Exhibiting at conventions and tradeshows is a great way to tell your company’s story. It also is the perfect way to connect with potential customers, educate those in your industry, and network with industry leaders. So how will your company be a standout on the exhibit floor? Well, technology can help with that. We are living in a digital world and the use of technology has invaded nearly every aspect of our lives. Why wouldn’t it creep into our exhibit marketing efforts? According to a survey conducted by Exhibitor, 96 percent of survey respondents indicated they currently use technology to enhance their marketing efforts in some way. In that same survey, 84 percent used a variety of technologies within their exhibit and 54 percent utilized some type of technology at corporate events.
So how do you get started? It’s important to note that technology won’t replace the fundamentals needed to succeed. So, develop a plan and outline your goals and objectives for each convention or tradeshow. Then get busy addressing how to get noticed on a busy, crowded, noisy show floor. You’ve got a lot of competition, so your work is cut out for you, but adding a little technology can really help differentiate you on the show floor. In the same Exhibitor survey referenced earlier, 72 percent of trade show managers that utilized technology in their exhibit reported it met or exceeded initial objectives. That is a pretty impressive statistic.
One of the best ways and easiest ways to incorporate technology is to use touch screens. This helps increase engagement amongst attendees and makes learning about your company’s product or service interesting. Be creative with your touch screens. Think about how they can be shaped or where they will be placed. Consider the giant iPhone touchscreens or a jumbo touchscreen of your company’s website. Additional options such as interactive monitors, video walls with a touch screen component or even tables that incorporate this technology offer creative uses of this technology. Video walls can be not only eye-catching but breath-taking due to their sheer size and the brilliance of images used.
Poretta & Orr’s client Horizon Therapeutics utilized a fantastic 3D holographic system at the ACR 2019 meeting in Atlanta recently. A truly interactive and educational component of their booth that related to the medical condition of gout. It was an effective educational tool that engage HCPs and incorporated the “cool” factor.
Using a 3D holographic effectively is important. It should be a presentation of important information but the information should also be streamlined. A custom 3D holographic can turn an average message into a memorable branded message or it can be used as an educational tool. The 3D holographic can make a complex topic that is difficult to explain much easier to understand through visual learning. It is essentially an interactive display that is a great way to get noticed on the show floor.
Growing in popularity as the price comes down and bugs and complications get worked out, is VR or Virtual Reality. This technology isn’t just for those exhibiting at technology shows anymore, it continues to gain popularity across all industry sectors. Virtual reality is used to demonstrate new technologies, educate HCPs on disease states and transport attendees to different places and times. It enhances the attendee’s experience, immersing them in your brand or product, making the experience memorable.
Virtual reality is a multi-sensory experience providing exhibitors the opportunity to create exactly what they want attendees to experience. Would you like to create an environment where HCPs experience what a migraine feels like? Virtual reality can help. What better way to fully convey the patient’s view than with an immersive experience? Are you in a quandary over limited space in your booth but want to conduct a product demonstration using a very large machine? Consider virtual reality … it unlocks unlimited space for whatever experience you would like to create. Virtual reality transports attendees and helps you with the art of storytelling.
Video is also a very effective means for engaging attendees. According to Cisco, in 2019 video will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic. Now that should get your attention.
Video can be used for marketing in an exhibit booth on signage, LED screens, iPads, touch screens and video walls. Nothing mandates that it has to be projected on the Jumbotron to be effective and it is a great way to engage attendees while they are in the trade show booth. However, keep in mind the fundamentals when creating your video.
To get started, identify what the video is trying to accomplish. Is it an educational video, a video to demonstrate the depth of your company’s product or service line or a promotional, fun video? A great video is predicated on the fact that you know your audience. Take the time to identify 3-5 outcomes you want the viewer to walk away with after watching the video. Work with a team that can identify the steps necessary to create killer video content and be sure there is a call to action. Your call to action will ultimately depend on what you have identified as your objective(s) for the video. Was it to increase sales, to educate, or perhaps just start a conversation? Another important point to note is that video can be reused across a variety of platforms, making it surprisingly, budget-friendly in many cases.
This is just a short list of the technology options available to exhibitors and they are advancing and changing rapidly, but all are excellent ways to enhance your exhibit booth marketing efforts. Keep in mind that utilizing a cool, new, cutting-edge technology is not a replacement for the basics that make exhibitors successful. Great booth design, clear messaging, a trained staff, qualifying leads and developing a follow-up strategy are still vital to enjoy success at your next convention or tradeshow.
The bottom line is that great things can happen when exhibit marketing, technology and strategy intersect. It’s called success.