In today’s competitive landscape, exhibitors strive to captivate the attention of attendees at trade shows, conferences, and other events. With the goal of creating unforgettable connections, immersive experiences have emerged as a powerful tool for creating memorable interactions that leave a lasting impression on visitors. By engaging multiple senses, fostering emotional connections, and providing active participation, these experiences have the potential to transform an ordinary booth into an extraordinary destination. Immersive experiences can play a significant role in how well your booth is received.

The Power of Immersion

Immersive experiences transport visitors beyond the realm of observation into active participation. Through the utilization of technology, storytelling, and multi-sensory stimulation, these experiences engage visitors on a profound level, evoking emotions, and fostering a sense of connection. When individuals become active participants rather than passive observers, they are more likely to remember the experience long after the event has ended.

Immersive experiences can create memorable interactions for several reasons:

  • Emotional Engagement: Immersive experiences have the power to evoke strong emotions and create a deep sense of engagement. When visitors are emotionally connected to an experience, they are more likely to remember it.
  • Active Participation: Immersive experiences often require active participation. This hands-on involvement creates a sense of ownership and investment, making the experience more memorable. When people actively engage with an experience, they are more likely to remember the details and have a stronger connection to the brand or product being showcased.
  • Storytelling and Narrative: Immersive experiences can incorporate storytelling and narrative elements that captivate visitors. Humans are wired to respond to stories, and when information is presented in a narrative format, it becomes easier to remember and relate to. By weaving a compelling narrative into the experience, exhibitors create a memorable and cohesive journey that visitors can follow.
  • Multi-Sensory Stimulation: Immersive experiences often engage multiple senses simultaneously. By incorporating visual, auditory, and tactile elements, the experience becomes more stimulating and therefore more memorable.
  • Unique and Novel Experiences: Remember the time you saw something completely different? Chances are you remember it vividly. Immersive experiences that offer something unique and novel have a higher chance of being memorable. Exhibitors can leverage innovative technologies, creative designs, or unconventional approaches to create a distinct and unforgettable experience.
  • Social Sharing and Word-of-Mouth: Memorable immersive experiences are often shared and talked about. Visitors who have a positive and memorable experience are more likely to share it with others through word-of-mouth, social media, or other channels. This amplifies the impact of the experience and extends its reach beyond the booth interaction.

So far, we’ve discussed why immersive experiences are so powerful. Here are six impactful and immersive experiences that exhibitors can incorporate to enhance their presence, and examples from some recognizable brands which have done just that. There’s something for everyone, regardless of budget, timeline, or booth size.

  1. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) Experiences

VR and AR have revolutionized the way exhibitors engage with their audience. VR allows visitors to step into virtual environments, providing them with a sense of presence and immersion. Exhibitors can utilize VR to showcase products, simulate real-life scenarios, or transport visitors to unique destinations related to their brand. On the other hand, AR overlays digital content onto the real world, enabling exhibitors to enhance physical products with interactive information or provide guided tours through their offerings.

AR/VR/MR experiences can come at a hefty price. This is because of the amount of work that goes into the design, programming, and on-site tech. However, if your brand participates in multiple events or can showcase the experience online, this expense can be spread out. You might also tap into budgets from other teams – like turning an interactive AR model into a sales tool for the sales department. Keep reusability in mind for pricier interactive experiences.

A Virtual Realty experience for attendees in the Ford booth.

Intel has consistently incorporated immersive experiences in their booth at trade shows. One standout example is their use of virtual reality (VR). At events like CES (Consumer Electronics Show), Intel has set up VR stations where attendees could wear VR headsets and immerse themselves in virtual worlds or participate in interactive VR games – creating a memorable and impactful presence.

  1. Interactive Displays and Touchscreens

Interactive displays and touchscreens invite visitors to explore and interact with products and services in a hands-on manner. These displays can be tailored to provide product demonstrations, allow visitors to customize their experiences, or access interactive educational content. By empowering visitors to actively engage with the displayed content, exhibitors create memorable interactions that deepen brand engagement and understanding.

Interactive apps may be used across multiple shows and events. Like AR/VR/MR experiences, consider reusability to save on costs. With simple tweaks, these assets can often be transitioned into online experiences.

Interactive touch screens in our healthcare client’s booth.

  1. Gamification and Activation

Gamification and activation make experiences stick and boost engagement. Companies can offer games, challenges, and even competitions tied to their products or services. Activities could be as easy as a quiz or as involved as a simulation, all aimed at getting visitors to jump in, compete, and snag prizes. The fun factor and a dash of friendly rivalry not only amp up the entertainment but also make sure visitors remember the brand and its offerings.

Games and activities come in all shapes and sizes, and they come at all price points. You can implement a simple game for very little cost. Even simple interactive games like scratch-to-wins or memory games can be very affordable. Plus, they leave your attendees with a lasting impression.

An example of how a brand successfully implemented an engaging and interactive experience at their events, was Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign. At trade show booths, Coca-Cola set up interactive kiosks that allowed visitors to customize their own Coke bottles by printing their names on them. This activation not only created a personalized connection between the brand and the attendees but also encouraged social sharing and generated buzz around the campaign.

  1. Live Demonstrations

Live demonstrations provide a unique opportunity for exhibitors to showcase their products or services in action. By allowing visitors to witness the functionality and benefits firsthand, exhibitors can create memorable and informative experiences. Live demonstrations can range from product showcases to interactive workshops or performances, where attendees can engage with the exhibitors, ask questions, and gain a deeper understanding of the value they offer.

When putting together a live demonstration, remember your audience and tailor the experience around their pain points. Consider whether the demo will be 1:1 or 1 to many and make sure your content is accessible to your audience. Finally, for larger demonstrations, utilize the expertise of a professional presenter. They are going to be dedicated to getting your message across in an engaging way without taking time away from your sales team.

TPG Presenter delivers the pitch at the HIMSS trade show.

Adobe has leveraged interactive installations to demonstrate the capabilities of their creative tools at trade shows. One noteworthy example is their “Adobe Creative Cloud Theater.” At events like Adobe MAX, they set up a theater space where attendees could participate in live demos and interactive sessions using Adobe’s software. Visitors could learn new techniques, get hands-on experience with the tools, and interact with industry experts. This immersive experience not only highlighted the power of Adobe’s products but also provided educational value to the attendees.

  1. Multi-Sensory Experiences

Exhibitors can create multi-sensory experiences by incorporating elements such as visual displays, ambient lighting, surround sound, tactile interactions, and even scents. For example, a food company could engage visitors by offering tastings, incorporating aromas that evoke specific memories or sensations, and providing visually appealing displays that stimulate the appetite. These multi-sensory experiences intensify the connection between visitors and the brand, making them more likely to remember the encounter.

Nike, known for its innovative approach to marketing and immersive experiences, has utilized interactive installations to showcase their latest sports apparel and footwear at trade shows. One notable example is their “Nike Speed Tunnel” experience. Much like Nike’s testing facility, visitors were invited to step into a wind tunnel where they could test the aerodynamics of different Nike products, such as running shoes and athletic apparel. This activity allowed attendees to experience the performance benefits of Nike’s products firsthand.

  1. Narrative Storytelling

Storytelling has been a powerful communication tool throughout history, and it remains just as impactful in creating immersive experiences. Exhibitors can craft a compelling narrative that guides visitors through their brand story, highlighting the unique aspects of their products or services. By creating a cohesive and immersive journey that makes your attendees the heroes, attendees are more likely to remember the brand and its message. Exhibitors can employ various mediums, such as videos, graphics, demos, and interactive content.

This is a great video about creating immersive stories and how brands should position the audience as the hero of those stories. When E3 was the biggest gaming event, every booth you entered made you feel like you were entering the world of the video game, where you became the hero.


These examples demonstrate how brands across different industries have used powerful interactive experiences to engage trade show attendees. By incorporating technologies like VR, AR, customization options, and live demonstrations, these brands created unforgettable interactions that not only showcased their products but also fostered brand loyalty and generated positive word-of-mouth.

The beauty of these immersive strategies is that you can introduce one or many into your trade show booth and you don’t always need a huge budget to do it. If you create emotional engagement, active participation, storytelling, multi-sensory stimulation, uniqueness, and social sharing, you’ll create memorable interactions with your brand that leave a lasting impression on attendees.

Christina Piedlow, TPG President and CEO

Our content creators use their experience to listen to your goals and create content for trade shows and events that amplify your story, immerse your audience, and boost loyalty, awareness, and sales. Let’s create unforgettable connections!

Related: 10 Ideas to Captivate Trade Show Audiences Through Business Storytelling