As many of us are gearing up to head out on summer holidays (in the Northern Hemisphere), now is a good time to think about injecting some fun elements into our business-to-business events. With the recent announcement of UFI members RX (Reed Pop) taking over E3, formerly the largest B2B video gaming show in the US for years, I started thinking about how organizers can inject some of the elements of B2C exhibitions into B2B ones.

Some suggestions:

  1. Think about social media moments! Place an easy access step-and-repeat banner in the lobby. Include other places on the exhibit floor with show branding for visitors (and exhibitors) to take selfies to post on social media. Don’t forget to feature your event hashtag so it’s easily included on posts.

  2. Festivalization does not mean bringing games and rides into your event. It does mean having experiential areas. If you have an industrial show, can you feature a live, working shop on the exhibit floor? Or can you add a demo area – inside or outside the venue? These showcased zones may be sponsored by a variety of exhibitors, ultimately paying for themselves.

  3. What have you done to revamp/showcase new product pavilions? The number one reason people attend an exhibition is to see new things. How can you shine a light on “new”?

  4. Add music, especially during quieter times on the exhibit floor. Better yet, place live music in food areas, the lobby, or other lounges and pavilions. It doesn’t have to be a full rock concert but adding a DJ or musical trio can ramp up the atmosphere.

  5. Ask your in-house teams for suggestions on enlivening the show floor. Hold competitions for innovative experience ideas. Sometimes we forget that our best idea resources are right under our noses!

Let’s bring some of the “show” back into the trade show business! Happy Summer.