In-person trade show events are beginning to resume around the world. As they do, marketers are finding new ways to attract and engage prospects safely.

One aspect of trade show planning that has changed greatly is booth activities. Packed presentations, crowded demos, and group games are no longer compatible with social distancing measures. Even activities like traditional raffles are high-risk, with participants touching pens and paper as well as the submission container.

Is there ANY fun to be had in a post-COVID world? We think so!

Here are four tips for safe trade show booth activities and games:


1. Safety begins long before the event

Review guidelines and contact trade show event planning personnel to make sure you understand on-site protocols and sanitation efforts.

This will keep you in compliance as you formulate your activities, and will help you understand what additional measures you can implement to minimize risks for your booth staff and your visitors.


2. Understand your target audience

With most of our traditional trade show activities out of the question, we are back to square one.

Where do we look for fresh ideas? Our target audience, of course!

Understanding your trade show audience is the key to providing information, swag, and entertainment that they’ll find valuable and useful. Plan your activities and giveaways around their interests.

For example, if your event is at a resort with a golf course, your target audience may be interested in golfing at some point during their stay. Rounds of golf would be a high-value prize for guests of the resort, as well as being appropriate for social distancing guidelines.


3. Create a digital activity or contest

It’s likely that 2020 has shifted much of your engagement efforts toward online channels. A trade show activity that guides visitors to your website or social media pages is a way to safely engage your audience while also strengthening your digital strategy.

One idea is a digital treasure hunt which sends participants online to hunt for “clues,” with a prize to be claimed upon completion.

Additionally, you could require participants to complete tasks such as posting to social media using a branded hashtag, or following one or all of your social media channels.

You could also create a digital submission-based contest, asking participants to upload photos or videos to social media and tag your business.


4. Create an exhibit that allows for engagement AND safety

Many of the trade show best practices for booth design have shifted to accommodate an unprecedented global health event. Fortunately, we can still provide an attractive and engaging trade show experience by combining stellar booth design with thoughtful protective measures.

A custom structure is a great way to make a visual impact while integrating innovative safety features and social distancing-friendly layouts. For a budget-friendly upgrade to your existing booth, adding partitions, signage, and stickers can help keep staff and visitors safe.

Above all, an attention to proper hygienic measures and social distancing enablement will illustrate to trade show attendees that you care about their well-being, and will help build trust with your audience as a result.

Ready to hit the floor with a booth that is safe AND stylish? Reach out to the gurus at Exhibit Options, we’ve got some great ideas for you!