Lights. Camera. Action! Use In-booth Activities to Engage Your Trade Show Audience

We recently talked about ways to take advantage of exhibiting in meeting rooms and other spaces that are peripheral to a show floor, but not necessarily directly on the floor. This week we are looking at another way to think outside of the box when it comes to your trade show program. Using CES 2014 as a case study, we want to look at the ways that some companies are using activities and other interactive in-booth experiences to set themselves apart from those around them.

One of the difficulties at trade shows, especially a show like CES, is that there is just so much to see on the floor that it is hard to differentiate yourself from everything else happening around you. This is doubly difficult considering the fact that generally the floor is set up with exhibitors in similar markets in the same areas. So if you are a small company that makes Bluetooth devices for example, and there are ten other Bluetooth technology booths around you, some of whom have massive and expensive booths, how are you to stand out?

CES Crowds Gather at D-Link Trade Show Exhibit

The key here is to remember that motion and activity attracts attention. Big graphics, beautiful displays, artistic booth design, these are all wonderful ways to make the most out of your space, but if everything is motionless, it will be a lot less likely to attract the attention of passers by. When I first arrived at CES I entered through the South Hall and immediately upon entering the floor, noticed a line of people gathered around a booth off to my right. Everyone was smiling and taking pictures and there was a large tank of water with a moving panel inside where people were lining up dropping poker chips on in order to win a prize. Genius I thought as I lined up to try my luck at landing a poker chip on the platform in order to win a free iPhone case. (I am terrible at that game so unfortunately I lost, but it was pretty fun). 

Trade Show Marketing Activity at CES
Outside of the show floor, in the hallway linking the South and Central halls, another mass of people was gathering around something. As I approached, I could see that it was one of DisplayWork’s clients, D-Link. A man was standing on a platform attempting in vain to hula-hoop as two announcers in top hats with microphones joked around. In the crowd of people were some attractive young girls scanning the badges of onlookers. Contestants were being drawn out of the crowd in order to participate in various challenges to win prizes. D-Link, manufactures home network equipment, so most of the prizes were brand new network cameras and routers and the like. Both the location and the attention-drawing activities were a great way for D-Link to get a lot of attention without having to spend millions of dollars.


This year the North Hall had a huge amount of automotive exhibitors and they were all so close to each other that the air of competition was palpable. These, of course, are for the most part extremely large and elaborate booths, but the one thing I noticed was that the element of movement and activities was something present across the board with these companies. Everywhere you looked there was somebody with a microphone demonstrating the new capabilities of their company or some sort of prototype vehicle driving on a small track or having its doors automatically open and close. Anytime these actions were going on, there was always a high concentration of people at that spot.


There are countless examples of this at CES and at most trade shows for that matter, and it doesn’t always have to be something elaborate. Often times it is something simple that just reinforces a brand message, such as spinning a prize wheel, where each prize on the wheel has some sort of slogan or catch phrase attached to it. Whatever it is, these types of interactive attention grabbers could exponentially increase the amount of foot traffic your booth gets.

If you are looking for ideas on how your can increase your floor presence by creating an engaging in booth experience, we can help. 

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