Your conference committee, board of directors and association staff has spent countless hours putting together a trade show or convention that will be beneficial for both attendees and exhibitors.
There are various activities, games and giveaways staff can organize to help increase traffic on the trade show floor. But there is another untapped resource.
Here are a few tips to help facilitate engagement among exhibitors and attendees at your trade show by utilizing the great resources your association already has: Board Members.
- Double Duty – Board members are great resources because they are often experts in their industries. Ask other board members to do double duty by conducting a breakout sessions or workshop on a topic related to their industry or profession.
- Table Topics – If attendees and exhibitors will be eating meals in the trade show, recruit board members to sit at each table and act as a moderator for various table discussions. Each table might have a small sign displaying the topic so attendees can choose which table and topic interests them. Conversations can be very casual with the board member simply there to get the conversation going.
- Demonstrations – setup a small stage with a microphone and a seating area inside the trade show and have board members conduct short demonstrations (15 minutes) on various products or services.
- Designated Stations – If your trade show is on the smaller end, have each board member “assigned” to a handful of booths. They can check in with the exhibitors, talk to attendees in the area. If you have a large trade show, have designated times that board members will be stationed at a certain area. For example, do you have a recharging station or another similar area in the trade show? Have each noard member sign up for a 30 or 45 minute timeslot to be “stationed” in that area to talk to members and attendees walking by or stopping to recharge their mobile devices.
- Board BINGO – games and giveaways are often used to help generate traffic on the trade show floor. This game will work best if you have a large board of directors. Create a BINGO board that contains the photos of all of your Board Members. Every attendee will receive a BINGO card at registration. Instead of calling out numbers, call out names. The names will only be announced in the trade show. Offer a significant grand prize for the first person to complete a row on their BINGO card.
- Contests and games - Setup a small stage inside the trade show and have board members go head-to-head with attendees on different fun games like balancing a soda can on its rim, bouncing ping pong balls into glasses or balancing an egg on its end (think of the NBC show Minute to Win It). If the attendee wins, they are entered into a raffle for a prize at the end of the day.
- Raffles – Have your board members walk around the trade show floor and sell tickets for a 50-50 raffle. It’s a great way to raise money for a new project or program that needs funding or collect donations for a charity or foundation. And it’s a great opportunity for board members to get to know the attendees and exhibitors and build relationships.
As an association leader, you should be the face of your organization. Getting involved in the trade show is a great way to get engaged with attendees and exhibitors.
What other ways could you use your board of directors and committee leaders in your trade show?