What makes one tradeshow exhibit memorable and another so-so? What can exhibitors do to get attendees talking after the show? What can motivate visitors who may have had no previous intention of visiting your booth decide that they definitely have to stop by?
Entertainment! According to tradeshow research, live presentations are the third most important reason why people remember the exhibit. Numbers one and two? Booth size and product interest. If you've got a limited exhibiting budget, hiring entertainment may be a cost-effective way to attract attention to your company without springing for the larger, pricier display space.
What are your options?
Entertainment options at tradeshows are almost endless. Any form of live presentation can work, including:
The key is to have entertainment that acts as an integral part of your marketing message. To do this, you need to know a few things:
A robot that dispenses free samples might go over big at a tech show but fall flat at a pet care industry show. Conversely, those wired types might be more puzzled than pleased by a troop of trained terriers. Know your target audience.
Some entertainment formats are better than others for educating attendees about your products and services. Product demonstrations, especially those that draw participants from the audience, are a great way to get the crowd focused on what you're selling. Other acts focus on simply getting the company name and logo out there, such as a magician who uses the company's name as the ‘Magic Word’.
Any entertainment you select should positively reflect your company's image. This goes beyond a Western Wear company selecting a country singer to entertain the crowds - attendees will hold you to a higher standard than that. Research the acts you're proposing to hire. Some acts may not be appropriate for mainstream companies - ask to see a video of an average performance and ask yourself how would your customer base view the images.
With those questions in mind, decide what kind of entertainment you'd like to have and who will perform for the crowds. If you've decided on live product demonstrations, you may be able to use your own staff members, but other than that, you're generally better off hiring a pro.
How to Make the Most of Your Money
Hiring a professional entertainer is an expense. Ensure you get your money's worth by doing the following:
What to Avoid
Good entertainment is expensive, bad entertainment can cost more than you will ever imagine. Protect your company's image and reputation by avoiding the following:
Written by Susan A. Friedmann, CSP, The Tradeshow Coach, Lake Placid, NY, author: “Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies, ” working with companies to improve their meeting and event success through coaching, consulting and training. For a free copy of “10 Common Mistakes Exhibitors Make”, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ; website: http://www.thetradeshowcoach.com