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How to Use a Contest to Drive Traffic to Your Trade Show Booth

If you’re planning on taking your trade show display to an event, you need to know how to encourage visitors to stop by and learn more about your company! One of the best ways to do this is with an in-booth contest. However, it’s important that you run your contest in the right way.

Business competition

Tip #1: Make the Contest Relate to Your Company

Everyone loves the chance to win a coveted prize like an iPad. But does this really relate to your business? Instead of giving away a generic prize that everyone wants to win, consider giving away something that speaks to your potential customers and relates to your company. Tailoring your promotion or giveaway to your industry means that you’ll be able to better target new customers, which can make following up after the event easier. You don’t want your sales staff to follow up with people who don’t have a need for your product or service and targeted leads can help make this happen.

Tip #2: Require that People Visit Your Trade Show Stand to Enter

Have you ever been in a business and noticed a fishbowl full of business cards on your tabletop display? Does anyone actually ever win those contests anyway? If you’re tempted to run the contest at your booth by simply asking people to drop a business card in a bowl, you’re going about it the wrong way.

While you do want people to have to visit your trade show booth in order to win a contest, that’s not enough! You should be able to interact with them before they have a chance to enter your contest. Consider holding onto the entry forms and only giving them to people you’ve talked to, but realize that this could limit your sales leads. It might be a good idea to have a few blank entry forms on a table or in a literature rack so that visitors can enter the contest even if all your salespeople are occupied with other attendees.

Tip #3: Advertise Your Contest Through Social Media

Lastly, make sure that your contest is well advertised with pre-show and at-show promotions and don’t just rely on people to learn about it by stopping by your booth. Before the event, advertise your contest on Facebook and Twitter and encourage your followers to share your post or retweet your message to their own followers. Consider giving them an incentive to share your post or retweet your message by offering them a special coupon or secondary contest that can be entered through social media. This can keep customers who are unable to attend engaged and interested.

Then, on the day of the event, make sure that everyone knows where your booth will be located. Tweet out your location or post it on Facebook so that your visitors can easily find you.

boothstaff_smNow that you know how to get people into your booth for your contest or promotion, make sure you’re qualifying leads and representing your company well. Read the Booth Staffing Guidebook for tips and techniques on how to be an engaging and successful booth staffer. Click here for your free copy.

About the Author

Scott Price was President of Skyline New Jersey and is currently retired.

One response to “How to Use a Contest to Drive Traffic to Your Trade Show Booth

  1. Hi Scott,
    I always wondered if any one actually win any of those contests, but having a contest with social media makes everything more credible and drives more traffic from your target audience. Good post!

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