Authentic In-booth Engagement Creates Buzz on Healthcare Convention & Exhibitors Association’s Showfloor

June 22, 2014

It’s one thing to build an amazing booth and have the most personable, experienced salespeople possible standing in it, hoping that attendees stop by to check out everything your company has to offer; but it’s a whole other thing to actually do something truly experiential that not only creates a buzz, but also real engagement with possible buyers.

There were several companies at the Healthcare Convention & Exhibitors Association’s recent annual meeting and exhibition, held this week at the Cleveland Convention Center that thought out-of-the-box and made an impression on attendees, many of whom were corporate exhibitors, in more ways than one.

Derse did something very unique and memorable when they sent a pre-event email out asking people to stop by and pick up a special personalized gift in their booth.

Once people got there, there was a few hundred little glass bottles tied to a wall with attendee’s names attached and a message inside.

The message asked people to write down one future personal and professional goal and those answers would be sent back to that individual in two years’ time to see how they were doing. Once the questions were completed, attendees received a gift as well, such as a Starbucks card.

Did it work? Sure did, with people surrounding the booth and creating real interaction with Derse salespeople in the process.

“We wanted to create a more meaningful engagement,” said Susan Reise from Derse’s marketing team.

She added, “We are a face-to-face marketing agency, and we can also help our clients create this kind of experience at their events.”

Over at the Global Experience Specialists’ booth, they had Chef Homaro Cantu from Chicago’s famed Moto Restaurant doing a demo on “the art and science of engagement” (the company’s tagline) with “smart food.”

Attendees were given a small “miracle berry” tablet to place on their tongues that Cantu said would change the flavor of anything sour to sweet – lemon squeezed on Greek plain yogurt transformed into delicious cheesecake and a lime magically tasted just like a sweet orange.

“We want to create healthy junk food,” Cantu said, adding that sugar doesn’t necessarily need to be in our diets.

To encourage people to experiment with cooking on their own, attendees were given GES-branded spatulas and tins of different types of seafood, meat and poultry rubs.

Live Marketing had the opposite idea about sugar, and its booth was packed with bins of candy that were coordinated with the company’s four key ways they want to engage with their clients – authentically, creatively, differently and passionately, said Ryan McArdle-Jaimes, strategic account executive.

“The candies people pick represent how they can engage their attendees in different ways,” he added.

The Access TCA booth also drew people in with its bright colors and bins packed with pressed flower cutouts that actually were wildflower seeds.

Each attendee was handed a little packet and encouraged to pick a few different colored flower cutouts to take home with them.

Maddie Ogren, account manager at the company, said, “People really like the idea. It’s something a little different. It’s one thing that they can take home with them.”

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