There has been a growing trend over the past several years to stimulate traffic at trade show exhibits with big-name celebrities. Tom Hanks, former San Francisco 49er quarterback Steve Young, and recording stars such as the Foo Fighters and Maroon 5 have been featured attractions at major trade shows.
Many companies are very attracted to the idea of having celebrities driving traffic to their trade show displays, but there are two issues worth considering:
1. Will the celebrity draw the right kind of prospects to your booth?
2. Can you attract the prospects you want with a different kind of celebrity than your dream person—perhaps someone more affordable and attainable?
Every industry sector has people who have achieved celebrity-like status within the community. Many of them are thought leaders who are highly respected and avidly sought within the target group you most want. For instance, Edward Tufte has achieved near-cult status among people interested in visual information communication, and Richard Florida is a guru among urban developers.
Put some thought into it, and you’re likely to come up with ideas for celebrities who are affordable and who will drive the kind of targeted visitors to your trade show exhibits that make a difference in your results. As an added bonus, their luster will reflect positively on your standing as a leader in your respective field—or at least a company that reflects quality.