With 2014 in full swing, calendars are starting to fill up for businesses that frequent industry trade shows. Attendees will flock to see the latest and greatest, and exhibitors will scramble to provide effective exhibit displays to attract a multitude of prospective customers. With that in mind, the New Year is a time when exhibitors assess their trade show strategies in order to make sure they are maximizing the number of visitors to their trade show booth.
Are you one of those people looking to breathe new life into your exhibit? Here are emerging trends to keep in mind.
Stand apart from the rest. Literally. You know the scene: it’s peak activity time at the show, and the venue is packed. There’s little elbow room, it’s loud and crowded, and those who can’t get to your booth during these peak times might tell themselves they’ll come back, but then forget. Some exhibitors are relocating their booth to a quieter place, away from the trade show floor. See if you can set up in another area, like the lobby or another conference room. Not only does this allow you to see more potential customers, it becomes a place people can come to escape the crowd. They’ll appreciate it more than you think!
Listen to the customer. This is becoming increasingly important. It used to be exhibits were to communicate to the customer what you have to offer them. Now, trade show attendees want a company that will listen to what they want. Be sure that all conversations you engage in regarding your products and services include the customer and that you are actively asking them for feedback.
Social media. If you aren’t providing your customers a link to your company’s social media sites, you’re missing out. If you don’t even have social media accounts linked up to your company, do something about it! At the very least, you should have a Facebook page. However, there are a number of sites that can add value to your company in a customer’s eyes – Instagram is useful for giving customers a behind-the-scenes look at day-to-day operations, a YouTube channel is useful to show customers tutorials using the products you might offer, and Twitter is a great place to post blog links and short messages. Be sure to include links to each social media site on marketing materials at the show, or provide an even easier option – a QR code visitors to your booth can quickly scan. No handouts, business cards, or brochures necessary!
A place to relax. If your space allows it, create a place visitors can sit down and rest for a moment. Another popular option is to give them the ability to recharge their phone battery. Who wouldn’t appreciate that?
Straight lines and wood. It seems booth designs are becoming more clean and straightforward. A big movement away from the displays full of arches and curves, booths are more frequently featuring simple, straight lines. Wood finishes are also becoming more popular.
Simple setups. Due to lower exhibit budgets, many exhibitors are assessing what’s most important for their displays and scaling back a bit. For example, do they really need to bring along a laptop or computer? A tablet might be the perfect replacement, allowing you to redesign the booth to be smaller, increasing the amount of money that can be spent on a more effective design. What’s more, rethinking the materials customers are accessing at your booth is wise as well. Maybe you want to invest in an electronic display of sorts, where multiple tablets sit for customers to find out a bit about your products and services. No more handouts!
iBeacon. This is a handy product from Apple, kind of like an indoor GPS complete with points-of-interest. iBeacon shows you different companies and their booths that are close to you at any given time based on your location within the trade show.
Other tracking technologies. RFID and NFC tracking technologies are a couple of the big ways trade shows keep track of what people are doing while they wander, and oftentimes these technologies signal displays to provide information or other media. It is something that will likely become even more popular as 2014 progresses.
Out with the graphic, in with an e-display. Why spend money on signage that will more often than not become outdated, just to turn around and spend more money on an updated sign? Increasingly, exhibitors are putting to use the simple e-picture frame. Not just for the tech-savvy grandma to showcase multiple pictures of her grandchildren, this frame can be used to flash multiple graphics and general information about your business. Updating it is as easy as deleting and adding pictures!
These are some of the trends in the trade show world. The best way to guarantee you are noticed at your next trade show is to contact us. We know exactly how to garner attention, and can work with you to design the perfect booth.