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How To Stop Trade Show Zombies And Bring Them Back To Life

February 12, 2013 | | Comments 3

Trade Show ZombiesZombies are having a renaissance lately, what with the popular The Walking Dead on cable, and now the romantic comedy Warm Bodies in the theaters.  But unfortunately, zombies have always been all-too popular at trade shows.

Trade show zombies are those slow-moving, nearly brain-dead attendees stumbling down the aisle.  After a few hours wandering a trade show floor, their brains are on overload from the visual and sensory torrent.  They’ve lost the mental ability to recognize why they should stop in your trade show booth and talk to you.

So how do you stop a trade show zombie from staggering right past your booth?  There’s no need for supernatural weapons when you use these 7 things:

  1. Bold Color:  Surprisingly, much of a trade show floor is filled with exhibits decorated in greys, blacks, and other shades of color that are more suited for corporate camouflage than creating brand distinction.  Take advantage of the eye’s attraction for bright colors and cover your exhibit graphics with hues that will shock a zombie out of their stupor.
  2. Motion:  To survive in the wild, man’s vision became hyper-sensitive to motion, and the potential danger – and food – it implies.  When you are hunting trade show zombies, use motion to get their attention.  Motion can come from a demonstration, a presentation, a bold video, even from your exhibit itself.
  3. Targeted Words:  They say the pen is mightier than the sword, so fight those zombies with words.  Find the words that will break through the clutter and shock passing trade show zombies out of their apathy.  Those words may be a strong benefit statement on your trade show exhibit, or a great engaging question from your trade show booth staffers.
  4. Food & Drink:  Happy trade show attendees devolve into zombies the further they trudge down the trade show aisles.  It’s not hard to guess why: they are hungry and thirsty.  Cure the unfed undead of their zombiehood with a light snack and a cold or hot drink.  At European trade shows hospitality is a common practice.  Try it at your U.S. shows and watch the zombies flock in.
  5. A Gift:  Halt an otherwise passing trade show zombie by appealing even louder to their never-forgotten self-interest.  Give them a gift that is colorful, useful, cool, and appropriate to their particular needs and interests.  Just be sure to get them talking about what they are looking for at the show before they stash the giveaway into their bag and stagger on.
  6. A Place To Rest:  On their long journey up and down the trade show aisles, zombies slog as if on a forced death march.  Lift them from their burden with a place to sit for a while.  Let them recover their breath for a bit before launching into a sales pitch, or else they will still be too much the zombie to willingly listen.
  7. Friendly Enthusiasm:  Your booth staff, if chosen correctly for their positive attitude and kept fresh with plentiful breaks, can be the best antidote for trade show zombies.  Your staff’s genuine interest in helping attendees find the best solution to their challenges can cure even the most hardened zombie heart.

Employ these 7 methods to wake trade show zombies from their mindless wanderings and you’ll not only save them from a fate worse than death, but you’ll also win business that no one else will.

And good zombie hunting!

What's Working In Exhibiting white paperFind more ideas for revitalizing both trade show zombies and your trade show results with the What’s Working In Exhibiting white paper.  Click here to request your free, 32-page copy.

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Filed Under: CreativePromotionsTrade show booth staffingTrade show exhibit design

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About the Author: Mike Thimmesch is Skyline Exhibits' Director of Customer Engagement, with over 25 years of Marketing and Trade Show Display Marketing experience.

RSSComments (3)

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  1. [...] following is part of a handy reference list (from this excellent article) to help stop the trade show undead from shuffling right past your booth. No need to reach for the [...]

  2. Great analogy. We’ve all seen (and probably have been) zombies at trade shows. We highly recommend to our clients that booth staff get training to leverage the show time as much as possible. Good staff is key to reviving zombies.

  3. Steffen says:

    Who needs Zombies, we need clients.

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