Engagement is a key buzzword when designing marketing strategies for tradeshow events. Technology features have become a major part of tradeshow displays for innovative exhibitors, helping to enhance recognition for brands, products, and companies. To help determine the best marketing investments for your next show, we created a list detailing seven of the top tech trends that are becoming tradeshow industry standards!
Capitalizing on the short time frame of a tradeshow is essential, and innovations in mobile apps allow exhibitors to geo-locate attendees and track consumer behaviors. Applications can send targeted notifications based on the location of a smart device, alerting an attendee that your booth is close by. The sheer amount of smartphone usage makes mobile applications a smart tradeshow marketing investment, as impressions will be high.
Event Software Programs
Two primary elements of tradeshow events are face-to-face marketing and lead generation, but planning and execution are just as crucial to success and ROI. Event software, like etouches's platform, offers full project management, from booth design to managing mobile app functions. During the planning process, event software can streamline communication and provide an optimal timeline for project managers to keep their team on track. Data analysis can be done on a larger scale during an event, when it's most useful, with the help of targeted software programs. Preparing for a tradeshow can elicit a seemingly endless checklist, and event software systems allow your company to be detail-oriented without stress and complications.
One-on-one engagement is a common denominator at exhibitions, but touch technology is creating more ways to facilitate visitors. It's hard to imagine a world without a touch-activated smartphone attached to our palm, but in 2007, less than a decade ago, the iPhone had just entered the market. iPads and touch monitors followed, creating highly effective engagement tools. Tailored presentations can be delivered to specific users, based on data input and answers to inquiries. Companies can now market differently to a 25-year-old engineer than to a 40-year-old graphic designer, in a matter of seconds. For businesses that need to market to multiple niches at the same event, this tech resource can prove to be quite valuable.
The hashtag is not dead! Using tools like Twitter and Instagram can not only promote brand recognition before and after a tradeshow, but also right in the middle of it. A TweetWall, or InstaWall, is a projected feed of a certain location, hashtag, event account, or company account that is constantly updating. Social media introduced up-to-the-minute news and constant communication to an entire society; it's a smart move for marketers to capitalize on the instant exposure. An impeccably-hired social media manager will use a TweetWall to their full advantage, making your tradeshow booth the place to be and the place to post.
If social media, touch screens, and apps aren't part of your trade show plans, try to incorporate digital signage. This technology isn't as new, but it's still a common trend because of the versatility it provides. An LCD monitor can replace expensive and wasteful brochures, as the one-time purchase will last for years. Content can adapt from show to show, and the time frame to create new content is minimal compared to printed material.
Phone Charging Stations
All that posting will leave your booth visitors with sore thumbs and drained batteries. Come to their rescue with a climbing trend, phone charging stations. Companies, like GoCharge, rent out a variety of charging stations to fit your booth space and design. Your booth will become a desert oasis in the eyes of an event-goer if their smartphone has a remaining battery life percentage in the single digits. The stations, like tradeshow displays, can be customized with graphics, thus creating another in-the-moment branding opportunity.
Wearable technology is great for fitness/data enthusiasts, but the principle has also created an innovative tradeshow solution to time-consuming information collection, and made excellent use of the ever present nametag/lanyard combo. Poken is a company that manufactures small data collection devices, which attach to nametag lanyards and introduce an assortment of new and exciting trade show additions. With products on both the exhibitor and attendee sides, a simple touch between the wearables prompts a data transfer that makes lead retrieval easier than ever. The exhibitor devices can be placed anywhere in the booth space, allowing the visitor a hassle-free way to download content for later review, with a simple tap. RFID chips in badges are another wearable tech trend that can track wait times, consumer behavior, and market analysis to improve show layouts and marketing investment strategies.
The tradeshow industry has seen a revival recently, growing by 4% each year, with $25 billion spent on displays and exhibitions in 2014. Although tradeshows are not a new concept, tradeshow marketers must adapt to the technology that influences our society in order to engage a new, tech-driven generation. Applying tradeshow trends will enhance not only the visitor experience, but also improve the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing plans.
About the Author - Paige Geer, an employee at Indy Displays, is passionate about sales, writing, and digital marketing. When she's not utilizing and developing skills at work, she's learning and researching at home next to her loyal dog, Gunner.