Tradeshows of today are much different than ones in the past, so much so that TSNN contributor Lew Hoff recently suggested that such events have experienced more changes during the past five years than in the previous century. Moving forward, what will trade shows look like?
According to Hoff, there will be a change in expectations for those attending trade shows in the future.
"Event experiences for attendees, exhibitors, sponsors and speakers will have to become more personalized and customized," Hoff explained. "Event organizers will seek to delight these important event stakeholders. And so the organizers will harness the marketing power of the good experience. Only a truly good experience will turn event participants into advocates - and repeat customers."
Rarely does a day pass in which there is no news surrounding the importance of data and how companies can use this content to their advantage. In terms of future trade shows, Hoff noted that QR codes and near-field communication figure to play prominent roles, allowing businesses to exchange information without making physical contact with customers.
Social media has also greatly impacted how firms and audiences interact and this trend shows little signs of dissipating, Hoff reported. Tim Patterson, an industry expert, said social networks are great for helping guide trade show participants to certain sessions and exhibits.
Since so many people use their smartphones and tablets on a regular basis, the ability to stay updated through social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter makes it easier than ever for attendees to find exactly what they are looking for while walking through a trade show. Businesses that understand this can interact with audiences before, during and after events to gain their feedback and determine what areas can be improved for future shows.
The value of virtual trade shows
Organizations counting every penny may not be able to host their own trade show, but this does not mean they cannot still showcase their products and services to eager prospects. As technology has influenced the way companies operate in recent years, such solutions have also impacted trade shows in general.
A virtual trade show is a cost-effective way for companies to encourage people to view online videos of their offerings and chat with representatives to receive more information about their services. Using social media can help businesses reach out to prospects and tell them about the virtual event quickly.
Hoff concluded that wearable technology, such as Google Glass, may result in even more enhanced connections during trade shows. The integration of such a device with social media can allow representatives to identify people without looking at their name tags or asking for their information.
Technology is always advancingand the most important aspect of new solutions is whether they are functional. If new platforms emerge that make trade shows more immersive and effective for companies to host - whether at physical venue orvirtual one - then the future of such events will be in good hands.