16 Ways to Beat Boredom at Trade Show Exhibits
Disclaimer: Marketing at shows is serious business involving financial investment in the opportunity to secure new leads. One must behave professionally when working a show. However, if you are too serious (or bored) you might not be capable of engaging visitors, so it’s also important to have fun even when you’re working such long hours. The following tips should help you stay entertained and have a good time. Who knows, you just might secure more leads in the process!
1. Visit competing trade show booths and ask staffers what they don’t do well. Watch them squirm.
2. When attendants visit your trade show booth, don’t treat them like a number on the sales chart… instead, treat them as if they are going to be your new best friend.
3. Go to lunch, or dinner, with the funniest sales person at your trade show booths; repeat daily.
4. Play a drinking game: Wander the show with a bottle of water (unless you are at a European show.) Every time a staffer asks “Hi! How are you?” simply reply “Fine,” then take a swig and continue walking.
5. Count how many booths you can walk past before a staffer tries to engage you.
6. Pick up giveaways from fellow trade show displays, and then give them back… to different displays.
7. Have a contest with fellow workers to see who can fit specific, obscure words into a conversation with booth visitors. (Try words such as ‘obtuse’, ‘ticklish’, or ‘infiltrate’ as an example).
8. Place a bet with a coworker on who will find the most/best/worst (fill in the blank) of the day. Loser buys lunch for the team. (Example: worst dressed attendant, most obnoxious trade show displays, best looking couple, etc.)
9. Thank everyone who has helped you with the trade show booths: including staffers, exhibit house, manager, the show owner, the show labor, and especially each and every individual visitor. You might be surprised to find out how much fun this can be!
10. Try another bet with fellow workers before hitting the floor on the first day. See who can guess what the trendy new color will be on other trade show displays. The loser has to buy drinks, in the same color they picked.
11. Create a unique activity that will help get your message across to visitors of your trade show booths.
12. Count how many attendants trip over the utility cord bundles (despite the caution tape or speed bumps put up to avoid tripping).
13. Smile at everyone, even if they aren’t smiling. You’ll be surprised how quickly it spreads.
14. Check out the show city’s Visitors website to see what fun activities are nearby, and challenge yourself to do something new and adventurous when you have the time off. (Try indoor skydiving in Las Vegas!)
15. Compete with coworkers to see who can get the most positive leads for that day… loser buys drinks at the end of the night.
16. Stick a note on your back that says “Ask me about (insert your business product/service here) and I’ll let you kick me” and wander around visiting other tradeshow booths. Count how many attendants actually take you up on the offer.
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