How digital caricatures helped 6 trade show booths increase brand engagement

If attendees aren’t publicly interacting with your brand at your next trade show, you might as well be invisible. Why else do brands spend millions to get their logo on a NASCAR driver? For a band, there’s nothing more powerful than legions of groupies wearing their T-shirts. But if you’re not a rock star or pro athlete, it’s hard to turn customers and prospects into walking advertisements.

Well, it used to be hard. Personalized digital caricatures are not only a way to draw attention to your product, they’re a way to get your brand attached to everybody at the trade show. Booth visitors might shove your USB drive or pen into their bag, but they’ll wear their caricature around their neck the rest of the day.

The best caricatures go beyond funny drawings and show customers interacting with your products or services. What better way to make your brand stick then to literally draw people using it?

Here are a few examples of the kind of brand interactions we’ve created. Feel free to use these ideas to dominate at your next trade show.

Spark Conversations: Joerns, LLC


Our template at the CAHF conference had an air of mystery—we drew each attendee riding a dolphin through a wave. Almost everyone wanted to know why this was our drawing. That was the perfect lead-in for the Joerns sales team to introduce their new Dolphin custom mattress, a bed that prevents bed wounds in healthcare facilities. It was a fun, subtle way to provoke brand interaction around a sometimes sad topic (no one wants a picture of themselves in a hospital bed!) and put the spotlight on the brand’s work in a memorable way.

Everyone gets to be a Jedi Knight: Effortless


Effortless had created a Star Wars theme for their booth at the Channel Partners Expo, complete with a raffle of a Yoda figurine and a drone. We created this unisex template so each attendee could be their very own Jedi knight. It was a huge hit because hey, who doesn’t love Star Wars?

Double Down On Free Beer: Heineken

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The two sweetest words in the English language are probably “free beer”. But at the National Association Convenience Suppliers show, there were plenty of samples competing with Heineken. So they doubled down on the free beer by bringing us in to draw caricatures of people holding their newly designed bottle. Free beer PLUS a customized drawing to take home? That’s what we call a two-for-one special in the beer world.

Give Them a Free Ride: Empire CLS

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Empire CLS provides limo and towncar rentals and services nationwide. They already had a massive booth at the Global Business Travel Association conference but wanted to increase their brand engagement with clients and prospects. What better way to do that then to draw each attendee riding one of Empire’s trademark black cars?

But with this client we went a step further. They had created a hashtag which we included on each caricature. Attendees were asked to tweet out their caricature using the hashtag to be entered into a prize drawing. So not only were people advertising the booth around the conference, they were blowing up Twitter and drawing even more people to the booth.

Help Them Brag About Their Workouts: Most-Fit

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Does a workout count if you don’t post about it on Facebook? We took the concept of the workout selfie to a new level at the massive Fitness Expo in Los Angeles. Fitness entrepreneur Andrew Gavin and his team were demonstrating their innovative Most-Fit workout equipment with a demo gym. The booth was a flurry of activity all day with people trying out the weights, rubber hammers and suspension trainers. We drew over 150 attendees using the equipment and created a crowd while doing so.

Take Them To The Beach: Muscle Beach

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Sometimes the best kind of brand interaction is just plain fun. The Guild decided they wanted a beach theme (pretty fitting for San Diego, we think). We drew the gentlemen riding on surfboards and the ladies rollerblading down the boardwalk. We thought it was a huge hit, and Stephanie Roy (our client) did too.

“Everyone loved the digital drawings! Even with two artists, we had to ask them both to stay an extra hour to appease the overwhelming interest. Julia and her partner stayed until we got every last person drawn.”

There you have it—six ways to dominate at trade shows. Whatever approach you take, make sure your brand isn’t just doing the same old thing. It’s 2015, and a few brochures and a banner aren’t going to cut it anymore.

You’re spending thousands of dollars on this show anyway, so you might as well go the one or two extra steps towards making your brand stick with your customers and prospects.

Elizabeth Crane of the Las Vegas International Press Club says that at a show, nothing is more important than making a strong impression.

“Trade show display branding is critical to your overall success. If it isn’t spot on, you are not making the most of a significant opportunity.”

How can we help you make the most of your opportunity?

Happy Customers

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