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How to stand out and get remembered at your next industry expo or convention

Do you go to lots of industry expos or conferences?

Do you get tired of seeing  or being part of the same of things and the same old “engagement” techniques?

I go to lots of conferences and take note of the expo exhibitors who do things a little differently and who turn passers by into warm leads or at least allied amplifiers of your messages.

Here are a few tips that could help you stand out and be remembered at your next expo or convention.

1. Think beyond the usual freebies you hand out.

While the usual branded pens and fridge magnets and note pads and tote bags and USBs and mini torches are good staples – think beyond these.

Think what else?

Think of your audience – what do they use and need in their lives?

Also, think beyond your audience – to their families or partners.

I know from experience – one of the “coolest” conference/expo freebie I ever got was a little key chains with a Lego figure on it.

lego construction worker

I felt like a real hero when I brought this home to my son.

Many males (of all ages) cannot resist the lure of Lego!

Low cost to you – high “value” to the attendee!

And Lego comes in a whole range of professions!


2. Make people “work” for it.

People value things more that they have to “work” for.

For example – have more substantial “prizes” people can win if they perform some easy task – e.g. a competition/quizz.

Keep it fast and simple!

If I was part of a law firm at an industry expo – I’d have a few “larger” prizes like this. (this “engagement technique” combines points 1, 2 and 3!)


Barbie comes in a range of different professions!

Dentist Barbie

Attendees get a chance to “compete” for the prize by first giving their business card and then entering the competition.

I’ve seen a travel organisation give a quick 2 minute presentation – and then contestants get to answer simple questions (the answers were in the presentation).

The winner  (the first one with the most correct answers) could get The more expensive Barbie.

Other contestants could get a smaller lego “prize”.

3. Try to have the prize reminder connected to you or your industry.

For example, every time a parent sees the Lawyer Barbie – it should remind them of your law firm.

If you work for a professional services firm – every time a parent sees, for example, this office worker Lego – it reminds them of your professional services firm (accountants etc.) and the time they won this prize at the expo.

lego office worker1

The result should be: the attendee gets the prize and memory of the time they “won” it. You get the business cards and contacts.

Now, I’ve mentioned Lego and Barbie – because they are the things that appeal to my kids.

I have no connection with Lego or Barbie – other than being a big buyer of both!

You could use the same ideas to any other “toys” appealing to kids.

Or if your audience is likely to be people without children, you could apply the same principles above – related to prizes that could appeal to an attendee’s parter.

TB shoe shine

ANOTHER GREAT CONFERENCE ENTICER I saw was an old fashioned shoe shine stand where people sit and get their shoes shined.

shoe shine 2

During this time you have a captive (and often grateful audience) who can sit through your short “presentation” about your service of product.


word nerd CU

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I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.



tony biancotti


Linked In – under Tony Biancotti


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