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6 Trade Show Trends to Watch

6 Trade Show Trends to Watch

If your organization is planning to participate in several trade shows this year, one of your goals is probably to bring more foot traffic to your booth. Given that you will have a small exhibitor space and you are competing for the attention of the attendee, why not use technology to up your game and lure them in?

BizBash and Exhibitor Resources both have cited several trends they believe will be very popular among exhibitors this year. Below is a synopsis of their findings, as well as, my own thoughts on this matter.

Six Trade Show Trends to Watch

Indoor Positioning Systems
Think of this as an indoor GPS system where devices can “find” each other and alert the user about trade show booths that might be of interest to them.

The problem? Currently these systems are propriety and signals cannot cross hardware platforms. For example, iBeacon works exclusively with Apple products. In addition, there are no standards for this technology…yet. Keep an eye out for improvements in the coming year as I believe this technology will merge with Geofencing, which will alert attendees about the booths they need to visit and why they need to visit them, as they are walking around the show floor.

Mobile Apps Replacing Legacy Systems
Whether it is capturing leads, snapping a photo of an attendee’s business card or deploying a gaming app to draw attendees into your space, there are hundreds of apps available on Apple rentals or tablet rentals that are free or low cost. These apps can save you money and time because there will no longer be a need to collect and sort out business cards, rent standalone lead generation products or spend hundreds of dollars on printed marketing collateral.

Sleek Comfortable Booth Space
Space will be cleaner, cozier and filled with high resolution large screen monitor rentals for an “in your face” brand messaging experience. This will include company presentations, short product videos and displaying live action on the trade show floor.

Spaces will have phone charging stations and comfortable seating for attendees to relax while their device is being charged.

While enjoying some down time, attendees’ senses will be engaged, including the use of LED lighting strategically placed in the booth, solid wall colors to highlight your logo, and the use of “smell devices” to keep the smell of cookies, coffee or popcorn in your booth during the entire conference.

Moving Off the Trade Show Floor
With the use of mobile devices that are loaded with the right apps, you can now meet with attendees anywhere — including hotel lounges and quieter convention meeting spaces. In addition, by showing attendees a quick overview of your products and services off the floor, you may entice them enough to visit you on the show floor for further discussion and product demonstrations.

Digitizing Engagement and Follow-Up
This probably won’t surprise you; research stated that before wide-spread adoption of technology, 75% of all leads received no follow-up after a trade show encounter. However, with the use of mobile lead generation tools, social media and email campaigns all leads this year will receive one to several touches after the show ends.

The Use of 3D Printing
In my opinion, 3D printing is going to be the shining star of 2015. Exhibitors will create “on demand” product prototypes for attendees to take home that are personalized to what they want. The attendee will approach an exhibitor’s touch screen rental, answer a series of questions and, a few minutes later, out will come the product or prototype they just ordered.

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