Tradeshows and conventions work because they give business people the chance to create new relationships and strengthen existing ones. That’s why going into a convention with a strong set of tradeshow icebreakers can make your attendance at an event a success.
Most tradeshow icebreakers revolve around how you create and run your booth. It’s an area worth putting in a great deal of thought and planning. It helps to keep in mind that every business succeeds when it has strong business relationships. Tradeshows offer a chance to make that initial meeting, and icebreakers help that first impression much better.
Anyone who has been in business for even a short time knows that it revolves around forming strong bonds with clients, suppliers, partners and financial backers. Those relationships are built on trust and mutual benefit. But you can’t get to those issues if you don’t get to know each other.
It’s such an important issue that universities and business leaders study it. Drexel University writes that icebreakers provide the first step toward building community, promote further interaction and support stronger empathy for others. All those are good for business, where human interaction is everything.
The following ideas can help you focus on ways to provide icebreakers at your next tradeshow booth.
Fun, simple activities can draw a person to your booth. For example, there’s a reason that the Hi-Striker has been a carnival staple for decades – it’s hard to resist testing yourself to see if you can make the bell ring. People have come to expect games and challenges at conventions. Carnival games add a sense of fun. In addition to the Hi-Striker, options include ring toss, Tic Tac Toe, shuffleboard, corn hole – pretty much any carnival-style game you can imagine. Winning games is shown to have a positive psychological effect. Put that to use to offer visitors to your booth a fun experience and a great trade show icebreaker.
It’s also a great icebreaker to offer a prize as part of the game. They can range from giving away cool convention swag to offering a free business consultation to big winners. It’s also helpful to collect business cards as part of the game/content, giving you a great contact list after the convention is over.
Have your tradeshow booth staff ready to ask the kind of questions that act as tradeshow icebreakers when someone approaches your booth. These questions are designed to get people talking about themselves and also put them at ease. Examples include:
Food and drink can serve as a great icebreaker, which is why it’s listed in the questions above. It can really help if you have some type of unique food at your booth. It doesn’t have to be complicated – a simple carnival-popcorn machine can get the job done. Food is a social icebreaker because it gives everyone something to focus on and talk about as they first get to know each other.
Increasing foot traffic to your booth is the first step to a successful convention. Remember that the No. 1 priority for a convention is meeting as many people as possible, increasing the chance to establish great business relationships for the future. Going in with some ideas on how to use tradeshow icebreakers can help you succeed in this important area.