March 21, 2013
With this year’s International Confex in full swing, we thought now was as good a time as any to talk about entertainment at exhibitions. Conferences and exhibitions pose a unique challenge to entertainers because, for once, they’re not the centre of attention – or even just off to the side of the centre of attention, but they’re competing just like everyone else.
A great exhibition act not only needs to be skilled at attracting people over to a booth, but also facilitating conversation between you and potential customers. So today, we’re offering up our Top 5 Exhibition Entertainment Ideas.
Give them something to take away
Everyone knows the feeling of coming away from a conference, pockets bulging with business cards, price lists and flyers so the idea of handing anything else to a conference goer might seem counter intuitive. Unless it’s something a little more interesting than a business card or a flyer that is; many strolling acts like Caricaturists and Balloon Modellers are able to give visitors an amusing keepsake for the day. Maybe they’ll keep it, maybe they won’t, but the same can be said of a business card and that isn’t half as memorable.
Get people talking
It’s all well and good having people stood around your stand, but if they aren’t talking, it’s not quite so useful. The best exhibition acts are the ones that are able to get people talking. Magicians may be a staple of conferences and exhibitions, but any magician worth his/her salt knows the importance of engaging his/her audience completely. This is vital when you’re dealing with noisy exhibition spaces, which leads us on to our next point...
Adding to the noise of an exhibition isn’t always the best way of getting people’s attention. While there’s certainly a place for music at exhibitions, the acts that work best tend to be visual ones. Though they’re not right for every occasion lookalikes are able to catch people’s eyes with ease, for an even quieter alternative living statues can be a nice addition to a stand and linking back in to the first point, cigarette girls can be a nice way to give out anything from cards to those ‘edible bribes’ that have always proved so popular.
As it’s probably clear by now, exhibition floors can often be places of sensory overload with different stands all competing for people’s attentions – allowing people to interact with an act is a good way to cut through the chatter. Palm Readers, Graphologists and Mind Readers are fun ways to get guests interacting with your stand, but also someone like Judge The Poet – who incorporates his audiences suggestions into spontaneous poems – can be a good way for guests to interact with the entertainment.
Link the entertainment to your product/stand
Dazzling as your act may be, if it’s not linked to your stall, it can be jarring for visitors. Much of the time, this is easily remedied; Magicians are good for suggesting a product or service is slick and ingenious, mind readers can give the message that a company is ‘one step ahead’ etc. By explaining exactly the message you want your exhibition act to get across in advance, the performer can tailor his/her act to suit the occasion.