Why Trade Show Entertainers Are a Bad Investment?

We’ll run through what show entertainers are and dive into their effectiveness at Trade Shows.

Trade Show Entertainer hanging off bar with one hand and crowd shocked

When exhibiting, you will need foot traffic to your booth and in order to do this you will need something to capture the attention of your audience that gives them a reason to visit your booth, the more people approaching your booth means you increase the chances of potential conversions. Aside from having an impactful custom expo booth, another approach which we will be discussing in this article are show entertainers and their effectiveness at trade shows.

Who are Trade Show Entertainers?

The intention of trade show entertainers is to create attention and draw people towards your booth. There are several types of entertainers you can consider hiring, but it is important to understand that different entertainers could attract different types of crowds so you may want to get an understanding of what crowd type will be beneficial to your business and what your intentions are before deciding on the type of entertainer.


Magicians perform tricks to surprise the crowd, and this can attract all ages as most people are curious to find out what happens and how they do it (but a magician never reveals their secrets!). Magicians could perform simple on the spot tricks such as using playing cards and small props etc. Taking it to the next level would mean occupying a certain ratio of your booth space to set up their trick and you’d let the people know to join at a scheduled time to watch the performance.


Comedian’s goal is to make people laugh, with the intention to take the seriousness out of the event to lighten up the atmosphere and this can result in people being less critical about critiquing your products or services etc. If you want your customers to enjoy their time on your booth, comedians can help you achieve that.

Balloon Sculptors

Balloon sculptors are people who specialise in making fun balloon models such as animals and buildings etc. This will generally attract a younger crowd who most likely have their parents with them, the kids will be instantly attracted and drag their parents along so they can take a look and get one for themselves. This means you’d be attracting more a family-oriented crowd to your booth.

Caricature Artists

Caricature artists are people who sketch cartoon representations of another person live on the spot. Your customer would sit there for maybe 5 mins or so and the artist will sketch their face and put a fun cartoon impression to emphasise certain features of their face. While they are getting their face sketched, your staff could swoop in and engage in a conversation with them.


Musicians can be solo or come in a band and they will play music that can help motivate people in certain moods. Perhaps you are selling homeware, you could get musicians to play calming music that makes people feel relaxed and as if they are at home, this relaxed state could help motivate their eagerness to make a purchase. Or if you are selling tattoo services, you could have a band playing rock music to compliment your tattoo styling methods.


There are also different types of models that have different experience, some are there for eye candy and others are there to assist with promoting a product, brand, or service. Generally, models are referred to as good looking people that are dressed attractively to visually capture the attention of your clients (additionally you could prepare branded clothing, so it is consistent with your brand colours etc). Some of their other roles include bringing clients to your booth, offering product samples, registering attendees, and talking to sales prospects.

How can they be Useful?

Pull Traffic

One of the main intentions for hiring entertainers are to pull traffic into your booth and depending on type of entertainment you are utilising, it can be in the form of audio, visual aesthetics, or performance based.

Increase Engagement

Entertainers help to create an activity for your crowd to get excited about and this helps to initiate conversations in a more relaxed and comforting environment. Different entertainers will create a different scene for particular conversations to take place.  

Memorable Experiences

Utilising the right entertainer for the right purpose and help with creating memorable experiences with your customer, try to be unique and relate the entertainment to your business so it naturally becomes something to be remembered.

Why you probably should not hire them?


Visually, entertainers will help increase the number of visitors to approaching your booth but financially, how many of those are serious clients that will actually make a purchase or invest in your business? It depends on what you value, perhaps you want to draw a crowd for social media purposes and sales is not as critical for you. If you are looking to maximise your ROI, consider getting a custom stand design to effectively represent your brand.


Entertainers is one of those common trade show myths, they are not your staff, which means they usually won’t get training about your company and core values; therefore, they typically won’t understand your brand clearly and will tend to fail to convey key messages. As a result, this will give your customers a bad representation of your business – since first impressions matter and if the wrong things are said or conveyed then its money spent into nothing.

Can Damage the Brand

Depending on the type of entertainer you select and how they perform, your new or existing customers could actually be turned off by this tactic of getting attention and could potentially result in you losing their support for your business. It is a juggle between attention seeking and brand values and a matter of what is more important to you and your business. 


Generally, entertainers are great for creating attention and attracting customers to your booth and this would work well for the entertainment industry-based event, but for B2B Trade Shows it may not be the best decision for your business because you are juggling much more than just wanting a big crowd at your booth. What you’d be interested in is how many people in the crowd are considered as qualified leads and if over 80% are just there for the entertainment that may not be the best investment. For trade shows, the way to capture qualified leads are through custom exhibitions booths and UCON Exhibitions are experts in that field, from concept to completion we get it done without any mucking around. Chat to our friendly team today to see how we can help.

Stand Builders

Our Team of experienced project managers and builders are ready to turn your vision into reality

Custom Stands

A custom built stand is always on brand. Be memorable. Be yourself. Be successful at any event

Stand Design

Creative Design Solutions for you to capture the Right Audience with Maximum Visual Appeal

Modular Booths

Turnkey and Tool Free - Ask about a portable stand, designed for easy transport and assembly

Let's Get Started

L5 280 Pitt St, Sydney, NSW, 2000

+61 02 8294 3373