We all want interactives on our stands that generate visitor excitement (and let’s be honest… You want to make your space more exciting than your competition).

But there’s no point having engagement pieces just for the sake of it. You need to select the right type of interactive so you cut through the clutter and successfully add value.

Back when I was in high school, I had a clever math’s teacher named Mr Delaney who on the last period on a Friday afternoon would let us listen to Prince songs and then mediate for 10mins.

** Before you slam the public education system…

This teacher had found a creative way to tame a rowdy bunch of teenagers that were excited about their weekend and made us look forward to his classes instead of rebelling and making his life hell. So his strategy was a success.

My question to you… What if you weren’t just forking out money for baristas and giving away free coffees at trade shows?

While still successful if you have the budget to do so (and actually offer really great coffee), it’s been done to death and is more than a little expected.

I’m going to share some other options you may not have thought about.


• Allow visitors to let their guard down so they’re open to conversations
• Cut through the cognitive overload
• We all like a little puzzle – When you give a visitor the opportunity to connect the dots for themselves and see the link between an engagement piece and a brand message, you become unforgettable.
• Remind current customers why they should stick with you
• Allow you to educate and qualify in an engaging way

When you can tie your interactive back to you brand your message, you become memorable to your customer. It isn’t just a cool thing they saw. It’s about turning your exhibit into an experiential experience.

But your engagement piece doesn’t have to cost you the earth…


• What’s your goal? – Talk to new customers/existing ones?
• Creatively showcase a key benefit or product differentiator?
• Can you qualify customers at the same time?
• How can you engage the 5 senses?
• What other launches do you have currently going on in your business?
• Testing an idea: Would you tell others about it? Does it win over your audience or is it just an activity for them to get a prize in exchange for details?

It’s hard to share ideas for interactives without fully understanding what your challenges are and what exactly you want to achieve, but one option that I’ve seen work really well is a magician. (Before you think I’ve gone crazy… Hear me out!).

Magician Sydney - The Exhibit CompanyThis type of engagement piece is more popular in the US and the UK, making it still pretty exciting here in Oz. You want to partner with the right one who really helps client engagement and actually generates an ROI for your business.

I’m opening up my little black book and sharing a name for the Sydney events: Dare 2 Trick is one of a kind. This magician has a corporate background so presents really well and pulls people off the aisles and onto your stand by performing tricks that incorporate your company brand.

The beauty of this guy is that he engages people by going into the crowd and performing tricks that incorporate your company brand. Then he brings them back to the stand to introduce them to the team.

“We hired Dare to perform magic and engage clients at our AHRI National Convention and Exhibition stand and he helped the team achieve an increase in sales leads compared to the previous year’s effort. His magic service generated an ROI for us so we’ve booked Dare again since!”
–  Marc Havercroft (COO & Vice President Strategy), SAP

Dare in action… Seriously, cool.


There are loads of options for interactives, some safe and some outside of the norm. Your brand identity may limit how far you can push it but it doesn’t mean you have to limit your creativity (or results).


  • Coffee – make sure your coffee is great and team are ready to talk to people in the queue
  • EG: A Security Company – send a key in your pre-show comms asking people to bring it to the show to see if they unlock a volt to a mystery prize
  • Whitepaper giveaways on touchscreens
  • NFC Technology on touch screens for product comparisons
  • Themed photo booth – snap and share with donations to a charity
  • We once did a touch screen engagement for a client to showcase profit percentage of different store layouts so their customers could learn best practice and the sales team had something to follow up beyond the event.

To benefit from interactives on a exhibition stand, they must to tie back to your brand message in order to be memorable. Doing so leads to much higher ROI because you’re attracting more qualified leads.

There’s no point of giving away things so just so you can work harder at qualifying and sifting through everyone to find your ideal customers. You don’t necessarily want longer dwell time!

If you have a trade show coming up and want help creating a unique experience for your customers call us to book in a strategy session today.

Yours in Exhibiting,