Walking a mile in Dorothy’s slippers in The Wizard of Oz might make you believe the great Wizard of Oz is a powerful force. However, a pivotal scene unfolds when Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man arrive in the Emerald City. A booming voice surrounds the group, telling them to return another day. The message seems to emanate from all corners of the room. Dorothy’s trusty dog Toto is the one who reveals the truth: the great and powerful Oz is just a man. When Toto pulls back the curtain he shouts, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” The ruse is up, and the mystery is gone. But it brings up an important part of human nature: our curiosity gets the best of us and we can’t help but peek behind the curtain.
Surprisingly, this is a great way to draw people into a trade show booth if executed correctly. Creating an air of mystery or even exclusivity is a great way to draw a crowd. There are a few things to keep in mind to really draw in visitors with your special brand of mystery.
Incorporate Unique Architecture
Surrounding your booth with unique, eye catching elements is a great way to draw people in. Making people wonder WHAT a booth is made of or even getting them to say “WOW” is a great way to ensure they give your space a second look. Whether its unique structures like fabric covered panels lit from above, or the video walls outside Samsung’s booth at CES, these elements beckon you to take a closer look.
Encourage “Window Shopping”
If your booth space faces an aisle, consider utilizing the outer walls to display product or service offerings in a unique way. Much like the lure of seeing a great outfit on a mannequin, this can act as a draw for those looking for exactly what you offer—even if they are just walking by. Unique product displays with light are a great way to catch visitor’s eye with both lighting and color. Another great option is to incorporate translucent fabric that partially obscures a view of the booth. This “hint” is enough to pique interest.
Don’t Forget the Payoff
Obscuring a view of your booth and piquing their interest is great, but there needs to be something inside the booth that seals the deal. Whether it’s a big reveal, a unique experience, or a product demonstration, make sure it’s worth the effort to get inside. Remember that booth with the fabric covered panels we mentioned above? It had a car interactive inside that drew a big crowd with hands-on demonstrations throughout the show featuring a software simulation that felt like you were driving down a busy city street. It had all the elements of a successful mystery: a large architectural element that caught the eye, drew visitors in, with a big payoff inside.
Creating an air of mystery is a great way to not only flex your creative muscles, but to think of the visitor experience - starting in the aisle and ending with a meaningful conversation that leads to a great relationship.