If you haven’t noticed, technology is providing exhibitors with new, more interesting ways to make their mark at trade shows. At Exhibitor Live last month in Las Vegas I noticed that many brands are trying to step it up with technology — using it to grab attention and engage prospects longer. Those are key goals for today’s event managers.
But, with all the new technologies available, event pros are being held to a higher standard when it comes to creating a spectacular booth that delivers results. That’s no doubt why so many companies at Exhibitor Live created a lounge area in their booths, outfitted with various technologies. They were trying to generate more traffic and engage visitors at a higher level.
So what’s hot in booth tech this year? Here are some of the most promising trends to consider if you want to stand out and get noticed:
1. Visually compelling signage
Every exhibitor at a show is competing for one thing: attention. Unfortunately, research shows the average person has a pretty short attention span and is easily distracted. Think puppies and bright shiny objects.
And while many of the studies focus on digital devices, there’s no doubt that technology has impacted the way our brains look for, process and engage with information. That’s why exhibits should be identifiable from a distance and entice attendees to walk in.
In the past decade, many exhibitors have replaced traditional printed signage with dynamic digital signage, such as large-scale video walls and Internet-connected displays on LCD monitors. That’s a trend that was on full display at the show I attended, and is one that will only grow as the tech becomes more affordable.
2. Interactive screens and walls
Much of what we do these days is about interactivity with touchscreens. They’re showing up everywhere, from museums and stadiums to restaurants and retail stores, and offer users the the chance to control choices about what they want to learn, the pace of how they learn and in what order they want information.
At trade shows, touchscreens and interactive walls provide booth visitors with an immersive experience by putting them behind the wheel so they can drive their interaction with your digital content. They can experience your “story” in a variety of ways, including manipulating information — a simple tap to play videos, for instance, or a swipe to reveal product information and specs. Interactive touch media experiences will soon become a standard feature in all trade show booths as people demand more from their digital experiences.
3. Technology rest stop
Trade shows can bring event the hardiest to their knees. Attendees try to make the most of every minute and spend hours on their feet to ensure they get the most out of their visit. The result: a crowd that is tired, sore, hungry, and thirsty. So exhibitors have the opportunity to leverage technology to be their hero by providing a much-needed rest stop where they can recharge along with their devices. It’s simply another way to be a great host and get rewarded for it with the opportunity of new business.
You can set up a digital rest stop with comfy chairs or couches, coffee tables and kiosks with built USB ports, AC power outlets and connectors for Apple and Android. Other amenities you can offer your booth guests include snacks and beverages, concierge connection about things to do after the show, and interactive touchscreens where visitors can learn more about your company, products and services at their own pace.
4. Games and contests
Another trend is by promoting products and services with strategic and fun interactive digital games and contests. Whether you leverage technology like VR, gesturing or touchscreens, “gamifying” your offering can create higher engagement and make your booth more memorable. From a gesturing game to ones utilizing social media as a way to extend reach and generate awareness, exhibitors at Exhibitor Live took full advantage of the gamifying trend.
If you have games or contests designed for use at trade shows, make sure you find the right technology and take advantage of the natural human inclination to compete. Make sure games or contests are interesting and offer attendees enough incentive to participate and are aligned with your company goals and brand personality.
Tech will continue to influence booth design and visitors’ show experience so look for new and intriguing ways to include it in your exhibit. But remember, at the end of the day all the tech in the world can’t make up for the “human technology” of interacting with someone one on one. So be sure your booth staff has the experience and knowledge to not only use the tech to showcase your brand, but to develop the kind of deep, trusting relationships that lead to new business.
ViewPoint offers intriguing touch tech perfect for engaging trade show attendees. Let me show you how we can help you maximize your trade show investment. Reach me at email@example.com