How is a tradeshow like a hockey game?

Written by Susan Ratliff on April 15, 2010. Posted in Uncategorized

Yesterday I attended the first Phoenix Coyotes playoff game in seven years.  (That’s how long it’s taken them to make the playoffs again)  I have been a hockey fan since high school and a season ticket holder since the Yotes came to town.  The Coyotes do something at playoff games that is the envy of the NHL.  It’s called a White Out. Imagine 18,000 people, dressed in white T-shirts, screaming and waving white towels at their fabulous team in action.  We whipped the Detroit Red Wings 3 to 2, by the way.  All three goals were power play goals, for you hockey fans.  I am bringing this up because as I was howling my support for our team I marveled at the elements that made the night so special.  They were the same elements that make a tradeshow exhibit memorable. 

First there was a theme:  Dressing up your booth staff in costume or coordinated clothing to enhance a marketing theme always draws attention.  Many fans went beyond white T-shirts.  To stand out, (and get on National TV), they came in white tuxedos, white hair, painted faces and white beards. 

Next there were props.  Using unique or interesting items in your booth to decorate it, hold merchandise and literature and draw attention is very effective.  At the arena I saw many Stanley Cups made from tin foil, plush coyotes waving in the crowd and coyote tails hanging from hats. 

Eye’catching Graphics-  Using the right images and words on the graphics in your booth is critical to your success.  Your message must be succinct, attention grabbing and evoke emotion in the reader.  I must say the signs I saw in the crowd were very succinct and sure got me excited.  Some were  in support of the team:  Hockey belongs in the desert. Some were expressing feelings for the opponent: Burn the Red Wings Tonight, others were clever:  Taking Care of Bryz ness  (our record setting goalie is Illya Bryzgaloff)  Anyway, I think you now understand how a trade show is like a hockey game.  Get a glimpse of the White Out, support the Phoenix Coyotes and follow us to the Stanley Cup finals at    Go Yotes!!

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