One way to drive visitor traffic to your booth during trade shows is through trade show contests and interactive games. Even with all the new technology and gadgets making their way into trade show booths (AI, virtual reality, etc.), there’s still something to be said for the tried-and-true old-fashioned contests and games. They’re a fun way for your visitors to engage and interact with your booth, without the hassle of adding in new technology or electronics – and hopefully, generate high-quality leads! Here are some of our favorite games to generate visitor traffic.

1. Prize wheel

They may be common, but prize wheels are always a great way to draw people to your booth. A big, colorful prize wheel will attract attention at a bustling trade show and can help create a vibrant game show atmosphere. It’s important for participants to have a good time, but it’s even more important for them to remember your brand and your booth after the show is over.

Here are a few tips for setting up your trade show prize wheel:

  • Make sure your prize wheel is large and colorful to attract the attention of passers-by; some booths even add lights for additional flair.
  • Be sure to engage with the crowd as they walk by, and get them excited for their chance to play on the prize wheel!
  • When you set up the wheel, make sure you include one grand prize (such as a cash reward, gift card to a local top-rated restaurant, or a coveted digital device).

2. Counting Contest

Another fun game idea is to have a container with a certain number of objects, like candy, marbles or even sticks of memory (for the IT crowd). The person who comes closest to guessing the amount gets a prize or a discount. This is a great way to draw the contest out over the course of the day, so you’re able to get as many entries as possible!

And like other games, it can serve as an ice-breaker that helps foster communication between your representatives and trade show attendees. It’s an easy way to get important contact information (such as an email address) to use later as a potential lead.

3. Prize in the Locked Box

This is another age old trade show game we’ve seen make a real comeback as of late. You have a plexiglass box or a birdcage locked with a lock and a desirable prize inside. It could be a drone, Amazon Echo, Nintendo Switch, etc. You then have a bowl full of keys and each booth visitor gets to try one key in the lock. There is only one key that works and attendees come by and try their luck to unlock the lock and win the prize.

Couple notes on this game:

  • There is no way of knowing if a winning key is in the key bowl, some companies have been known to not put a winning key into the mix until the last day to “preserve” the prize.
  • Having someone holding the bowl full of keys and shaking the bowl to mix up the keys is a great way to make some noise and attract attention.

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4. Photo Contest

With the rise of smartphones and photo-based social media, everyone has become a photographer – and that makes a photo contest a great idea for your trade show booth. These contests are a great way to gain exposure for your event marketing campaign on social media by encouraging guests to upload their contest entries to their social media profiles.

A good way to do this is to create a hashtag for contest participants to tag. At the end of the day, declare a winning (most creative, etc.) photo from the selection and invite the lucky attendee to collect their prize. Add a photo booth to your exhibit and make sure to provide plenty of props!

5. Social Media Raffle

Raffles are often great fundraising tools, as people who pay a small amount of money have the opportunity to be awarded a much larger prize. But a Twitter or social media raffle doesn’t require any monetary investment from a contestant; instead, it only requires them to generate the kind of social media buzz that’s incredibly important for branding these days.

Simply designate a unique hashtag for the game, then have people enter the contest by making a positive statement about your brand on Twitter. Have them include both your Twitter handle and the hashtag, and be sure to announce the winner through Twitter later on. Not only will people be paying attention to your hashtag, but then they will eagerly await the winner announcement!

6. Putt for Dough

This in booth game is explained in greater detail in another post. The basic premise is that you have a putter, 3 balls and a bit of floor space in your booth. Put down a line of tape that your booth visitor must stand behind and they have to put the ball onto gift cards and bills of various denominations 9-10 feet away. If the ball lands on one of the prizes, they get to keep it.

Because this game relies on skill many people are more willing to play because they believe they have a better shot at winning than sheer luck. It’s a great game to create a line of people at your booth. Don’t forget to qualify those prospects in line while they wait!
Trade show games are great for creating some buzz, some fun and energy. What they don’t do, is communicate your value proposition. Your booth staff must be vigilant and work the line to find attendees that have a need for your product or service. If generating a buzz and creating crowds in your booth is important to you, but you also want to differentiate your company in the marketplace, you may want to take a look at our Infotainer Presentations.

For more trade show tips and tricks, visit our other blogs or check out our list of trade show Services for help with your next trade show booth.