exhibitor booth theater best practices from oracle openworld2014 by Captix

Booth Theater Best Practices for Trade Show Exhibitors

The first best practice that is non-negotiable is having a customized lead capture experience so you can track which parts of your exhibit attract the most interest; naturally, we recommend our app called Overpass. Beyond that, here are some best practices that can be game-changers at any show.

1. CROWD GATHERERS (for booth presentations)

Live marketing is a huge trend in events today. Here is an article written in detail about why to use them.

A great crowd gatherer is:

  • An actor / actress (capable of multiple accents and languages and playing the role as a team member)
  • Eloquent (never stumbles across words or falters with industry jargon)
  • Smart (see above)
  • Charismatic
  • Funny
  • Attractive (Disclaimer: beauty is in the eye of the beholder so we mean someone eye-catching and appropriately dressed for the occasion.)
  • Dresses as a team member
  • Makes LOTS of eye contact
  • Well-versed (knows about the booth’s goals of collecting many scans, the theater’s presentations and the booth’s giveaways)
  • Aware of booth promotions (able to highlight the various incentives the booth is giving away to increase lead engagement)

2. PROFESSIONAL PRESENTERS

Professional presenters are hired to give really engaging and informative presentations for increased audience attendance. The presenter is sent a deck before the show to become fluent in the material of the presentation. This ensures their presentations are completely on-point and extremely well-delivered. Everyone wants to listen to someone use subtle and engaging methods to captivate an audience.

Here is a resource for professional presenters.

3. BRAND / PRODUCT EXPERTS

Sales folks, solutions managers or savvy experts within your own company are great people to look to – and easy to find! – for presentations about your company’s brand or products. Anyone who is an expert on a product and who can talk at a very high level is a great person to put in front of an audience. The internal expert will gather even more leads by connecting the dots about how exactly your high level product directly solves the audience’s pain points.

4. GIVEAWAYS & SWEEPSTAKES

It’s really effective to collect leads through a booth incentive. The universal truth is: people *love* free stuff.

As ways to provide fun and engaging ways of getting people to come to your booth, here a few ideas:

  • A relevant product of the booth’s brand (a new tablet, or one that is pre-loaded with content)
  • Money (we’ve seen one tradeshow exhibitor give up to $10,000, which attracted over 5,000 leads at the giveaway drawing)
  • Really fun toys (like drone / helicopters that salespeople demonstrate and fly around while on the floor)
  • Free services from the booth

There is somewhat of a debate around giveaways at tradeshows. Do those who enter have to be there in person for the drawing to win? Or can you just take down their information? Decide in advance if you will require people to be present for the drawing.

You may want to invite a lead who, every time they hear a presentation, to enter into the giveaway drawing for that day (with different giveaways each day).

5. GUEST SPEAKERS

Guest speakers include savvy customers or partners to your company who come and speak. Having a customer speak on behalf of your solution is a really interesting dynamic for the listening audience. It comes across as more genuine because it’s more relatable.

Is there a relevant customer who is an avid user of your product and a fan of your company’s solution? If they’re a great speaker, and can truly identify with the target audience, give them some speaking time of their own!

6. BE FUN & PERSONABLE

The best booth presentations are fun and personable.

Remember that show attendees are already listening to days of speakers and lectures. As incredible as the keynotes may be, you want to make sure that your booth presentation is not just adding to more lecture noise. Be engaging. Use intonation and inflection when you speak. Use industry jargon your audience understands.

More than anything: be personable. Tell a joke. Speak in a different accent for every presentation (Irish, Jamaican, Pirate).

But above all (for goodness sake!) – SMILE! 🙂

If you have other ideas that you have seen work, please share in a comment below – thanks!

How to Draw a Crowd at your Trade Show Booth (& Collect More Leads)

As an exhibitor, it’s your number one job to collect leads to bring home to your sales and marketing teams. What’s the best way to make your booth look approachable?

Following are some creative ideas to spark engagement at your next exhibiting event.

1. Food… preferably *smelly* food.

Those easy-bake-ovens that heat delicious, soft chocolate chip cookies have an aroma that wafts around and attracts any human… whether they’re hungry or not.

Roasted almonds and cashew trucks and popcorn all permeate the entire show floor with smells of honey and reminders of winter time and fun at the movies.

cookie

2. Coffee

Booths that bring their own delicious coffee tend to attract a lot of traffic, if only for that oasis of caffeine in the middle of the harsh desert floor.

coffee

3. Alcohol

When the afternoon hits and you have alcohol at or around your booth, you will suddenly be the most popular booth. Two things: 1) Have fun with legal getting this approved (maybe you could even put your brand logo at the bottom of the serving glass?), and, 2) those leads may not be “sales-ready” (but who knows?).

4. Branded Swag

This is one of the best parts about the show, right? Take goodies home for yourself, your girlfriend or boyfriend, your kids, your mom… when you’re done collecting everything, you’ll be singing like the Little Mermaid in “Part Of Your World”. But this really is an effective (and expected) way to generate leads as an exhibitor. Some favorite swag items to consider:

  • Bouncy balls
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sweets (candy)
  • Grocery store bags (who can’t have enough of those, right?)
  • Sunglasses
  • Stress balls
  • Stress (material) shaped like a character
  • Stuffed animals (always a personal favorite)
  • Cash (we haven’t seen this done yet but it would be awesome!)

swag

5. Games

An engaging way to attract leads is to have a game. Some really interesting games to think about:

  • A basketball hoop
  • Race car driving games (where you could actually sit in the car to drive)
  • Fastest typing or coding
  • Petting zoos of your products (or having demonstrative ways to showcase what your product does)
  • Slot machine
  • Lottery

By the way, for the last two, see our Games and Entertainment.

6. Caricatures

If you sell hardware or software, you can use your own product to draw, color and print attendee caricatures. Or you can invite local talented artists to sit in your booth. (Here is an example by @nolanium.)

dell charicature

7. Mascots

If you have any sort of brand or product that can be put in a costume, do it. Dress up a character or put them in a suit. You’ll have people lining up for pictures in no time.

Collect leads by scanning their badge, and getting their email address to send them their photo. Here is an example:

liz meets eis

8. Live TV Broadcasting!

Some of the most popular booths at any show are simply interviews of folks on a green screen backdrop live-streaming through their websites or to the event’s website.

on air

9. Flyer Invitations To A Happy / After Hours Gathering

If many of your customers are attending the event, try having some sort of appreciation event for them. Send out invitations and be sure to hand out more when you meet them at your booth.

10. Crowd Gatherers

Having a booth theater in your booth is both informative and effective. Generating leads from presentations gives you informed potential customers. Getting foot traffic to sit down with a crowd gatherer who is funny, charismatic and attractive starts a phenomenon because other people want to know what’s going on – it’s human nature.

 

11. Race Cars Or Big Show Stoppers

Anytime you can showcase something really special, like a race car, sailboat, trophy, walk-through model or life-size moving display, you’ll draw attention.

racecar

12. A Huge Spinning Sign Of Your Brand Name / Logo Above Your Booth

Anytime you showcase, it’s important to make your company and brand as obvious as possible. There is an interesting debate on whether your hanging sign should spin or not… because you want attendees to see your name every time they look up but movement attracts attention.

trade show signs

13. Use Stark, Bold Colors

Booths that stand out the most are those that use stark colors in their booth’s decor. Having a stark white or red carpet underneath your booth is a great way of attracting the eyes of passersby.

14. Branded Lanyards To Replace Show Lanyards For The Booth Team

Using lanyards that have your brand’s name and colors instead of the generic ones that everyone at the show is wearing is a GREAT way to stand out and attract more conversation.

lanyard

Hopefully this has sparked your creativity in thinking of new ways to stand out and have more conversations with your audience. If you have other methods that have worked well, please let us know below!

Achieve goals playing as a team. like the San Antonio Spurs. Use event management technology to be a team that plays in sync.

Achieve Goals Playing as a Team

Whether you are a San Antonio Spurs fan or not, there is no denying that they play beautiful basketball. The reasons are many and there are timeless truths that saturate every facet of their game. The reasons that the Spurs are great are perfect examples for how greatness, for any team in any industry, is achieved.

1. Unique Players But A Team That Plays In Sync.

Every member of the Spurs team, both on and off the floor, is completely different. Just look at the players: they speak different languages, have different educational backgrounds, ethnicities, talents and positions.

For example, Kawhi Leonard is a 22-year old from San Diego State; Manu Ginobili is from Argentina; Tony Park is from France; Tim Duncan is one of the oldest NBA players in the league from the Virgin Islands; Patty Mills is from Australia; Cory Joseph is from Texas!

Despite their differences, these players still wear the same jersey. The black and silver uniforms unite them on the TV screen and their team basketball style makes them easily recognizable as the champs they are as a team.

2. Practice Basic Fundamentals.

The Spurs have clear goals, achieved through clear best practices. Every second the players are on the court, they keep their eyes on the goal and execute accordingly. Their goal is simple; they want to put baskets through the hoop more times than their opponents. That means excellent offense, high- percentage shots, passing and teamwork; that means relentless defense and a constant fight to achieve it.

3. Create Measurable Goals.

This may be obvious, but the Spurs have goals that are VERY measurable. They track everything… from rebounds, errors, goals scored, minutes played, fouls accrued to time left on the clock. It’s important for them to have people watching, tracking, measuring and monitoring for optimized play.

Imagine a game without a score board. Without the clock. Without the player statistics or the number of fouls counted. Imagine a game without someone counting every time the ball went through the hoop. What is the point of playing? To burn calories? That might afford you a greasy hamburger and milkshake after a hard game but it certainly won’t deliver the same results as with monitoring performance.

3. Little Things Make A Big Difference.

The Spurs: “Do the little things.” Which is what makes them play smart. It’s a fact. The Spurs…

Take open, high-percentage shots.
Give the ball to players with the best position (and give up their own chance of glory to do so).
Set picks and screens to set their team members up for success.
Listen to the plays called by Coach Popovich, clarify and execute.

4. “Everybody On The Spurs Can Pass.”

“Everybody can pass. It’s a requirement… and that’s just picture perfect.”

The Spurs are seamless. Despite obstacles, despite whether you’re a part of the ownership, the organization, the coach, the staff or the player, everyone is working together seamlessly to build the best team, and play the best game, to achieve the highest results. And it shows.

5. Set the Tone. Be Classy.

Tim Duncan has been accredited for this, as the team leader, according to Coach Popovich. He also said that one of the reasons they have this “classy” tone is because the Spurs players have “gotten over themselves.” It means that they hold themselves to a higher standard. “Win or lose – go home,” says Coach Pop. Whatever happens, each and every player does it with class. The Spurs organization has built it’s reputation around this fact.

“There are no egos. No clowns. And there is no one that doesn’t appreciate that.”

Things get STRESSFUL. Things get MESSED UP. There are HUGE stakes. There is a GIGANTIC audience watching live, both in person and on television. Mistakes HAPPEN. Buttons are PUSHED. And, despite that, the Spurs hold themselves to a higher standard that has earned them their reputation.

6. Play As A TEAM.

Perhaps this reason is superfluous… or perhaps all of the other reasons add up to this one. The reason that the Spurs are successful, the reason they play the most beautiful basketball anyone has ever seen, and the reason they are world champions, is because they play as a team.

It’s never about the individual player… whether their role is in ownership, the organization, coaching , playing or staffing, not one persona is more important than the other. Every moving part is working together, measuring EVERYTHING, collaborating, putting others ahead of themselves, sacrificing their own agendas and remaining extremely professional through the entire process.

If you haven’t already seen this video, it might bring tears to your eyes. Even if you’re not a basketball fan, a Spurs fan or a sports fan, there is still something to be learned from the way this group of people synergizes to achieve its goals. Watch:

So how does your team execute at an event? Is there a cohesive dynamic? Is there a clear goal? Is there a professional, selfless, sacrificing team? Is there someone measuring and monitoring EVERYTHING? Is the process by which you share, pass and communicate seamlessly?

At High Attendance, we think everyone on your team should be classy and work together. The next step is getting the tools in order to do that. Make your passes seamless. Get more clarity on your goals and better measurements on your execution. Start with the most seamless event management software: High Attendance / Captix.

 

References:

Selfie pic: http://www.sportsgrid.com/nba/why-the-spurs-are-truly-the-best-team-in-the-league-this-year/

Chris Boss and Heat comments: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2098332-chris-bosh-calls-2014-san-antonio-spurs-best-team-i-ever-saw

Positions: http://www.cbssports.com/nba/teams/roster/SA/san-antonio-spurs

4 Things To Consider Before Hosting A Corporate Event

1) Purpose

Much like investors, event professionals need to focus on their return on investment before they spend any time or money on an event. While events may not have an immediate monetary return, they should profit your company in some way. Imagine the objective of the event is to improve relationships and check in with current clients. While you may not see an immediate return on investment, client nurturing events can be beneficial in retaining long-term business.

2) Scheduling

An event is only successful if you have attendees. Prior to scheduling your event, consider your guests’ preferences. Do most of the invitees have children at home? Are the majority over the age of 65 – or are they all in their 20’s? Planning the event around your guests’ convenience is key. If they have children, make sure you send the invitation weeks, if not months, in advance so they can secure a babysitter.

3) Marketing

You have the goal and you’ve set the schedule. Now comes the hard part: marketing your event. Marketing needs to be tailored to your audience. Creating buzz around your event can be done in various ways. Optimize the buzz by leveraging the platform that majority of attendees use on a daily basis. For example, if most of your guests are on Twitter then create a hashtag, give away free tickets to followers, design games around the event, etc. If your audience isn’t on social media, send invites, giveaways, and reminders via email.

4) Plan B

Your goal is set, the schedule is confirmed and you’ve created buzz around the event — now all you need to determine is the backup plan. The best event professionals plan for every day-of disaster scenario. Rain? Have a tent on reserve. Shuttles break down? Have backup transportation ready to go. The best events are ones where guests never notice the problems because the backup plan is seamless.

Austin City Limits writstbands success

Austin City Limits Music Festival Is A Cash-less, Line-less & Arrest-less Hit (Basically)

Austin City Limits hosts it’s double weekend blow-out at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas, with headliners like it has never seen (recently including such celebrities as Eminem, Lana Del Rey, Lorde, Pearl Jam, Calvin Harris, Outkast, Avett Brothers & more).

In 2014, nearly 80,000 people attended the festival each day, and only 3 arrests TOTAL were made the first weekend. In 2015, over the course of the entire event, 450,000 people attended Austin City Limits. There might have been tons of traffic, and more parking tickets than ever before, but the crowd was controlled. One of the reasons were the wristbands required for each ticket holder.

Scanning technology allowed attendants to scan and “beep” right in, replacing turnstiles or scanning guns. Crowds could flow past the gates, scanning in and out.

The bracelets were also linked back to the holder’s registration file, where they could put in their credit card information, which then stored on their bracelets. Concessions and beer could be purchased through the “bump” of a bracelet against the vendor’s scanners connected to their iPads. Lines for both gate entrances and beer stands were never more than a couple of folks deep. As a bonus benefit to the beer vendors, the result of making beer purchases so much easier was a corresponding increase in the amount of beers sold.

Perhaps easy check-in and payment were reasons for fewer angry tempers and subsequent arrests. Altogether, many, many people over the course of the festival’s activities were able to enjoy the music they came for without distraction.

Makes you wonder: how is technology working for your event? Let us help.

Creating Business Relationships

Creating Business Relationships: Why Exhibiting or Attending a Trade Show is Like Speed Dating

From the bountiful number of name tags to the occasional awkward handshake, there are many commonalities between attending a trade show and a speed dating party.

First Impressions Matter

You have only seven seconds to impress when you meet someone new.  

Whether you’re standing in a trade show booth or sitting at a coffee table with your first date of the evening, the short timeframe remains the same. First impressions are made very quickly and, during this tiny window of time, both verbal and nonverbal cues say a lot about the person you are meeting. Read more

5 Apps To Make Life (Even) Easier In Austin

Copious amounts of tacos, sunshine, and live music: life is good in Austin, Texas. However, there are times when traffic is bad and tacos are not in walking distance — here are 5 mobile apps to help you cope with those troubling times.

Apps-1

1)   Favor

Favor isn’t just another food delivery app — this became obvious when they received $13 million in Series A funding earlier this month. The Austin-based company operates by using “runners” to pick up your groceries, dry cleaning or anything else from a store in your delivery area. Much like our next featured app, users can stay in touch with their runner via texting.

  • Pro: You never have to run your own errands.
  • Con: Costs more and takes longer than doing it yourself: $5 fee plus 5% of the cost of the items plus tip to the runner, and a 35-minute average delivery time. 

2)   Uber

Whether you have a 5-star rating or are protesting in front of city hall, by now most Austinites have heard of Uber. The app, which connects riders with drivers, transformed transportation within months of launching in Austin. While the original motto was “Everyone’s Private Driver,” Uber now offers a less expensive carpool service.

  • Pro: Short wait times.
  • Con: The more demand in your pickup area, the higher the price.

3)   Waze

Transportation is an obvious issue in Austin. While services like Uber may be quick to pick you up, they still can’t fly over the traffic on Mopac at 5pm. However, one app has found a way around the congestion. Waze collects real-time traffic and road info and provides you with alternate routes.

  • Pro: Avoiding Mopac and I-35 traffic.
  • Con: The more traffic the app gets, the more traffic the alternate routes will also get.

 4)   Car2Go

Last transportation app, promise. While traffic may be the bigger problem, we can’t overlook the parking issue — especially downtown. Instead of paying $20 to park in a garage, you can rent a teeny tiny Car2Go for .41 / minute and drop it off at any of their allotted spots around town.

  • Pro: Cheap, easy, and your car can stay safe at home.
  • Con: No more than 2 people can fit in a Car2Go.

 5)   TabbedOut

If you’re saving time with transportation, why not save time while you wine and dine? Instead of asking for the check, putting your card down, waiting for the waiter to pick it up, and then finally giving your autograph — TabbedOut allows you to pay for everything within the app, no paper and pen needed.

  • Pro: Saves time.
  • Con: Not every bar and restaurant is integrated with the app.

The most important thing to know about Austin is that we are connected AND we are digitally-savvy… now get out there and enjoy the #1 city in the U.S. for small business!

Five Ways To Increase Your Event App’s Download Rate

When hundreds of thousands of people attend a single conference, it only seems logical to create a mobile app for the event. South by Southwest launches a new app each year that includes everything from the schedule to features like beacon technology, which allows users to see what’s happening around them at any given moment.

While your app may not be alerting guests of Chelsea Clinton’s talk and Justin Bieber’s pop-up show, event apps are still very useful in informing and engaging attendees.

Here are five ways to increase your event app download rate:

1) Accessibility: Guests should know about the free app and its benefits before the actual event. Include a download link in the invitation and send reminders that encourage your guests to download the app.

2) Set Goals: Not all events need a mobile app. If you’re hosting a 20-person lunch and learn, you most likely won’t need an app. If you are hosting a 500-person conference twice a year, you may want an app for that. However, the app shouldn’t just be a place for guests to see the schedule — printing brochures is much cheaper than creating a mobile app. In other words, apps are expensive to build and your goals need to outline exactly why it’s a good investment. If each attendee is a current client then your goal should be to create an app that makes their experience as enjoyable and beneficial as possible.

3) Consistency: Much like your website, the event app should have consistent messaging and branding. If you are operating a software company whose brand is white and blue with very technical language, don’t create a trendy neon app.

4) Incentivize: If attendees can get all the information on your website then what’s the point of downloading the app on their phone? Incentivize downloads by offering special benefits to app users. For example, post key speakers on your site but tell guests to download the app to see the full lineup, host an in-app raffle, send special discounts, publish photos or show sneak peeks before the event.

5) Customer Support: Unless your event is at the Genius Bar, some of your guests may need assistance with downloading and navigating the app. Be sure to have an onboarding specialist on-hand to assist any attendees who have questions about the app.

3 Tips for Effective Event Marketing

 

Effective event marketing can be distilled into three keys as follows.

Consistent Branding.

From event apps to brochures, consistency is key. Think about Red Bull – they not only have fixed colors, fonts and format, they also have an “extreme” vibe to everything they produce. Although your events may vary in size, theme and location, your brand should always be clear and constant.

Clear Purpose.

Scott Schenker, Microsoft’s general manager of worldwide events, included “purpose” as one of the 4 P’s of effective event marketing. “You are being relevant to their place and their purpose, and you are being relevant to things that matter to them, and that furthers the sense this was a valuable thing for them to do,” said Schenker during a webinar hosted by BizBash. Whether you are throwing a launch party or hosting an internal meeting, each event should have a clear purpose that benefits the guests.

Social Engagement.

Unless you are planning Beyonce’s highly exclusive and super private wedding, you should be promoting the event on social media. Create a hashtag and start interacting with guests even before the event starts. Answer questions on Facebook and Twitter. Share sneak peeks on Instagram. If done correctly, your social media platforms can be the most valuable tool you have to market your events… and hey, it’s free!

 

By the Numbers: Gamification Success

Do not build a game just for the sake of gamification. Although games can (and should) be fun, you still need to plan and strategize the exact reason behind the game.

First ask yourself the purpose of the game. Is it to create brand awareness, make sales, drive traffic to your site, boost your social media presence, or increase interaction between speakers and attendees? Whatever it is, create the game with that exact goal in mind.

Essentially your game should succeed on two levels: personal and organizational.

Personal.

Personal success is making the game users happy. Research your audience beforehand and figure out the types of incentives that appeal to them.

If you are having an internal event, then perhaps the winner receives extra vacation days.

If your event is for potential clients, then maybe offer a one-month free trial of your product.

If the event is geared towards the public, then try offering cash prizes or gift cards.

Organizational.

If the game isn’t going to benefit your organization, then it isn’t worth building. Organizational success is the product of extensive planning and research. You should know exactly how the game works and the ways in which it can benefit your company. The purpose of the game can be a quantifiable goal such as capturing one hundred new leads or as simple as maintaining brand loyalty.

 

Gamification_By_The_Numbers

 

Want to learn more about gamification with High Attendance?

 

Statistic Sources: 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/18/52-percent-people-playing-games-women-industry-doesnt-know

http://www.digitalchalk.com/blog/8-surprising-gamification-statistics

http://elearningindustry.com/30-facts-gamification-in-elearning