"Cosmic Bowling"

Shit. Remember before “Cosmic Bowling” was a thing? Remember when you just went to the bowling alley, and all the lights stayed on, threw your ball down the lane, and you got mozzarella sticks and cold cokes and sometimes stickers for 50 cents at the arcade?

At some point during my childhood, the alley near my house introduced “Cosmic Bowling,” and I was not a fan. Basically, the bowling alley turned into a night club during Cosmic Bowling. Blacklights, super loud music, fog machines… the whole works.

I guess they wanted kids to make out to the scent of shoe sanitizer?

Anyways, I was thinking of cosmic bowling today while thinking of trade show booths and environmental design.

Sometimes, your goal is just to get people in the door. Or really, you want people to see the door. And when that’s the case, you get sidewalk sign spinners, and searchlights, and loud music. You get cosmic bowling.

This is a super common event strategy for companies.

But your repeat customers, the backbone of your business, they might hate cosmic bowling. And your real goal of your event might be to have quality conversations with those customers. I remember how frustratingly impossible it was to talk to my friends over the loud music. How could they appreciate that I changed their name to “POO” on the scoreboard if I couldn’t tell them??

So for your next event, start with what your real goals are. Do you want maximum surface area awareness of your existence? Do you want intense 30 minute meetings? Or do you want a little bit of each and something in the middle?

Then adjust your fog machines, music volume, and black light settings accordingly.