Over the last year we have started seeing exhibition stand technology used in more intelligent ways within the industry. The biggest trend in 2017 will see a move towards creating more meaningful data that can be used to drive a better return on marketing spend and create sales.
The integration of people and exhibition stand technology.
The last few years has seen the advent of smart technology within exhibition stand technology and exhibition stands are not complete without the ubiquitous touchscreen. 5 years ago, people would engage because it was novel and exciting. However, it is now much more part of normal life. People have it in their office, in their home, in their cars and in their pockets. If you use it on exhibition stands it has to be employed in a much more human and intelligent way.
Where it has worked best is where it is used to interact face to face. The use of a touchscreen on exhibition stands is no substitute for a real person! A host or hostess operating an iPad is more fruitful than a screen sat on counter or a wall. After all a brand event or an exhibition is an opportunity for face to face interaction. One of our clients recently requested iPads built onto the exhibition stand wall. The devices were left there to do the job by themselves. Over a 3 day show they caught a paltry 6 leads. In contrast another client gave each of their staff an iPad each with exclusive offers on. They caught 800 leads between them over 4 days.
The integration of live data and exhibition stand technology.
The same client had their data capture software linked to their CRM software via Wifi. This eliminated the need for the staff on the exhibition stand to then trawl through leads. Saving time back at the hotel or in the office. Automatic contact was made after the show, each prospect received an email thanking them for their time. Further feedback about their enquiry was sent within 24 hours of attending the stand.
RFID technologies that capture audience data
RF technology can be used for tracking exhibition industry audiences. You can unobtrusively track attendance by simply placing a beacon at your session entrance. They can give real-time views on session attendance and duration, attendance at exhibition stands, exhibit floor visits, traffic patterns and event activities. This real-time accessibility allows for reports and metrics to be viewed while on-site. This gives event managers insight into attendee interests, thus generating overall event ROI and increased revenue opportunities.
Dedicated Smart Badges and Apps
Smart badges that work on RFID technology have now fallen to a price point where they can be used in conjunction with readers placed around the stand. The readers may be on individual product displays, screens or graphic panels. This is a great way of gauging the interest on your exhibition stands or live marketing event.
Overall 2017 looks to be the year that advances in technology give exhibitors new ways to engage with audiences and measure their ROI. Making best use of these advances is something that will be extremely rewarding for those who get it right.
Author: Chris Cotterill – Creative Director