Live, in-booth presentations are a time-tested method to attract and educate your trade show target audience—and drive leads. Which of the infinite theater set-ups and presentation tactics should you use? That depends on your product, brand, and audience.
To help you brainstorm, here are seven successful approaches gleaned from some of the best presentations and theaters we’ve seen on the show floor this year.
1.Be aspirational. A great way to start your presentation is with an aspirational statement. This solicits agreement from attendees—which is the perfect lead in to your explanation of how your product solves this problem. Hill’s Pet Nutrition launched its new GI Biome canine diet at VMX with this approach. The presenter asked: “What if there were a safe, natural way to help dogs with GI issues…” (Exhibit design and fabrication by 3D Exhibits.)
2. Solicit audience participation. Elanco kept its presentation audiences engaged with a simple audience response system (ARS). At key points in the presentation, the presenter asked the audience to answer multiple choice questions pertinent to the content being delivered. Attendees couldn’t help feeling a little competitive as they viewed the percentage of audience members selecting each response on the presentation screen. The result? Attendees listened harder to ensure they’d be counted among those answering the questions correctly. (Exhibit design and fabrication unavailable).
3. Think small. An emerging trend is to create presentation pods that accommodate audiences of four or six. This makes the experience more like an amusement park attraction. Also, adding more pods and running the presentations at staggered start times can ensure that whenever an attendee arrives, there is a presentation ready to start. That way, no one walks away because they didn’t want to wait. (Photo: KiA at CES. Exhibit design and fabrication by Innocean.)
4. Make a statement. Exhibit theaters can take any shape and size. At CES, Audi went full coliseum with a theater in the round surrounded by stadium seating. Audi’s entire exhibit was elevated—so attendees stepped down, rather than up—to enter the theater. The result was an environment that had a protected, almost nest-like vibe. It was so popular that attendees came and sat in the space to conduct their own business between shows. (Design and fabrication by Mutabor.)
5. Create mystery. Another way to spark interest in your theater is with exclusivity. At Distributech, Survalent enclosed both its exhibit and its theater. Attendees couldn’t help stepping up to the orange-framed opening to look inside and see what was happening.
6. Integrate vignettes or demos. Weaving 3d set pieces and demonstrations into your presentation adds visual interest and makes your storytelling more visually compelling. This will both drive more attendees to participate—and increase the memorability of your presentation. Itron used this technique at Distributech to create The Itron Experience. The company’s energy efficiency technologies for utility companies came to life as the presenter and volunteers from the audience conducted live demos on set pieces that created a residential street. (Exhibit design and fabrication by 3D Exhibits. The Itron Experience by Itron.)
7. Position front and center. Your presentation can drive leads—but only if attendees see it and stop. Increase the size of your presentation audiences by placing your theater somewhere highly visible from the aisle—and keeping it active as much of the time as possible. (Varonis exhibit at RSA. Design and fabrication by 3D Exhibits.)
What effective presentation and theater methods have you seen?