Tips and Trends

Trade Show Exhibit Best Practice: Draw More Attendees to Your Booth with Motion

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

In the ongoing competition for trade show attendees’ attention, one of the simplest—and most effective—tools in the exhibit marketer’s arsenal is motion. From demos to moving lights, motion gets noticed.

Even the smallest motion viewed from the corner of a trade show attendee’s eye elicits an automatic reaction of “What’s that?” It’s a natural human instinct, one that goes back to the stone age when the ability to notice even subtle motion helped early man locate game when they went hunting and avoid dangers—such as poisonous snakes and saber-toothed tigers.

Motion can be integrated into your trade show booth design in a myriad of ways and at every level of budget.


Seven examples of how motion can be used to attract more attendees to your trade show booth:


1. Create an expert demo. Bring in an expert and show off the coolest thing you can do related to your products’ features, capabilities, durability—or the lifestyle of the target audience. This can range from building a Lego replica of your product to a cooking demo that highlights something fancy that can be cooked on your griddle.


2. Build a participatory demo or experience. This technique is a variation of #1 where rather than bringing in an expert, you let attendees do the demonstration for themselves. This can be either low tech and low budget—or something more technologically sophisticated—like the activity pictured below where the attendee’s motion is mimicked by the skeleton on the screen.


3. Leverage the air current. This approach suspends thin, lightweight, shimmery plastic tiles from a single point to create a display that glistens and gently moves with the ambient air current. Apply this technique to create hanging signs, featured graphics—or even to cover a back wall.


4. Employ gobos or other theatrical lighting. Projected messages, changes in color or tone and moving textures all increase an exhibit’s ability to attract attendees.


5. Use LED video tiles or walls. You’ll get the best results if you go with bold, simple forms and motion attendees can understand at a glance—versus copy, complex messaging or a longer story visitors are meant to follow.


6. Mechanically animate real objects. Despite the popularity of virtual—people still love to see real, three-dimensional items that move mechanically. This can range from a simple motion—such as a weight that is repeatedly lifted and dropped on an item to prove its durability—to something as complex as a robot or Disneyesque animatronic. In the display pictured below, the TVs rotate 90-degrees to demonstrate the thinness of both the unit depth and the frame width.


7. Program a custom kinetic sculpture. This ultra-cool use of technology enables marketers to mesmerize attendees with an array of suspended balls or lights that move to create product sculptures, logos, messages and more.


What other effective uses of motion to draw attendees have you seen on the show floor lately?

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