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5 Creative Ways to Drive Traffic into the Exhibit Hall

By: Brittney Roberts, Program Coordinator II

As an event coordinator, one of the hardest things to do is get attendees into the Exhibit Hall. Since these vendors have paid to attend (and most support the organization by sponsorship), it’s our job to bring in the people! For my particular client, a good portion of our conference income comes from exhibitors and sponsors. We want to do everything we can to make sure they feel like they didn’t “waste their money” by participating in our conference.
Here are a few things we do to keep the traffic flowing during our event:

  • Promotion/Advertising on the Conference App: Our app is a very popular way to reach out to attendees. Sponsors and Exhibitors are given the opportunity to purchase an ad space for a particular day and time during the meeting. Once we have the ad details, we are able to blast that ad up to 3 times (within the time frame reserved) on the conference feed. This gets more eyes on the ad and helps get the word out about the company.
  • Refreshments: Almost every meal provided at the conference is set up in the back of the exhibit hall. This drives people through the booths to get to the snacks… and who doesn’t love snacks!
  • Drink Tickets: After a long day of learning, we provide a one-hour social event for attendees to hang out with exhibitors. We provide extra drink tickets for our exhibitors to give away to attendees that visit their booth, which again helps boost the traffic flow. Nothing like a glass of wine to break the ice between attendees and exhibitors!
  • Exhibit Hall Passport: This is a new feature we tried this past year. Each attendee gets a “passport” with participating exhibitor logos and are tasked with getting a “stamp” from each booth. We then put all of the completed passports in a basket and choose a winner! This year’s prize was a Kindle Fire. Our attendees had a great time walking around the exhibit hall to find the next company on their list and exhibitors enjoyed the extra attention!
  • Door Prizes: Every year at the end of the conference, we host a door prize event. Almost all of the giveaways are donations from the exhibitors. This is another good way to get the exhibiting companies’ name out there one last time before everyone heads home!