What's the difference between an exhibit program that sizzles and one that fizzles? Often, it's all about the promotions – or lack thereof. Granted, if you employ enough bells and whistles or empty your wallet on a grand-prize drawing, some attendees are bound to stop and gawk. But if you want your target audience to soak up your key messages, explore your offerings, and offer up their lead information, few things fit the bill like a potent promotion.
So to honor the powerful role promotions play in exhibit effectiveness – and to provide readers with proven ideas for their own programs – EXHIBITOR magazine hosts the annual Sizzle Awards and devotes its October issue to the winners.
This year's jury, comprising seven event-marketing professionals from across the United States, considered entries in nine categories. Jurors searched for submissions that featured inventive concepts and killer execution while also delivering results.
Once their scores were tallied, judges had identified five winners, all of which offered multiple light-bulb moments and perhaps a few exhibit-marketing firsts. Winning projects included everything from an avocado vending machine that drew 14,000 booth visitors, twice the exhibitor's goal, to a full-on escape-room activation for a global credit-card company that topped the firm's pre-show card-application goals by 26 percent.
So join us in congratulating this year's winners, and read on to learn their secrets of success. After all, the best way to ensure your program sizzles rather than fizzles is to spark your creative fires with a few proven examples. Here are five fire starters.