Trade shows can make or break your business. However, if your company uses state-of-the-art technologies during trade shows, it may be able to generate leads quickly and effortlessly.
Let’s take a closer look at the importance of trade show lead generation and how trade show technologies are helping businesses achieve their lead generation goals.
Why Are Trade Shows Important?
There are many reasons why trade shows are important to businesses, including:
- Connect with prospects: Trade shows enable companies to showcase their products and services to large groups of prospects.
- Face-to-face interactions: During a trade show, a business can discuss its products and services with prospects and clients and set the stage for long-lasting partnerships.
- New product releases: If a business wants to make a bold statement, it can release a new product during a trade show.
- Media attention: A trade show may help a business share details about its brand, products and services with the media, enabling a company to extend its global reach.
- Market research: Trade shows make it simple for businesses to conduct surveys and polls with industry professionals and find out what prospects and customers are saying about a brand, its products and its services.
Perhaps best of all, trade shows serve as valuable lead generation tools. A trade show is usually held over the course of a day or several days, ensuring companies can meet with hundreds or even thousands of attendees. By doing so, a business can use a trade show to collaborate with prospects and transform these prospects into customers.
The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) indicates the push for trade shows is increasing. CEIR pointed out the business-to-business exhibition industry grew 3.7 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2015, marking the second-highest rate since 2Q12. Furthermore, the 4Q15 B2B exhibition industry growth rate marked the 22nd consecutive quarter of year-to-year growth.
Trade shows frequently deliver value to businesses, but a trade show’s return on investment (ROI) sometimes varies. If a company invests in superior technologies, it may be able to optimize the ROI of its trade show efforts.
Technology and Trade Shows: What You Need to Know
Technologies are available that can help companies take their trade show efforts to new heights. With the right technologies, your business can use its trade show booth to stand out from the competition and better engage with prospects, clients and members of the media.
Ultimately, there are many technologies you can use to promote your company at trade shows. Here are some of the top trade show technologies for companies.
Unmanned aerial vehicles, better known as drones, represent a trade booth technology unlike any other. They’re becoming exceedingly popular and it may be only a matter of time before companies big and small use drones as part of their marketing and trade show strategies.
Market analysis firm NPD Group noted drone sales reached nearly $200 million in the 12-month period ending with April 2016, representing a 224 percent year-over-year increase. As businesses search for the latest and greatest trade show technologies, drones may prove to be a stellar option.
There are several ways you can use a drone as part of your trade show strategy, including:
- Instant Deliveries: Did you forget to bring your presentations or marketing materials to your trade show booth? No worries, as Amazon has shown that drones can be used to deliver packages. Therefore, the use of drones to deliver shipments to trade show booths may be on the horizon.
- Remote Notifications: Drones can provide remote attendees with an in-depth look at a trade show. That way, remote attendees can enjoy the trade show experience — and see your company’s trade show booth — without ever having to leave home.
- Marketing and Promotional Activities: Marketers rejoice! Drones enable businesses to set up unique marketing and promotional activities. For example, you can offer prizes if a drone spots attendees who wear a t-shirt that features your company’s logo. Or, you can even provide drones as trade show giveaway prizes to help your company stir up interest among event attendees.
Drones come in all shapes and sizes, and going forward they could prove to be difference-makers for companies that want to capture trade show attendees’ attention.
A picture is worth a thousand words, so why not use fun and exciting images to showcase your brand? Thanks to animation, businesses can bring their brands to life using high-quality 3D images.
Animations help businesses capture their brand message in a format that everyone can understand and enjoy. The use of 3D images ensures companies can display information about their products and services in a reader-friendly format. As a result, companies should have no trouble utilizing animations at trade shows to teach and entertain attendees at the same time.
If you want to use an animation as part of your next trade show, don’t hesitate to do so! Typically, planning and developing an animation may require many weeks or months to complete. You also may need to find an animation team to help you brainstorm concepts and ensure your animation will hit the mark with your intended audience.
In addition, an animation may provide a viable opportunity to rebrand your company. If you’re looking to give your business a new look and feel, an animation offers a great way to show trade show attendees what your company is all about.
Do you personalize your trade show materials? If not, you may be missing out on a golden opportunity to build successful relationships with prospects and clients.
Personalization is becoming increasingly important for businesses, especially in today’s always-on, always-connected global marketplace. Currently, a majority of individuals demand personalized support from brands. And if individuals fail to get the personalized support they demand from one brand, they’ll move on to another brand without hesitation.
To develop an effective trade show personalization strategy, you’ll need to consider personalization at three levels:
- Before a trade show: Send out personalized notifications to promote your upcoming attendance at a trade show. Use emails, telephone calls, social networks and other marketing channels to share your message.
- During a trade show: Exhibit hall announcements make it easy for you to inform attendees about activities at your trade show booth. Also, you can use social media to update various groups and individuals about your trade show activities.
- After a trade show: Follow-up with individuals that you connected with during a trade show.
A personalized approach to trade shows may help you lay the foundation for mutually beneficial partnerships with prospects and clients. This approach will allow you to share your brand message and help differentiate your brand from your rivals, as well.
- Branded Environments
A branded environment speaks volumes about a business without ever saying a word. It reflects a company’s mission, goals and values and ensures prospects and clients can understand what your business represents before they even speak to you.
With a branded environment, you can bring your workspace into your trade show booth. A branded environment helps you show others what makes your business unique and provides trade show attendees with a glimpse into your company’s culture.
An eye-catching and engaging branded environment will help you capture the essence of your brand. It will also enable you to delight trade show attendees and show them why they should work with your business.
It’s important to note that building a branded environment rarely happens overnight. Developing this environment may require hard work and patience, and you’ll need to consider a trade show attendee’s perspective in advance.
Your company could become a trade show hit if you can use your branded environment to show trade show attendees why your business is more than just a name. Conversely, if you struggle to integrate your brand into your trade show booth’s architecture, you risk setting up a branded environment that trade show attendees will likely ignore.
- Multimedia/Interactive Displays
Grab trade show attendees’ attention and never let go with multimedia and interactive displays — you’ll be glad you did! Multimedia and interactive displays deliver many benefits, including:
- They grab trade show attendees’ attention instantly. Businesses that want to bring the “wow” factor to their trade show booths are sure to appreciate multimedia and interactive displays. The use of multimedia and interactive visuals grabs attendees’ attention and may help you keep them interested in your booth for an extended period of time.
- They drive trade show attendee engagement. At trade shows, it’s all about engagement — and how well you engage trade show attendees will dictate whether your trade show booth was a success or failure. Fortunately, multimedia and interactive displays drive engagement and ensure you can create a one-of-a-kind trade show booth experience.
- They can help you entertain trade show attendees. Using multimedia and interactive displays adds a sense of fun and excitement to your trade show booth and enhances the entertainment value of your booth. In many cases, multimedia and interactive displays will allow you to provide a more enjoyable experience to trade show attendees than you could with a traditional “static” trade show booth.
- They can help you educate trade show attendees. Multimedia and interactive displays provide you with a valuable opportunity to educate trade show attendees. They’re visually appealing and enable you to show trade show attendees why they should purchase your company’s products and services.
- They offer immense versatility. When it comes to trade show booths, you probably have a limited amount of space at your disposal. Lucky for you, multimedia and interactive displays are usually flexible and easy to manage. These displays are versatile and can help you make the most of the trade booth space at your disposal.
Provide trade show attendees with an unparalleled experience with multimedia and interactive displays. Using multimedia and interactive displays can help you generate interest in your trade show booth and make a longer-lasting impression on trade show attendees.
If you’re planning to attend many trade shows in the foreseeable future, a convertible trade show booth may represent a terrific investment.
A convertible trade show booth is portable and easy to set up at any location, at any time. Within minutes, you can configure a convertible trade show booth and ensure it fits perfectly in any space.
Usually, a convertible booth is designed to fit a 10′ x 10′ space, but larger booth options are available. The booth often consists of a lightweight aluminum extrusion structure, tension fabric graphics and a locking reception counter. Plus, a workstation with optional monitor may be available in a convertible booth, allowing you to showcase a looping video to create buzz and drive lead generation.
A convertible booth offers a wonderful combination of style and function. It ensures you can take your trade show booth on the road without having to sacrifice quality. The booth is also simple to assemble and enables you to take the guesswork out of setting up for a trade show.
Let’s face it — just about everyone owns a smartphone or tablet and uses their device to connect with the world around them. Thankfully, you can incorporate mobile technologies into your trade show booth, allowing smartphone and tablet users to connect with your brand digitally.
For instance, Quick Response (QR) codes are gaining popularity among trade show exhibitors. These codes can be set up at a trade show booth for attendees to scan with their mobile devices. Then, they can access custom content related to a brand, its products and its services.
QR codes enable businesses to promote their products and services in a new and exciting way. These codes even allow companies to offer mobile coupons and discounts. And if a trade show attendee takes a few seconds to scan a QR code at your trade show booth, he or she can learn about your company and enjoy significant savings.
Lastly, mobile technologies are driving social engagement at trade shows. Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and other social networks empower individuals to share their thoughts and feelings about a brand during a trade show. These social networks feature apps that are accessible on mobile devices and drive real-time engagement between trade show exhibitors and attendees.
Don’t hesitate to tweet, poke and engage on social media as a trade show progresses. Many trade shows feature custom hashtags, ensuring you can use social media to promote your trade show booth to large groups of attendees.
For those who want to take their social media efforts one step further, why not set up a custom trade show hashtag of your own? Or, you can always offer prizes to trade show attendees who post images of themselves at your trade show booth.
Social media creates new opportunities for businesses. If you allocate the necessary time and resources to develop an effective social media strategy, you can stay connected to trade show attendees.
What Does the Future Hold for Trade Show Technology?
Clearly, a large assortment of trade show technologies is available to help you transform an ordinary trade show booth into an unforgettable one. The collection of trade show technologies will continue to increase, creating additional opportunities for trade show exhibitors.
Staying up to date on trade show technologies is key for trade show exhibitors. With top-of-the-line trade show technology, you can highlight your brand, its products and its services and generate substantial interest in your trade show booth.
APG Exhibits is the number one provider of trade show exhibits and displays. We have more than 30 years of trade show display experience and offer a massive selection of trade show products. If you’re a Fortune 500 company that wants to further increase its global reach or a local business that plans to attend its first trade show, we’re here to help you accomplish your trade show goals.
To find out more about our trade show exhibits and displays, please call us today at 866-752-2192.