Every exhibitor at a tradeshow or convention comes in with a plan on how to engage people at their booth. They want to increase foot traffic and entice attendees to view their products. Using tradeshow icebreakers helps them achieve those goals.
Tradeshow icebreakers can come in many forms, but they all fall into two broad categories. The first are those that draw people to your booth, making them feel comfortable in approaching. The second are the questions those in your tradeshow booth ask to break the ice with visitors.
Tradeshow Icebreakers at Your Booth
It’s a question as old as tradeshows themselves: What’s the best way to boost foot traffic at a tradeshow, expo or convention? In theory, you can use anything that draws attention. But the best tradeshow icebreakers make people feel comfortable in approaching your booth and that you offer them something that makes the effort worthwhile.
Here’s a look at a few effective ideas. It’s always best if you can somehow tie these entertainment rental options into the theme of the tradeshow.
Food. Food has drawn people together forever, and it’s no different at a tradeshow. What’s even better is interesting food, such as machines that make carnival food like popcorn, cotton candy or snow cones. Another good idea is to make a unique, branded food, such as Frosted Cookie Creations.
Promotional giveaways. A tradeshow classic, these only work today if the swag is something unique, useful or both. Tradeshow attendees have seen every type of swag imaginable, so it’s important to get creative in this area.
Games. For tradeshow icebreakers, games work best that are the least complicated but also fun to play. Again, the world of carnivals provides good ideas, including classics such as ring toss and modern electronic games.
Prizes. If you have a game, then attach a prize to it. This is another effective icebreaker that has worked for centuries – everyone wants the chance to win something. One straightforward way to accomplish this: put a bunch of money into a Cash Cube. It’s all but guaranteed to attract a crowd.
Those are four areas where you can find plenty of entertainment rentals that will raise the profile of your tradeshow booth. It’s also a good move to consult with professionals on what has proven the most effective way to increase booth foot traffic at recent events.
Tradeshow Icebreaker Questions
For booth workers, the No. 1 thing to remember is not to immediately launch into a sales pitch when someone drops by. The best booth workers simply engage in interesting conversation. As pointed out by LinkedIn, breaking the ice at a tradeshow is not about the exhibitor and their products, but about learning more about the potential customer.
The best way to learn about someone is to ask questions. For tradeshow icebreakers, the following general questions are great places to start for those who have difficulty starting conversations with others.
- Why did you come to the tradeshow?
- What did you think about the keynote speaker?
- What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen so far?
- What session are you most interested in attending?
The answers to these four questions alone can give you available insight into what the person expects from the tradeshow. They also can also lead to the other person opening up and talking about themselves – while they munch on a bag of freshly popped popcorn.
All the above serves the real purpose of tradeshow icebreakers, which is to have attendees leave the tradeshow with a positive feeling about your company. Going in with a plan, as well as a booth staffed with people with the right kind of personalities, makes all the difference.