You’re new to trade show marketing and don’t know where to start. Let’s begin with a simple premise – trade shows should be fun, so embrace that feeling by adding fun trade show activities to your marketing. Most trade shows include educational sessions, featured speakers, and social events like receptions and tours. And the show hall will have hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of trade show exhibits showcasing a wide range of products and services. All that can be overwhelming (and exhausting) for attendees.
Savvy exhibitors spend months designing a booth, creating graphics, and planning the pre-show and show experience for attendees. They want to attract the right clients and create an engaging and memorable experience for them. Fun activities, done well, can do just that. However, fun for the sake of fun, while entertaining, doesn’t always translate into new clients and increased sales. It has to align with the company’s branding and trade show marketing goals. Let’s explore some ideas.
Getting Started with Fun Trade Show Activities
Your trade show marketing should begin with a plan. Trade shows are expensive, and you’ll want to maximize your investment whether you measure that via sales or non-financial objectives (or both). If you decide to have a fun activity, it should support your show goals. For example, a corn hole contest for the sake of having an activity in the booth might be fun, but there should be some connection with your product or service.
7 Fun Trade Show Booth Activities
1. Selfie Photo Kiosk
Selfie photo stations are popular with event and trade show attendees who want a personalized memento to share with friends and family. The software makes it easy to add customized backgrounds and upload the selfie to social media.
2. Treasure Hunt
There’s power in numbers on the show floor. Join other exhibitors to create a treasure hunt where attendees visit multiple booths for a chance to win prizes. This can be high-tech or low-tech depending on the budget, ranging from video games where attendees accumulate points to a simple map stamped by exhibitors during the visit.
It’s almost impossible to walk past a magic act on the trade show floor. Professional magicians who specialize in trade shows are experts at weaving your message into their act. Add giveaways or promotional products to the magic presentation and it becomes even more of a draw.
Tap into everyone’s Game Nerd personality with friendly yet challenging games like trivia, Jeopardy, and Pictionary. Attendees can compete against one another or against a virtual contestant. Add a scoreboard for even more visibility on the trade show floor.
5. VR Simulators and Augmented Reality
The possibilities are limitless with VR Simulators and Augmented Reality. Participate in a Light Saber Battle, Test Your Fears on a Tightrope over a Gorge, or Drive in a Formula 1 Race Car at Monte Carlo. Just about any AR or VR software can be customized to promote your product or service. And with hundreds of sports, adventures, and games available, you’ll have fun just choosing the right one.
6. Escape Room
The Escape Room is a scenario-based experience that encourages participants to collaborate on a mutual goal. It’s a memorable and exciting way to break the ice. This fun trade show game will have attendees searching for clues, which could be industry or brand-related.
7. Golf Driving Range Challenge
Ever wonder how your game compares to professional golfers? Golf simulators allow the Average Joe to compete against Golf Professionals in a variety of courses and themes like “Outdrive the Competition” and “Sand Trap Success.”
Are Trade Show Activities Worth It?
Trade shows mean business, whether it’s CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, or PRVCA, the Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association, research has shown that 90% percent of attendees attend trade shows to see new products or services before making a buying decision.
But, that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. There’s plenty of room for fun and games. Games are one of the best ways to attract attendees to your booth, create brand awareness, and qualify leads.
Many exhibitors only consider promotional products, like pens, luggage tags, and candy, but games are much more likely to draw crowds and elicit conversations with your exhibit staff. In fact, interactive trade show games are more than simply fun and entertaining. They help visitors retain information about your brand and service. Games, when done well and with a specific marketing goal, create conversations not only in the booth but also throughout the show hall.
At the end of the day, people remember how the experience made them feel more than what was said or done. Gamifying your trade show exhibit gives visitors a positive feeling they’ll share with others.
Inexpensive & Fun Trade Show Booth Activities
Massage Chairs – Can anyone walk past a massage chair after a long day on the trade show floor and not be tempted? Just 5 minutes… well maybe 10 minutes. It’s the perfect opportunity to chat with a grateful attendee (who will spill his or her guts for an extra minute or two in the chair)
Corn Hole Contests – This simple yet challenging game is a trade show magnet to attendees on the show floor. Anyone can play. Compete against a colleague or form a team and challenge a competitor to corn hole mastery. The boards and bean bags can be branded to match your booth graphics.
Prize Wheel – Spin Baby Spin! A Prize Wheel with gifts and/or activities customized to your company is an ideal way to stop traffic and start a conversation. It’s a quick method for qualifying potential clients while attracting a crowd.
Arcade Games – Think Mini Basketball, Putting, Skee Ball, or any arcade game. They’re fun, inexpensive to rent, and brandable. Consider adding a scoreboard or timer to bring out the competitive spirit and attract even more potential clients.
Scratch-Off Cards – Scratch-Off Cards are both compelling and super-simple as a fun trade show activity. Contestants love this game of chance, and unlike lottery raffle tickets, everyone’s a winner with your cards.
Memory Match – Memory Match is the ultimate customizable game, where the icons can be your products or services. It can be played on an iPad or a huge LED Video Wall complete with a scoreboard. Add a timer to “amp up” the competition!
Your Trade Show Partner for Fun Trade Show Activities & More!
Our passionate team at Exhibits NW has been in the trade show industry for over three decades now. Whether you’re looking for a rental exhibit, a custom exhibit, or just a trusted partner to ensure your success, reach out to our team so we can help you exceed your trade show goals!