Many trade show exhibitors lament the results they achieve after making a considerable investment in time, travel, lodging, and exhibition costs. While, in some cases, their failure to secure leads might fall on the rare inept organizer, most of the time, the responsibility lies with the exhibitor. What’s that expression? If you fail to plan, plan to fail. This holds true with trade shows, but planning doesn’t start and stop with booking the exhibit space, travel, and hotel or with creating the right marketing campaign to attract visitors to your booth. It also must encompass today’s leading-edge event management technologies. When fully-leveraged, these technologies can drive trade show results through the roof.
Let’s start with assessing your trade show performance. Here are four questions exhibitors should ask themselves to get a benchmark of their trade show performance:
- In your last trade show exhibit, how much technology did you deploy to enhance your presence, attract and engage visitors, and build new or strengthen existing relationships?
- While walking the floor, did you notice technology in use at other booths with a lot of traffic and think, “We really should look into something like that for our next show.”?
- If you were using more than just a laptop and smart phones at your exhibit, were staff members fully trained by a technology integrator on how best to leverage the features of your more advanced event management technology? For example, did they know how to apply the mobile event app/software to better engage the attendees by pushing out notifications during the event, conducting on-line surveys, and informing trade show attendees about what you were showcasing at your exhibit – all at the same time you were capturing valuable market demographics and predictive analytics data?
- Thinking back over the past several years and your trade show activities, have you significantly increased your use of technology at your exhibit booth?
If you scored “4” points or less, you would benefit from boosting your event technology IQ in order to improve your trade show results. If you scored over “4” points, and unless you are fully satisfied with your past trade show results, you would probably benefit from gaining more knowledge about today’s advanced event management technologies and their roles in increasing prospect engagement, generating leads, and driving sales.
According to data collected by Statista.com, one of the world’s leading statistic portals, a survey on the perceived effectiveness of trade show marketing in the United States as of March 2016 found that 68% of the exhibitor/marketer respondents were “confident.” That confidence may well be a function of the growing trend toward exhibitors’ enhanced application of event technology.