How To Increase Trade Show Traffic – Turn Attendees Into Piratesby Tod Maffin, Publisher, CaseStudiesOnline.com
Futurestate IT, a software company based out of Toronto went the swashbuckling route at the Microsoft Management Summit 2012 held in Las Vegas to drive more traffic and new business to their booth. It worked. They used the power of a fun treasure hunt theme coupled with an 8 step social media strategy.
Goals Of Campaign
To promote new enhancements to their product offerings. Primary goals were:
- Build a buzz around the theme and company name
- Attract as many people to the booth as possible to generate leads
- Be very interactive with the attendees to begin building a relationship
- Get an initial conversation started for those who are highly interested in the solution
8 Touch Strategy
Microsoft Management Summit (MMS2012) was a technical conference attended primarily by “left-brain” techies. Left brainers tend to be more reserved, but not when they arrived at the Futurestate booth. See their Facebook page for almost 200 photos of attendees having a blast. Note – Futurestate jointly hosted the Treasure Hunt with Juriba, its technology partner.
#1: Create Landing Page For Conference
To get the buzz started early, a separate MMS Treasure Website (www.mmstreasure.com) was created to inform people who have registered for the conference that there will be a treasure hunt event. People were able to download treasure maps at their leisure, and many people did.
#2: LinkedIn Event
To inform people of the Treasure Hunt event, a LinkedIn event page was created to generate awareness. Posts were also made within the official MMS2012 LinkedIn event.
#3: Conference Guide Ad
In the event that people had not heard of the treasure hunt by the time they arrived at the conference, an ad was placed in the hardcopy Conference Guide, to inform and attract their attention.
#4: Vertical Banner at the Booth
To ensure that interested attendees could find the booth easily, a vertical banner was erected near the booth to direct the traffic.
#5: Lady Pirates play Pirate Blackjack
To keep the treasure hunt light and fun, attendees could play Pirate Blackjack at the booth with the resident lady pirates. This gave them a chance to spend more time at the booth, and be interested in finding out more about the company’s solution.
#6: Treasure Hunt Rules and Instructions
Postcards were printed, and included the rules for the treasure hunt. Attendees could take away the postcards, in case they forgot the instructions on how to find the treasure.
A Twitter page was created to allow the attendees to interact with the company. A picture was taken of each attendee that played Pirate Blackjack with the lady pirates. Pirate gears were then added to the photo to make attendees into pirates. The modified photos were then tweeted.
A Facebook page, complete with information about the pirate ship arriving in Las Vegas with the resident feline mascot Thomas onboard, was also created to generate interaction. Throughout the treasure hunt, the Facebook page allowed attendees to find their modified photos and share them.
Those attendees that were able to find their photo, share or re-tweet it to their friends, got a chance to win one of three prizes: Microsoft Kinect, or one of two $100 Amazon gift cards.
The company targeted generating 200 sales leads, 100 Facebook entries, 100 Twitter entries, and an increase in company name recognition.
The treasure hunt occurred in a very short time frame, just over 2.5 days, coinciding with the exhibit hall days. The responses were tremendous, and well over the set target:
523 leads were generated, with duplicates removed. Many people returned to the booth to play Pirate Blackjack with the lady pirates, in order to get extra chances to get onto Facebook/Twitter. Of those who visited the booth, 40 leads were extremely interested prospects that the sales team could begin detailed conversation immediately.
Result: 260% of target
193 photos were uploaded in the 2.5 days timeframe, of which many were shared.
Result: 193% of target
283 tweets were sent, with 84 followers.
Result: 283% of target
“We set out to engage people, and to have them learn about us. The response was overwhelming, and people had fun while they listened to our solution story. I think it was a well balanced lead generation and relationship building exercise. It exceeded our targets, so I would consider this a huge success,” said Helen Ching, Director of Marketing for Futurestate IT.
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