3 Things to Expect in the Future of Trade Shows

When planning for future trade shows, exhibitors should strive to stay ahead of the curve. Event solutions that worked in the past may be simply outdated and ineffective by today’s standards. Modern trade show conferences reward exhibitors that creatively implement technology and engage with attendees on a personal level.

Exhibitors looking to develop innovative event strategies could benefit by keeping these three future trends in mind:

1) Technology will prevail
One of the most effective means of attracting attendees’ interest is by hosting interactive booth experiences. As such, a growing number of exhibitors are allowing attendees to use tech gadgets at their booths. By incorporating technology into games and contests, exhibitors give attendees a more exciting, memorable experience.

Mobile technology has transformed virtually all sectors of marketing, and trade shows are no exception. The rise of the mobile trade show app has made the lead retrieval process more efficient than ever before. Using apps like iLeads, exhibitors can customize their lead capture lists, adding action items or notes to specific leads. Additionally, lead analysis can be performed in real-time, so marketing and sales teams can begin working on follow-up campaigns while the trade show is still going on.

Meanwhile, the digital badge scanner has enabled booth staffers to instantly collect contact information and store it on an electronic database. Exhibitors no longer have to sort through hundreds of business cards when organizing leads after the event.

2) The trade show is going abroad
Increasingly, exhibitors are realizing the value afforded by overseas trade show appearances. By traveling abroad, exhibitors can raise brand awareness on a global scale and promote their products to completely new markets.

Exhibitor’s 2013 International Exhibiting Survey, which collected responses from 214 American companies, found that nearly seven out of 10 businesses have at least some interest in hosting trade show exhibits at international conferences in the coming years.

3) Personalization will be key
Personalization has become a prominent trend in modern marketing, and forward-thinking exhibitors are customizing their strategies to appeal to attendees’ interests on an individual level.

“In the future, expect more and more marketers to take advantage of this trend by anticipating users’ needs and tailoring trade show experiences to their specific characteristics or preferences,” said Live Marketing’s Kristen Veach. “Providing personalized experiences drives deeper engagement, and creates richer and more resonant experiences for audiences.”

In its white paper “Scenarios for the Future: Convention Exhibits & Tradeshows of 2016,” the Professional Convention Management Association predicted that market research will play a more integral role in the future of trade shows. Exhibitors that closely examine the traits of their target consumers could be better able to predict attendees’ behavior and offer highly personalized trade show experiences.

Focus on a unique event plan
Ultimately, exhibitors should strive to create their own unique trade show strategies. While it helps for exhibitors to stay in the know about trade show trends, booths that simply imitate today’s most popular exhibits will fail to stand out on the conference floor. The key is to leverage modern technology and marketing methods for the development of an innovative, authentic trade show experience.

Future of Tradeshows

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