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Make em Laugh: Ten Ways to Entertain Trade Show Attendees


Use Entertainment to Increase Trade Show Booth Traffic

You’ve spent the money on your booth. Your booth staff have been well trained to deliver persuasive sales pitches. Your displays are in order; your brochures are neatly stacked. Your badge scanner is on the ready. Now, you just need to get the attendees in your booth so those employees can get to work generating the leads and sales needed to justify the expense of the tradeshow.

Sounds easy, but on a busy, chaotic tradeshow floor there’s a lot of competition for the eyes and ears of potential customers. So how do you pull attendees away from competing booths? For one, you need to deploy a creative strategy that sets your company apart from the sea of competitors and increases booth traffic.

Let’s look at ten ways your company can use entertainment to increase booth traffic:

  1. trade show booth magicianMagicians. It’s more than Abracadabra and Hocus-Pocus. There is something about magicians that brings out child-like awe in everyone, including your most sought-after sales prospects. Well-trained magicians can weave the wonder of magic with your company’s vital marketing messages, providing both entertainment and education.
  2. Interactive games, such as putting competitions. For many, golf is somewhat of an addiction. This is why attendees won’t be able to resist taking their chances to sink the most putts, land a coveted hole-in-one, or beat their colleagues in the lowest score of three shots competition. Add prizes with your company logo to up the ante.
  3. Sports simulations and virtual, computer-enhanced experiences. Immerse attendees in a custom-branded, virtual reality (VR) entertainment experience to not just lure them into your booth, but to captivate them. Choices include baseball, Indy and NASCAR car racing, golf, flight simulators, laser shooting galleries, and motion thrill rides.
  4. Money-blowing machines. This might sounds cheesy, but in today’s dismal economy, nothing grabs people’s attention like the potential to win money. Attendees can win a chance to spend a minute in the telephone-size cube to collect as many prizes (cash or customized coupons for your company’s products or services) as they can.
  5. ATM Money Machines. Following along on the previous idea, this relatively new promotion draws attendees in for a chance to use the ATM machine, which dispenses real coupons, prize vouchers, gift certificates, and customized bills good towards purchases from your business.
  6. Live entertainment. These can include comedians, circus performers, tribute bands, and dance troupes. Great at garnering people’s attention who might want to watch or interact with an entertainer. Make sure the performers are well versed in your company’s products or services and have the skills to disseminate information or sales messages to draw attendees into your booth to hear more.
  7. Customized Event Photography. Thanks to computer software, attendees can have their 15 minutes of fame by seeing photos of their faces on various unique backgrounds (Sports Illustrated cover, standing behind a presidential podium, posing with the Queen of England, etc.). Incorporating your logo somewhere on these unique, unforgettable keepsakes —one which attendees will likely not throw away—ensures the longevity of your marketing message unlike most tradeshow, throwaway gimmicks.
  8. Celebrity Look-Alikes. Try as they may to deny it, people are naturally drawn to celebrities, even when they aren’t the real deal. Add a photographer and nearly everyone will stop to get his or her picture taken with a “star.”
  9. Psychics and fortunetellers. Why not everyone is a believer in psychic powers, having a psychic or fortuneteller in your booth to do Tarot card and palm readings or handwriting analysis is a fun way to attract people into your booth. Good ones, who work the professional trade show circuits and often double as motivational speakers, are able to not just stop traffic, but deliver professional, informative and memorable messages about your company and its products.
  10. Caricature sketch artist. An oldie but a goodie, a cartoon sketch artist can be a very effective trade show booth secret weapon because it packs of double punch: it helps “draw” people into your booth and creates a memorable giveaway for attendees. Make sure that all caricature sketches have your logo on them somewhere to ensure longevity of your marketing message.


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