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Experiential Marketing at Trade Shows

Experiential marketing allows your customers to develop an emotional investment in your products or services, literally helping them shape your brand’s evolution. But if it leads to such memorable, cost-effective, testimonial-worthy experiences, why aren’t more trade show marketers using it?

In many respects, exhibitors were the originators of experiential marketing. From product demos to booth games, exhibition halls have long been the testing grounds for interactivity and engagement.

But there’s a big difference between introducing an amusing booth gimmick versus creating an experience that leaves a lasting impression on attendees. The latter is more likely to occur if you remember these simple guidelines:

  • Let trade show attendees interact with your brand in a way that doesn’t necessarily involve using your products. Is there an aspirational goal that your audience members have, and that your product or service was designed to help them reach? If so, center your event on that, rather than your offerings themselves. This is much more engaging than interrupting attendees with an intrusive sales pitch or product demo.
  • Consider hiring professional speakers or brand ambassadors. While you or your staff may be the most knowledgeable about your products or services, you may or may not be the most charismatic presenters. Brand ambassadors have a knack for drawing and interacting with a crowd.
  • Make sure audience participation is a video or picture-worthy moment. By visually representing the impact of participating in your experience, you create a story that can be captured in a single photograph, and that is thus more likely to be shared on attendee’s social media accounts.
  • Capitalize on traditional media, too. While your trade show presence itself may not be particularly newsworthy, innovative booth events might be interesting enough to attract the attention of trade or local media.

Traditional marketing techniques will never go away, but you can’t rely exclusively on those intrusive techniques if you want to be noticed. When done effectively, experiential marketing can increase voluntary customer interaction and increase word-of-mouth about your business before and after the trade show.

Using Promotions & Social Media to Get More Trade Show Visitors

While social media has changed how to do trade show promotions, it has not changed the strong need to use promotions to boost your booth traffic. With attendees only spending quality time at about 5% of exhibits, exhibitors still need to excel at promotions in order to get those valuable visitors to move out of the aisle and into their booth.

This book contains 28 articles, half geared to trade show promotions, and half about integrating social media with your trade show program. Use the ideas in this book to get more brand awareness, attendees, leads, and sales from trade shows.

Complete the form below to request a free copy today!

About the Author

Greg Johnson is the Managing Director at Skyline Exhibits Utah. He has 20 years of industry experience with more than 12 of that spent within the Skyline network. Greg previously held the position of Sr. Director of Global Marketing and Events at a global technology company. With his expertise in marketing, design and customer service, Greg has an unquenchable enthusiasm for your trade show success. For more information on trade show displays, trade show booths, and trade show exhibits in the greater Salt Lake City area of Utah, please visit

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