Trade Show Tactic Taps into Taste

As you step out onto the trade show floor, rows of multicolored banner displays and spectacularly lit trade show booths compete for your attention. While drawing the crowd’s attention is important, what you really want to draw is booth traffic. How can your pop up display stand out in the cacophony of sensory overload? One web-based computer-game company found a solution by looking beyond the visual appeal.

When Good Old Games, Ltd. set their goals for the PAX Prime in 2011, they knew it would take some creative thinking to stand out at this trade show dedicated to gaming community. And though their trade show booth, decked out in oriental rugs, overstuffed arm chairs and a quilt rack, did stand out from the surrounding pop up displays for the homey look alone, what drew traffic from across the trade show floor was the wafting scent of fresh baked cookies.

Attendees stepping into the convention center immediately picked up the scent of chocolate chip cookies coming fresh from the oven and, in the midst of thumping music and flashing lights, steadfastly followed their noses past the surrounding trade show booths in search of the source. To help them in their search, grey haired “booth babes” in flour dusted aprons shuffled through the crowd with plates of cookies, and directions to Good Old Games, Ltd. location of the trade show floor.

While the visual creativity of granny booth babes and a trade show booth displaying itself as Grandma’s parlor played an important part in the booth’s popularity, the big draw was the free cookies being drawn hot out of an in-booth oven and being served on napkins sporting the company’s logo.

The surrounding pop-up displays had no complaints as they spent the trade show enjoying not only the smell of fresh baked cookies, but also found a captive audience for their own promotions as the crowds gathered in line to wait for a snack.

In the end, Good Old Games, Ltd. well exceeded their goals. Hoping to attract at least 7000 attendees to their trade show booth, they wound up entertaining 20,000 visitors. And the impression traveled beyond the display, as the company experienced a 30% uptick in their web traffic (once again exceeding their own set goal of a 10% increase).

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