Technology has come a long way in the past 25 years, changing the way we communicate, do business and go about our day-to-day activities. While computers and cell phones were fairly limited in their capabilities in 1992, they since have found their way into nearly every aspect of our daily lives and are changing the way we do business.
The impact of technology on Trade shows and trade show design has also been considerable. As this landscape continues to evolve with the need to attract attention in a distracted world, face-to-face marketing will always be key. Here are four emerging trends you’ll see in the coming years.
Technology Creates the Experience
Twenty years ago, exhibit companies typically designed static environments where people would visit and view product sitting on a stand. “Today, as designers, we’re expected to do more than just come up with the environment,” claims Brad Falberg, President of Exhibitus. This company, among others, is expected to create marketing environments designed to engage audiences and deliver measurable results.
He confirms that “technology has really become a bigger part of the trade show experience.” At the end of the day, content is now king and is the biggest driving factor in attracting and retaining trade show attendees.
A memorable experience is no easy feat, though. Falberg finds success through a collaborative process with his design team and the client’s goals. “That’s [where we] come up with that interaction, that experience, that matters on the show floor.”
Keep the Focus on ROI
As timelines get shorter and budgets tighten, the ability to measure success is more important than ever. Management teams look for metrics that justify the cost of a trade show, as well as the results it produces. Falberg narrows tradeshow ROI down to four key categories: leads that generate sales via new business development, customer retention, the value of promotion and impressions, and cost savings/avoidance.
It’s not enough to simply collect leads. If you come back from the show but leave your fishbowl of leads inside the reception counter never to be looked at again, what was the value of participating in the show? There should be a system in place for following up with potential leads and measuring your company’s success in converting leads into sales.
Remember, if your customers are on the show floor, they’re not just looking at you — they see your competition too. If your content, design or experience pales in comparison to the competition, you could potentially lose customers.
It’s All About Relationships
Technologies help amplify the trade show experience, but people are naturally drawn to building relationships. Trade shows and other live marketing events are ideal for doing just that. The days of showing up and simply waiting for prospects to approach your booth are over.
The number of brand marketers participating in trade shows is increasing, making it continuously important that your staff establishes face-to-face, more meaningful relationships. Falberg concludes, “Face-to-face marketing and the interaction that we need as people is just not going to go away.”
When executed correctly, innovative trade show design is an investment, not a cost. As trade shows develop, new technologies continue to enhance the experience, but building customer relationships is the foundation of your company’s success.
In addition to custom trade show designs, Exhibitus also has a Results Division that focuses on measuring the ROI of your event. If you want a trade show exhibit that attracts visitors and delivers measurable results, contact Exhibitus today.