Martin Walker

8 innovative audience engagement ideas to use at exhibitions

We’ve all experienced trudging through exhibition halls, collecting brochures and taking home meaningless giveaways. But we all remember the very few experiences where the exhibitor entices you to their stand using clever and innovative ideas.

Any business knows that exhibitions can be a costly endeavour, and you will want to make sure that you maximise both time and money so that your attendance doesn’t become a lost opportunity.

However visually striking your exhibition stand might look, successful engagement has to start with getting visitors to your stand. This article provides eight ideas to drive more booth visits, help you stand out from the crowd and provide experiences that deliver real value to your audience.


Gamification is a trend that is gaining significant traction at the moment. Games are fun and a great way of drawing in an unfamiliar audience. By introducing a game for delegates to play when they visit your stand will help you attract more people and keep them engaged for longer in something that is fun, challenging and competitive.

Augmented reality

Overcome the physical limitations of an event venue by using Augmented Reality to engage with your audience and bring your brand to life. AR enables your audience to immerse themselves in an intriguing experience that can draw crowds, whilst learning about your product at the same time. An Augmented Reality app can be used on large screens, or iPads on your stand. For example, many car manufacturers have launched augmented reality apps that allow customers to explore the features of cars, hear the sound of the engine and quite literally see the car on the road from the driver’s point-of-view.


Despite the fact that competitions are a commonly used tactic at exhibitions, I still believe there is mileage for innovative competitions that are promoted via social networks prior to the event – and they’re a great way to get people involved and give something away to a lucky winner at the end of it.

Photo booths

Invite delegates to have their photo taken in a photo booth on your stand, and ask them to think of a caption for the photo that relates back to your brand. These photos and captions can then be streamed online and displayed on a large screen at the exhibition with your Twitter handle, to encourage people to share across their social network.


iBeacons could be placed around the exhibition hall to help delegates navigate around the show, and be used to send specific marketing messages to their smartphone as they walk past your trade stand to help draw them in and encourage them to linger for longer.


Encourage your audience to ask questions about issues relating to your industry prior to the event via social media, and use these to engage further with the wider exhibition audience online.

Knowledge share

Host product demos at your stand, which call for interaction from passerbys. Use a presenter who has lots of charisma and humour to get as many people around the stand involved.

Create a workplace, coffee and touchdown area

If you have the space, create a workspace area for people to catch up on emails, recharge their mobile phones and enjoy a free cup of coffee. If visitors want to use the wifi, they must give their details. To get a coffee they must give their name and email address. This will help you deliver a personal experience (just like Starbucks!) to those who visit your stand.

By thinking creatively and harnessing the latest technology, there are plenty of ways to use innovation to engage with a wider audience so you can generate more leads and create a memorable experience of your brand at exhibitions.

To find out how to make the most of your next exhibition, contact Torpedo for more ideas that are relevant for your business.



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