should look to start implementing more of these “engaging” activities. Virtually anything that you do that gets a visitor to do more than just look at your wares and talk to you will end up paying off later on.

Tips For Building Engagement In Your Exhibit Displays

1. Have contests with actual skill involved.

Yeah, your good old-fashioned raffle will still bring in a lot of (extremely low quality) leads, but people today like a bit of healthy competition. You’ll get more interest if your contests have some element of skill and competition. As this blog post from TSNN illustrates, a good enough game can end up causing visitors to spend their time hanging around your expo display and watching the results board!

Social media can also be a good basis for contests, but try not to be too openly self-serving. Contests like “who can get the most new Likes?” are pretty obvious, although they can still be good for boosting your social media numbers. In general, though, look for contests where someone will enjoy just participating, even if they don’t win.

2. Scan, scan, scan.

Bar codes and QR Codes are still among the best ways of sending “prizes” to visitors, since virtually anyone visiting your exhibit displays is going to have a smartphone or tablet capable of scanning them. Even a Nintendo 3DS can read them!

As in that blog example above, something as simple as having a scavenger hunt with QR Codes scattered around the convention can be highly effective in getting people to run around on your behalf.

Remember, especially, that there are a HUGE range of activities you can accomplish through QR Codes:

  • Adding contacts to mailing lists.truss display with upstairs meeting room-resized-600
  • Bookmarking pages, or sending them to offline readers.
  • Activating downloads, such as of MP3 files.
  • Encoded graphics that become full-size graphics.
  • Quick links to Facebook, Twitter, or most of the other major social networks.
  • Call-to-Action responses, leading to landing page downloads.

Plus, of course, even the QR Codes themselves can be stylized to a large degree without harming their readability, as in this example from the BBC. Today, there are even embedded portraits in QR Codes!

3. Send people home with something custom.

Remember the good old days when you went to a trade show and came home with some cheesy pictures of yourself with your head through a cutout, or with some of those mashed pennies, or maybe some toys for the kids?

Those days are actually coming back, although it’s become a bit more sophisticated and tech-based. Look for ways for your expo display visitors to create digital goodies that they can take home, or at least email “home” to their computers. Basically, look into digital arts and crafts that somehow relate to your business.

Could you send them home with digital mockups of your product in their home? Maybe they could redesign their house at your booth – or give themselves a makeover. Interactive stories or other text created to go on Facebook or blogs work as well. Maybe just a picture of them inserted next to your products.

If you send someone home from your exhibit displays with something they think would go in their portfolio, or onto their website, you’ve probably made a very good new lead.

Get out of your booth.

As we’ve discussed before, more and more exhibitors are looking to move their booth activities beyond the bounds of the trade show itself. As more venues are adding outdoor or garden areas, groups are finding that these are the perfect places to network. These might be a great opportunity to display an outdoor banner stand to get people interested in coming to visit your booth.

Being able to meet with your representatives outside of the crush of the trade show itself is often a great way to get an intimate conversation that just isn’t possible inside.

Consider utilizing the parking lot, or even adjoining properties. We’ve seen some exhibitors do creative things, putting different parts of their exhibit displays in different areas, to attract a wider variety of attendees. Plus, of course, if you’re at a show that isn’t open the public, these might be just what you need to get your trade show stands seen by the public at large!

Key Takeaway: Engage More People!

When you’re drawing up plans for your next exhibit displays, you should be giving serious thought to how to implement interactive or even “game-like” elements. These engage people, get them talking about you and, perhaps most importantly, help ensure they spend as much time as possible working with and thinking about your products and their recent meeting with you and your team.

For more, read how to manage your children in your displays or how to be a great brand ambassador

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