Exhibiting at trade shows is expensive. VERY expensive. How can you maximize your company's positive exposure and become one of the "must see" booths on attendees' agendas for the show?
Often companies lay out the money simply because if they weren't at a particular show, their customers would worry that they were in financial trouble. Their absence would be more noticeable than their presence.
Sure, there is a wide variation in how much companies invest in exhibiting, but at large shows, even small booths require a considerable outlay. So the question is, how can you get the biggest return out of that investment? How can you increase that ROI?
The TRUE cost of a show is not in the total outlay, but is measured by cost-per-lead.
Most companies would happily spend more on a show if they knew they generate more quality leads and reduce their cost-per-lead, thus increasing their ROI.
But how? Companies use all kinds of tactics to increase the attractiveness of their exhibits, from expensive give-aways to hiring beautiful models, but most of them have nothing to do with their company.
How do you attract and engage the attendees and get people to WANT to learn about your company, products, and brands? That's where a quality info-tainer comes in.
Steve Haffner entertaining leads at a client's booth at the IEEE show in Dallas
An info-tainer is a skilled professional who does two things: 1) makes attendees want to
be at your booth, thereby building traffic, and 2) educating them about your company and your message.
As a corporate entertainer and trade show info-tainer myself, my combination of visual magic and mentalism (mind reading) work extremely well at grabbing positive attention. And I truly enjoy customizing my presentations to my client's needs. It is fun and rewarding for me to take one of my routines and make it all about electrical widgets or magnetic inks (or whatever).
The biggest obstacle marketing directors have when I explain the info-tainer concept, is the fact that they have a pre-conceived notion about magicians or mind readers, that it would come across as a "side-show gimmick" and not a professional way to present their company. That was the thinking of many of the most successful companies in the world (such as IBM, 3M, Microsoft - the list is huge) before they tried an info-tainer.
When they did use the approach, their leads soared and they were convinced that a professional info-tainer is a great way to engage their potential customers and multiply their leads and ROI.
The demise of the trade show was predicted by many around the time that virtual meetings (online conferencing and webcasting) became technologically feasible and was rising in popularity and technological. "Trade show attendance will drop," they said. "It won't be worth exhibiting," they said.
It is clear those prognosticators were wrong, as trade show attendance continues to be robust, and is even increasing in many industries. So find a way to reach all those attendees and make your company the star of the show.