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Ever since the first photo booth was unveiled at the world's fair in 1889, photo-taking stations have been a fixture at trade shows around the globe. It's easy to see why: They divert the limelight to attendees and give booth staffers a captive audience for a few precious minutes while participants wait in line. Millennials' preoccupation with selfies has only accelerated the trend. So we compiled five examples of in-booth activities that not only put attendees in front of the camera in a creative way, but also generated more buzz than Ellen DeGeneres' infamous Oscar selfie. Here are five exhibitors that incorporated photo-sharing activities to increase traffic and improve brand awareness.
By Claire Walling
Picturing Passions
A unique photo opportunity that fuses with an exhibit theme is a winning combination. At the Healthcare Convention & Exhibitors Association show in Denver, Czarnowski Display Services Inc. gave attendees an alternate view through its Unlearn & Reframe theme. The campaign challenged attendees to take another look at their exhibit programs. Staffers initiated conversations with attendees by asking them to share their passions outside of work. Next, each participant was invited to peruse a catalog of stock art via a monitor in the exhibit and choose an image that was representative of his or her aforementioned passion. Choices included forest scenes, underwater landscapes, and cityscapes. After an attendee selected an image, the staffer used a camera to take a photo of it displayed on the monitor and then directed the individual to pose in front of a stark-white backdrop. Using a special camera setting, the staffer digitally superimposed the selected background image onto the attendee's silhouette. Next, the staffer printed the images right there in the booth. Czarnowski also emailed the digital file to portrait subjects, and they could subsequently share the image on their personal social-media sites. The staffer used that moment to explain that, much like the Unlearn & Reframe theme implied, Czarnowski hoped to redefine and defy their expectations.
Czarnowski Display Services Inc. staffers invited visitors to choose images they identified with, and then used a special camera setting to create superimposed portraits.
It's Party Time
What better occasion to snap a photo than a birthday party – especially when there are adult beverages involved? So R & A Bailey & Co., the maker of Baileys Irish Cream, festooned its exhibit at the Nightclub & Bar Show with confetti, balloon hats, and an open-air photo booth to get people celebrating the new birthday-cake shot recipe incorporating Baileys Vanilla-Cinnamon liqueur. Attendees could sample the beverage, score a T-shirt that said "Birthday Girl" or "Birthday Boy," and pop in front of the camera to be photographed. Unlike ordinary photo-booth equipment, however, the device snapped four photos in rapid succession while attendees hammed it up. The machine then printed a collage of the four images onto a single sheet that attendees could take with them. Images were also compiled into a GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) that looped like a digital flip book, which attendees could retrieve via an Internet portal. Attendees lined up to join the fun, leaving the company with results worth celebrating.
Panoramic Promotion
To show off its new D750 digital camera body and compatible Nikkor lenses at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show, Nikon Corp. gave attendees a 360-degree view through its Nikon 360° Project. Booth staffers invited visitors to step inside a circular structure, where they were surrounded by 48 Nikon D750s, each of which was equipped with a 20-millimeter Nikkor lens. Guests were then instructed to leap into the air on cue while the equipment captured the images of them in all their multidimensional glory. After the unusual photo shoot, staffers led participants to a viewing station where they could see a looping 360-degree panoramic video clip that rapidly panned around their bodies, frozen in midair – the result of compiling shots taken simultaneously from every angle. Staffers also invited them to share links to the videos via email or social media. The traffic builder definitely did its job, attracting throngs of attendees who stood in line for upwards of an hour to participate. What's more, waiting attendees chatted with Nikon staffers, soaked up the camera company's key messages, and watched the D750s and Nikkor lenses in action.

To promote its newest camera and lens, Nikon Corp. created an in-booth apparatus ringed with 48 cameras that captured simultaneous photos of participants in motion.
Major Props
The moment when a patient's hearing is restored is a jubilant occasion for audiologists. So GN ReSound Group decided to preserve that feeling on film in its exhibit at AudiologyNow. The hearing-aid manufacturer captured the delight that patients and medical professionals experience with a celebratory in-booth photo activity. Staffers invited attendees to stand in front of a white backdrop and demonstrate the joy they feel when a patient is able to hear again, while a preprogramed camera took 12 rapid-fire shots of them dancing, jumping, and performing other antics. ReSound gave participants two ways to remember their happy moments: 1) Attendees could select four out of the 12 images to be printed on a small badge, which served as their ticket to ReSound's after-hours party, and 2) following the show, they could go online and retrieve an animated GIF of their shenanigans. All in all, 1,500 attendees participated in the experience, more than 700 GIFs were created, and those GIFs were then shared via social media, email, or text nearly 500 times – results that were surely music to ReSound's ears.

The images taken in GN ReSound Group's photo booth were turned into animated GIFs for attendees to download and share.
Move to the Music
Attendees love an exhibit that's all about them. So at the American Institute of Architects Convention, Austell, GA-based window and door manufacturer YKK AP America Inc. created a whimsical campaign to prove to architects that it understands the unique challenges of the profession. Building off its I am an Architect theme unveiled at the previous year's show, YKK AP brought rap duo Brady/Mosby to its exhibit. The pair performed "Do the Architect," the third installment in the company's series of tongue-in-cheek music videos that call out the profession's peculiarities with a wink and a nod. After the performers – decked out in architect-appropriate garb such as dark-wash jeans, designer loafers, and sharp khaki blazers – demonstrated the moves to YKK AP's de facto theme song, staff invited attendees to give it a try. Individually or in small groups, attendees gathered in front of a wall comprising YKK AP's windows with the I am an Architect campaign logo overhead, and performed the moves with duo Brady/Mosby in front of a slow-motion camera. Immediately after the show, YKK AP compiled the footage into a remake of the original music video, this time putting booth visitors at the center of the action. In all, the manufacturer shot more than 400 video snippets of architects strutting their stuff, and the completed video has been viewed 4,000 times and counting on YouTube. Those are results that would make anyone dance.

Attendees that visited YKK AP America Inc.'s exhibit performed alongside a professional rap duo dressed to resemble architects. The impromptu shows were recorded for easy sharing.
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