You’ve spent money on advertising, emails, newsletters, the perfect booth and made your new product announcements. But where are the people? There’s nothing more frustrating than working to create a terrific show experience only to have your booth traffic be a disappointment. When we don’t pack the aisles, we scramble to figure out why.

Here’s the reality: attendees don’t need to visit a booth for product information, that’s available at their desk with a few clicks of a mouse. When someone spends the time and money to travel to a show they want something more. This is where experiential marketing can lend a hand. By crafting your booth to provide more than just a space to pick up a brochure and show the latest wares, you ensure that a customer walks away with a memorable experience that keeps you top of mind.

For inspiration I started by Googling (of course) experiential marketing. I found a number of articles that provided, processes, checklists and ideas, but in the end realized it was going to be up our team to arrive at the right solution for us. To create something memorable you either pay another company to figure it out (expensive), or you get your team together and brainstorm. I rather enjoy doing the latter and the results of an off-topic crazy comment helped create something that was not only memorable for the attendees but fun for our staff to implement.

Our goal at NAB 2018, was to highlight our recently announced line of PTZ cameras, a product new to our technology line-up. We wanted to reach people who might not know from their pre-show research that NewTek now has cameras. With budgets set and our booth design already complete, we needed something that would create a buzz and spread the word around the show floor. We wanted people saying “Have you checked out the NewTek booth….”

So the team got together and brainstormed ideas. What would attract people to play with our cameras and then talk about it? Hot models, a race car, a cooking show, spiders…did someone say spiders? Gross! …no wait, that’s it! We’ll bring spiders, tons of spiders.

With the team all in (even those with a slight phobia) everyone was energized to find a way to make this a reality. The ideas kept flowing: tarantulas, scorpions, a giant bird eating spider! Marry all that to a 1950’s horror b-flick theme, along with a diorama built for us by the local hobby train club and you have a winner. This also spawned a “Live News Show” project with shots to be rolled in from the cameras that the booth guests control. The ideas just kept coming, and with them, new and innovative ways to keep it low cost and within our original NAB budget.

The result was a booth packed with attendees taking selfies, posting on social media, grabbing friends and co-workers to “check it out” and using our cameras the entire time. We created an experience that made our booth a destination point for attendees that was about more than just our products. And it was fun for everyone, including us.