Guest Post by Daniel Frank
A while back in her post “Four quick B2B marketing ideas for a short week,” Susan reported on adding a photo opportunity at trade show booths to get prospects to interact with the booth sales staff and keep visitors around the booth longer.
As someone who works with an exhibition stand manufacturer, I was glad she wrote about it, as it is a marketing tactic I enthusiastically endorse.
Interactive elements can improve B2B trade show exhibiting results in several ways. The first and most obvious is that they are a great way to stand out on a crowded trade show floor. The example Susan highlighted was putting out a life-size cardboard cut-out of an industry expert that visitors can be photographed standing next to. This cut-out grabs attention and creates buzz.
Other interactive options include such things as games and surveys. These provide other benefits, including enhanced lead capture, visitor education and insight. A great example of this that I saw recently was in a booth run by Npower. This booth offered a free energy health check to anyone attending the booth. They used a touch-screen quiz that required booth visitors to enter some details before answering a series of questions. The participant would then get a personalized report telling them ways they could reduce their energy expenditure. Not only was this a great way for Npower to generate qualified leads, it also educated visitors and gave Npower some new insights into visitors’ energy usage and level of knowledge of industry topics.
When deciding how to integrate an interactive element into your booth, you should, at a minimum, consider these three things:
- Objectives: What do you want this element to achieve? The Npower example was great because it achieved several objectives, but may have been a bit of a compromise. Booth visitors looking at a screen is a fairly boring activity compared to the photo-opportunity mentioned above. However, it did generate interest and valuable information for Npower. Step one is to decide what you want to achieve and what image you want to project in the process.
- Relevance: Say you have an idea for great game that will bring loads of people to your booth. How relevant is it to your business? Having a lot of visitors is good, but it is far better to get fewer, more relevant visitors. This is another reason the health check was great for Npower: it attracted people who worried about energy expenditure and were therefore receptive to Npower’s solution.
- Cost: As with all B2B marketing decisions, cost is an issue. Providing a brilliant video game that is completely relevant to your company and can fulfil all your objectives may cost a fortune to create, not to mention providing the technology on which to run it. It’s a great interactive tool to use if it is cost-effective based on what you hope to gain from making a sale.
Making your booth activities more productive should be a priority when spending money on B2B trade show space. These are just a few ideas on how to make the most of it. If you have more, I’d love to hear about them.
Daniel Frank is a writer and blogger who provides advice on trade show marketing on behalf of Nimlok Display Stands based in the UK.