3 Entertainment Ideas for a Trade Show Booth or Hospitality Suite

caricatures, carticaturists, FUN Enterprises Bob Reardon, Magician, Corporate Trade Show, FUN Enterprises psychic readers, tarot cards, FUN Enterprises

Trade Shows and Hospitality Suites

Although some may say the trade show industry is dying a slow painful death because of the Internet, I disagree. Statistically, there has been very little drop off in the overall number of shows and the size of the crowds they draw. Research now is pointing to the effectiveness of the face-to-face interaction that a business can get when attending a show. Often times these events give you quality, uninterrupted time with the decision maker or the influencers in an organization or business.

So, how do you increase that valuable face time to allow key people the opportunity to connect with prospects? Obviously, the key is getting them to come to your booth or hospitality suite and keeping them there.

For anyone that has ever worked a trade show booth you know it can be a painful experience. You can be standing for hours on end, in a booth, as people trickle by often never glancing your way or acknowledging your very existence. With the invention of cellphones and their widespread use, things have gotten even worse. Often time, attendees don’t make eye contact. They simply bury their heads in their smartphone or tablet as they amble by, at times running into others whose heads are similarly in an electronic world.

Various forms of entertainment can offer you “can’t miss” results for a corporate trade show booth or hospitality suite. Three of the most popular forms are caricature artists, roving, close-up magicians and psychics. Any or all of these are guaranteed to bring larger numbers to your booth and keep them there. As more people become aware of what you are doing, the line will begin to swell. You can then identify those people that you really want to talk to and engage them in conversation. Even if somebody doesn’t want to participate, their curiosity will bring them to your booth or suite. The advantages of these forms of entertainment are significant.


1. Everyone (or almost everyone) loves a caricaturist. These individuals possess a set of skills and talents that many of us will never have. Their ability to capture a likeness in a few minutes is nothing short of amazing. Their real value in a booth or hospitality suite is actually twofold. They draw and keep a crowd and the paper is often customized with the company’s logo or message. People are often curious how the artist gets the likeness, so they will stand behind them and watch the drawing being produced. If they know the person being drawn, they are more than happy to laugh and comment about the caricature as it comes to life. While they are waiting and watching, it allows the sales person the opportunity to strike up a conversation with the prospect. Usually the conversation is about the drawing and not about the business. However, it enables the sales person to establish a rapport with the prospect or client. Usually, caricatures from these types of events are brought back to a person’s office, framed and hung on a wall. When someone comes to that person’s office, they often notice and comment on the drawing and they also see the logo of the sponsoring organization. It truly is a gift that keeps giving.


2. Magicians can often create an illusion just for a client or they can modify something they are doing to bring your company or message into it. You can get decks of playing cards printed with your company logo so the magician can use them for their card tricks. They can also give them away to potential clients standing around watching the show. There is no question that like caricatures, magicians stop traffic, keep a crowd and allow you to engage potential prospects or clients in a conversation.


3. Whether you believe in them or not, psychics are the third can’t miss form of entertainment to bring to a booth or hospitality suite. Like the others, they generate interest and keep people in line. While prospects are waiting in line, you or your salespeople have plenty of time to greet them and discover more about their wants, needs and desires. After their reading, as they are walking away shaking their head in wonder, is another great time to strike up a conversation. Trust me, asking someone if the reading they had was interesting is a far better conversation starter than “Have you seen our latest catalogue?”

All three of these forms of entertainment are designed to make you and your organization memorable. Our hope is when we work with you we create an environment and an experience that is truly unique. We want to leave a lasting impression on your current and future clients.

Ken Abrahams