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September 12, 2011 / Steve Hennigs

Driving traffic to your conference booth

As I prepare to represent Siteimprove at the National Association of Government Webmasters (NAGW) National Conference and a half day event for the Legal Marketing Association’s Capital Chapter it got me thinking about ways that we can be successful in driving traffic to our booth.

Some of these ideas we have used in the past and others I hope to implement at future conferences.  Hopefully you (readers of this blog) will pick up an idea or two and if you could share your ideas with me I would be very grateful.

Have a giveaway (and get something in return)

This has been the most effective strategy we have seen in all the events that I have attended.  By agreeing to meet with us in the future conference attendees that visit our booth are entered in to a raffle for a prize giveaway.

Asking for a meeting is only effective if the prize you are giving away is really worth it. For example, at the NAGW Conference we will be giving away an Apple iPad 2.  This strategy does require a bit heavier investment from Siteimprove but certainly has proven over time that it is worth that investment.

It also does not hurt to have some smaller items at your booth like candy, pens/coffee mugs/etc. with your brand, or other little things like that.  People love free stuff.

Be active on conference social media outlets

We have been able to do a little of this the past few events but hope to do much more in the future.  It seems that Twitter (follow me, @stevehennigs or Siteimprove) is the most active social network for conferences but there may also be LinkedIn Groups or Facebook Pages that you can join that are specific to the conference.

If you can join these conversations and add value to them you will also be able to successfully  drive traffic to your booth because attendees will learn that you are someone (or some company) that they want to talk to.  This is also another great opportunity to promote any giveaways you are running that will drive even more traffic to the booth.

Be seen at more places than just your booth at the conference

There are so many opportunities beyond the booth where you can network.

Get to all the meals throughout the conference and sit with different people each time.  You do not have to give a full sales pitch at the table, just make sure people know who you are and that you have a booth they should stop by.

Attend sessions throughout the day.  This will help you in two ways; one you will gain further insight into what current topics are of interest to the conference attendees and two, you can again be seen somewhere beside your booth which is always good.

Go to the social events at the conference.  Again this comes down to exposure.  The more you can be seen (and heard from) throughout the conference, the better.

Those are my three big tips for a successful conference.  I hope this is helpful and I welcome any and all suggestions that I left out!



  1. Steve Kiernan II (@SteveKiernan) / Sep 13 2011 1:03 PM

    Right on, especially the “be active…” headline. I talk to lots of sales pros who are disappointed in shows but who aren’t willing to get out there and “be active” beyond the 10 x 10 space they’ve rented – no good! Be an active contributor in the conversation and it will return dividends many times over.

    • Steve Hennigs / Sep 14 2011 9:37 AM

      @SteveKiernan, I agree that is the most important point in the whole post. I would reiterate that being active does not necessarily mean being is sell mode all the time. It is great to have personable conversations with all attendees and mention that they should visit the booth. That way you have their full attention when discussing your offering.

      Thanks for the comment!

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