A few years back I started a Trade Show Memes blog on Tumblr. I'd find memes already created and I even made some of my own. The idea was to curate a collection of trade show related memes in order to connect with the trade show exhibiting community on social media.
One of the memes I made was of the Dos Equis World's Most Interesting Man (seen below). The WMIM series of commercials were a huge hit. They were very cleverly written and were executed perfectly. If you don't recall, a compilation of the commercials can be seen here.
Little did I know that I'd get to meet the man who played the World's Most Interesting Man Mr. Johnathan Goldsmith at the National Retail Federation trade show in New York this past January.
Through my year's in the trade show industry I've seen many celebrities and actors who were posing for pictures in booths like "The Soup Nazi" from Seinfeld and "Data" from Star Trek Next Generation. Yet I never felt the urge to stop and line up. This time it was different. I really meant what I posted on twitter.
— Anders Boulanger (@TradeShowCrowds) January 16, 2017
Because this blog usually deals with real life trade show marketing strategies and tactics, I thought we'd take a quick look at whether or not hiring a celebrity acts as a draw to the booth.
It very much can attract people to your booth but typically with a celebrity appearance (depending on the celebrity and your budget) the hours can be very limited. In this case it was for 1 hour only. Limiting the hours concentrates the incentivized visits and makes it easier to measure the leads acquired due to the celebrity appearance alone. Again depending on the celebrity this appearance could cost you $5000 - $100,000 or more depending on the celebrity. Much like a Super Bowl commercial it can be a costly marketing initiative and yet it can garner valuable attention.
In addition to budget considerations you'll want to ensure you have a proper message to market match. Choosing the right celebrity for the demographics of the show is integral. I work at a lot of Tech shows and using a celebrity with any Sc
However any time you can generate a crowd or a line up going into a trade show booth you get a very powerful magnetic effect. The longer the line the more committed your booth attendees are to see
My best advice is to ask around to companies who have employed this tactic. Find out from them first hand if they got a good return on their investment.
Who knows, maybe next time I'll get a chance to pose with this guy.
If you are in the business of trade show marketing you might appreciate the collection I've created. You can see more here.