Trade shows continue to be one of the most effective avenues for businesses to attract and retain customers. Delegates need to engage all five senses by providing a unique experience that is memorable and aligned with their messaging. Statistics show that strategically incorporating digital technology in your event space can dramatically impact the success of your exhibit marketing program.
Here are five exciting ways exhibitors can make the most of their trade shows using digital technology.
1. Make lasting impressions with virtual reality (VR)
According to a Trend Watcher report, virtual reality was among the top five trends in consumer marketing in 2017. Thanks to companies such as Google Cardboard, Samsung VR, and Facebook 360, VR is now accessible to organizations looking to whisk their audiences away at the touch of a button.
VR offers a cost-effective and exciting way for exhibitors to showcase new products, facilities and even meet team members. Imagine being on the show floor and being able to offer your prospect a virtual tour of your head office in Germany. Or transporting someone to the Eiffel tower to help promote an enter-to-win contest or travel product. The possibilities are endless.
Companies are also using VR to entertain and delight customers. For example, McDonalds offered attendees at a SXSW conference a VR paint experience where they could paint the inside of a happy meal box.
2. Inform visitors with SMS marketing
As the marketing and digital world is moving to a mobile first approach, exhibitors can message clients instantly with promotions, information and contests—before, during and after the show.
Exhibitors can set up a booth where visitors can enter their mobile numbers in the form of the tablet to receive any information they’re interested in, such as the agenda and limited offers.
Although SMS marketing is a great way to interact with attendees, it’s also important to send only valuable information at the appropriate time to avoid spamming and being invasive.
3. Collect leads and engage visitors with apps
Exhibitors and brand ambassadors have a wide variety of software and apps available to collect leads, follow up with prospects and engage visitors. As well, these smart tools can be used as a networking device, helping attendees find vendors or products they are interested in, schedule meetings and continue the conversation post show.
For instance, with a robust software called Blaze (powered by rmg DIGITAL), exhibitors can provide customers with incentives, run contests, get real-time feedback, offer a show coupon and more. This software can be used on any web-enabled platform and is highly effective for attracting customers into the event space.
In 2107, The Canadian Automotive Association (CAA) leveraged Blaze to create a unique digital ‘Spin to Win’ contest, whereby consumers entered their information on a designated launch pad, which gave them the chance to spin for various prizes, while simultaneously being entered to win the grand prize. As a result, the company captured 166 percent more leads in 2017 compared to the previous year. This is only one of many cases where Blaze helped companies grow their business in the event space.
4. Draw attention with games and high-tech displays
Everyone loves a quick game. It’s a great way to recharge and have some fun, especially on a busy show floor. Digital games can be used to generate excitement and entice potential prospects into your exhibit, while educating them about your products and services. Not only do they attract visitors, they do double duty as a lead capture system.
Exhibitors can also equip kiosks with portable displays such as iPads or touch screens to ramp up interactivity. This also allows visitors to browse your catalogue and watch videos promoting your products and services.
5. Respond quicker with chat bots
Chatbots are great alternatives for attendees who prefer not to talk to a human and find out information on their own, similar to a self-checkout. They are becoming more advanced thanks to artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology.
In trade shows, these bots can serve as a virtual concierge, helping attendees locate sessions, speaker bios, meal times and etc. These bots can operate through messenger or SMS technology, or be integrated into various websites and apps. They respond immediately to customers’ queries and run 24/7. That way exhibitors don’t have to worry about missed opportunities and delayed responses.
More than just a craze
The latest digital technology for trade shows are not a passing fad, but rather an effective tool for attracting customers, capturing leads and following up with prospects to help you achieve your goals. Whether you’re willing to invest in high-end technology for your trade show displays and data processing or use a simple app or chat bot to engage attendees, digital technology is an effective way to help you see results at your trade show.
― April 11, 2018