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A Dynamic Trade Show Demo That Soaked Up The Buzz

I love great demos.  Especially those that accurately tell the brand’s story in a fun, interactive, innovative way.

I ran across a great example of this a couple years back at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago.  The demo was staged in a small (10×20) display booth space, tucked away among several larger, more impressive (and expensive) exhibits.  Yet, it was constantly full of people, and quickly became a big part of the “buzz” around the Exhibit Hall.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s a look at the “Dissolve-A-Way Derby”.

Participants lined up and shot huge water guns at plastic storage tubs on a wall about 5 feet away.  Exactly like the old carnival game where you shoot water guns at the clown’s mouth to be the first to pop the balloon.  The Dissolve-A-Way Derby’s objective: completely obliterate a small label affixed to the storage bin.

Why a small label on a storage bin?  (Here’s the brilliant part.)  The company makes an adhesive and paper that will easily dissolve in water, like when washing the bin in a dishwasher.  This is a remarkable breakthrough for restaurant owner/operators who must label their product stored in bins like these to assure freshness and proper product usage and rotation.  However, as you use the bin over and over, most adhesives will build up an ugly residue, a mixture of adhesive, paper, and grime which takes time and effort to remove, stealing valuable productivity away from other tasks.

This message was delivered exactly and memorably to these participants who had fun at the same time.  They also connected the company’s message to the fun they used to have as kids at the carnival.

What is the key to coming up with demo this good?  I think it starts with a thorough understanding of your product/service and the benefit it delivers.

Another reason this particular demo was so effective: a good number of the trade show attendees were either influencers or buyers of their product.  Theirs was not a “find the needle in the haystack” kind of situation.

The next time you see a carnival-type game being deployed in a trade show exhibit, see if the brand message is woven as cleverly and completely as it was done here.  Chances are, it will merely be a game for its own sake, attracting mainly sales people from adjoining exhibits.

If you can make your demos as dynamic as the Dissolve-A-Way Derby, you can soak your competition, and soak up some buzz from the Exhibit Hall as well.

Creating Effective Tradeshow PromotionsLearn other powerful at-show promotional tactics with your free copy of the Creating Effective Trade Show Promotions book, a 76-page guide that takes you through the entire process from setting goals to execution to measuring results. 

About the Author

Trade Show Bob is Tango's trade show guy - the one you call when the people who lead your exhibit efforts need a boost. A past winner of EXHIBITOR Magazine's All-Star Award, he knows a thing or two about trade show performance. Bob has produced winning exhibit campaigns for companies in the manufacturing, food ingredients, super-computing, non-profit fund raising and computer graphics industries. Currently a contributing columnist to EXHIBITOR magazine, Bob loves to see companies' exhibit programs blossom under the leadership of competent and confident Exhibit Managers.

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