Tom Hanks, Justin Timberlake, and Hall-of-Fame NFL quarterback Steve Young were among the many celebrities who participated in the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in 2006. The show floor was 28 football fields’ worth of space, with 2,500 trade show exhibitors vying for attention in 1.6 billion square feet of convention exhibits.
More and more trade show exhibitors are finding that a great way to get noticed is to introduce an element of show business into their trade show display appearances. According to technology industry analyst Rob Enderle, “Each year they’ve [CES] had more of a Hollywood presence and this year is the biggest year.” At the CES, Intel hosted a performance by the Black Eyed Peas, Motorola featured the Foo Fighters, and Verizon Wireless had hip-hopping by Yellowcard and Maroon 5.
Celebrities and celebrity look-a-likes, athletes and former pros, comics, actors, musicians, and scantily clad booth babes all are attention-getters that can draw crowds of business prospects to your trade show booth.
Clients often ask how they can add glitz and pizzazz to their trade show display experience. Here are a few things to consider:
1. Hire showstoppers – This can run the entire gamut, from famous celebrities to clowns on stilts. Even your smiling, energetic, and well-trained booth staff can do the job of attracting attention.
2. Make your exhibit exciting by incorporating movement, color, lights, and action – Practice what motion picture producers do when they yell into their bullhorns, “Lights! Action!” Gobo lights traveling across tension fabric can provide changing color and mesmerizing interest. Technologies such as 3D video/laser image displays suspended above bring high drama to your trade show booth.
3. Display a sense of humor – Have your booth staff prepare a few funny things to say when they meet and greet attendees. Remember that humor sells, and it also helps break the ice and get your crew off to a friendly start.
4. Bring Internet access into your booth, so you can showcase your professionally designed company website – Incorporate on a large backdrop screen robotics, holographics, and waterscreen projections. Be sure to take into consideration your exhibit supplier’s advice and expertise on graphics, portability, and trade show cost management.
5. Make your booth exhibit interactive – You can involve people with a touch, feel, sight, and sound experience. Experiential activity is better and longer-lasting in visitors’ minds than passive involvement.
6. Provide exciting, fun giveaways – Large or small, everyone likes to win something. By offering a drawing on a glitzy prize—perhaps a two-night free stay at a luxury resort—makes it fun for your trade show attendees, allow them to have the “magic continue.”
By thinking creatively, you can take your trade show exhibit to another dimension. A show biz element brings the “buzz” to your exhibit. And, remember, there is no business like show business!