Tradeshow Marketing

7 Best Trade Show Activities on a Budget

Exhibitors can find plenty of cost-effective trade show activities to make the most of their budgets. Check out this post for 7 top choices.

With exhibitors spending thousands of dollars per outing, trade shows are undoubtedly one of the most expensive marketing activities. But the extensive value they can generate for a business makes them a staple in the marketing arsenal for several brands.

But while larger and more established brands can spend exorbitantly on multiple events in a year, smaller and medium businesses often struggle with the high trade show expenses. Fortunately, there are ways to cut corners and save significant money.

[READ: 7 Trade Show Tips to Make Your Event a Success Under a Budget]

For instance, a fun and engaging booth activity can help exhibitors stand out and attract more people to their booths. And there are plenty of budget-friendly activities to choose from. Here’s a list of 7 such booth activities-

1- Prize Wheel

Trade show games like prize wheels or spin wheels are popular promotional tools used at physical events like trade shows, conferences, and conventions.

The game consists of a large, circular wheel divided into sections, each containing a different giveaway or prize. The booth visitors spin the wheel to win prizes.

[Read: Generate Engaged Leads with Digital Prize Wheel Game]

While physical prize wheels were more popular in the past, the convenience and cost-effectiveness of their digital alternative have made them the go-to choice for most exhibitors. Simple and effective, the prize wheel is sure to bring in a lot of traffic to your trade show booth.

[Checkout: Audiencegage Digital Prize Wheel Game]

2- Trade Show Raffle

Who doesn’t love to try their luck at raffle games? You can bring the excitement of this popular game to your trade show booth by deploying a physical or digital raffle.

Participants enter the raffle by filling out a form or dropping their business cards. At regular intervals, a random draw determines the winners.

[Read: Collect High-Quality Leads with Trade Show Raffle Game]

Exhibitors can consider a variety of pocket-friendly gifts or giveaways for the raffle to make the game more engaging. The raffle game is fairly straightforward and requires no extensive setups or resources. You can also consider an online raffle game to save booth space and digitize lead collection.

[Checkout: Audiencegage Trade Show Raffle Game]

3- DIY Trade Show Trivia

While most exhibitors work with trade show gamification companies to deploy custom trivia challenges at their booths, you can also use the DIY approach to save money.

Booth visitors are asked a series of questions depending on the type of trade show trivia deployed, and the ones who answer the most number of questions correctly win prizes. The game typically also involves a leaderboard for maximum engagement.

[READ: 20 Trade Show Trivia Examples]

While trade show trivia challenges are fun and engaging, they can also be customized to help with event objectives. For instance, if you’re launching a new product at the event, booth visitors can be invited to play the game after a product demo. As this customization process is crucial, most brands consider outsourcing it to trade show gaming professionals.  

[Checkout: Audiencegage Custom Trade Show Trivia]

4- Digital Fishbowl

Exhibitors have been using glass fishbowls at their booths to attract attendees for decades. But it's time to ditch this traditional practice and replace it with something better and more effective – a digital fishbowl.

As the name suggests, the game involves a fishbowl, and participants drop their business cards in it to win prizes in draws scheduled at regular intervals or at the end of the show.

But a major disadvantage of physical fishbowls is they require exhibitors to collect all the business cards, safely bring them to the company headquarters, and manually add lead details to their CRM. A digital fishbowl eliminates this effort-consuming process which is highly prone to lead loss by digitizing lead collection.

[READ: 9 Unique Ways to Capture Leads at Trade Shows]

5- Bingo

Want people to have a fun and memorable time at your booth without spending a lot of money? You can consider deploying bingo.

Participants submit their contact details to receive physical or digital bingo cards divided into rows and columns with numbers. The bingo balls with numbers are drawn, and participants win prizes if they get a straight line, corners, full house, etc.

A bingo game adds an interactive element to exhibits, encourages people to explore booths, and promotes engagement with exhibitors and their products.

6- Digital Scratch-Off Cards

If you want to keep things simple yet engaging, digital scratch-off cards are also an excellent option.

The game involves participants receiving a scratch-off card in exchange for their contact information. They can scratch the removable coating from the card to win prizes. Apart from prizes, brands can also consider offering discount codes for their products/services.

Like many other games, digital scratch-off cards have gained prominence over physical cards as the online game can be easily played on smartphones and devices like iPads.

[READ: 7 Trade Show Strategies to Maximize Your Gamification ROI]

7-Photo Booth

If you want to leverage the popularity of social platforms and photo-sharing to promote your exhibit, you can also install a photo booth.

You can deploy a fun and attractive photo booth where visitors can click pictures and share them on social platforms. Your booth staff can also take pictures and share them through your social handles to promote your brand and booth.

You can either design the photo booth yourself or if you’ve hired a professional booth designing company, they can add a photo booth to the layout. Ensure the photo booth is customized with your brand name for the best results.

[READ: 13 Trade Show Giveaway Ideas]

Cut Costs and Boost Trade Show Performance with Booth Activities

Trade show games and activities can turn the tide in your favor on a busy trade show floor. As can be seen above, there are various booth activities that can take you closer to your event objectives without costing a bomb.

Audiencegage offers a wide range of digital trade show games, including trivia challenges, raffles, prize wheels, scavenger hunts, and more. We customize every game according to your event goals and brand guidelines to help you make the most of every opportunity. Schedule a free demo to learn how our custom booth games can help.

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