Why Engage with Food in a Trade Show Environment

Why Engage with Food in a Trade Show Environment | Exhibitus

Let Them Eat Cake!

When it comes to attracting attendees to your custom environment design, one of the easiest ways to draw traffic is by including food and beverage items for your visitors to enjoy while in the exhibit.  Food immediately appeals to at least four-out-of-five physical senses: smell, sight, taste and touch. Some food engagements also include sound as a draw, such as food sizzling or popping in the background.  As a result, it is one of the most powerful advertising tools you can use to attract people to your exhibit.

In today’s fast moving world, people forget quickly. Having the opportunity to highlight your message through a tactile experience, such as eating, provides an additional chance to imprint your brand so that the next time they need a product or service you offer, they think to contact you.

It’s also important to remember that for a number of companies, governmental or industry regulations ban the distribution of giveaways to customers or prospects. Fortunately, food served in an exhibit for some of these industries is not subject to such rigorous restrictions. Thus, using food to draw brand attention becomes critical.

Use Nostalgia to Attract Your Audience

Who hasn’t smelled popcorn popping and wanted to reach their hand in a bag? The aroma not only promises a tasty treat, but also brings back pleasant memories like childhood excursions to see a favorite movie.

Another widely used draw is the fragrance of baking cookies lofting over the exhibit hall. Hot and fresh out of the oven – just like Mom’s kitchen. Wearing branded attire, such as a chef’s apron, while serving baked goods connects the company’s brand with the treat.

Also, by partnering with nearby suppliers such as a community bakery or coffee shop, you communicate to your visitors that you are invested in the local economy; this will inspire their trust in your company and ultimately can generate more business for you.

Add Some Drama to Be the Talk of the Show

Recently, a client offered liquid nitrogen ice cream that was made right in the exhibit.  As the liquid nitrogen is poured into the mixing bowl, the smoke billows out creating a dramatic visual effect for anyone walking past. And for those who stopped, they were treated to a memorable cup of frozen delight. Word quickly spread throughout the exhibit hall that this was a booth, and a treat, that should not be missed.

Another attendee favorite is adding a chocolatier to an exhibit. There is a saying that “people taste with their eyes first, and their mouths second.” Not only does the smell of chocolate attract, but seeing the marvelous confections a professional chocolatier creates can easily draw a crowd as specialty shapes are produced.

Create a Relaxed Environment Amid the Busy Trade Show Floor

Drawing attendees into the exhibit by feeding them is the first step. Offering them a comfortable place to enjoy their treat is just as important. A relaxed visitor is a more receptive visitor. A well-trained booth staff knows how to approach these attendees and engage in a less-hurried manner.  The relaxed nature of the interaction is often a casual opening to what ends up as a productive discussion.

To find out more about the ways you can use food as an interactive element in your next custom environment design, contact Exhibitus today.


December 21, 2016