Events and trade shows are the crucial elements of marketing for businesses these days. Although the pandemic put them on hold, they are back with a bang in the new normal. But events are not the same in post-pandemic times. There are smaller crowds and more rules to ensure social distancing.
However, you can go the extra mile with audience engagement as you expect competitors to do it. Everyone wants to pull the crowds, so they will have great strategies in place. Moreover, attendees will have higher expectations as they return to trade shows after a long time.
The best way to stay ahead of competitors and match audience expectations is by leveraging technology. Using big screens with graphics and showing presentations on PowerPoint projectors give you a good start with the approach. But these ideas are only the tip of the iceberg because you can do much more to build an engaging presence. Think outside the box, and you can shine in the crowd. Everything boils down to picking the right technologies and utilizing them consistently.
Here are the ones that can take event planning to the next level.
1. Leverage Social Media for Promotions
Before going high with the event presence, consider using technology for promotions. The best way to do it is by leveraging social media to market the event and your presence there. Start by researching your audience and finding the social media platforms they frequent.
The B2B audience generally prefers platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, while Facebook and Instagram are the favorites for the B2C segment. Create compelling campaigns and run them well in advance. Engage the audience with quality content and create curiosity with the posts. You can even run a contest or poll to engage them and pull them to the show. Posting videos is a good idea for generating publicity and encouraging more people to register for the event.
2. Go Hybrid with your Presence
With the vaccines making the virus less daunting, trade shows have the foot traffic back. But you cannot expect to have huge crowds in attendance right away. A good part of your audience may still want to attend the event virtually. Going hybrid with your presence enables you to get the best of both worlds. You can be there at the event to interact with the audience physically.
At the same time, you need not worry about missing out on the virtual customer base. Ensure that you run both versions simultaneously to get the crowds coming in massive numbers. The good thing is that most businesses and customers are comfortable with virtual platforms, so going hybrid isn’t a challenge.
3. Win with Video Displays
Your success at a trade show event depends on your display game. While you can create an impressive presence with cool designs for your banners, think beyond the conventional ideas. Investing in video displays is a great idea because these displays can capture the attention of the audience. A banner stand with an LED display right on the center of the floor will get the crowds to your stall. Create a compelling piece of graphics, and you are all set to bring them around. You can go the extra mile by having a dazzling video wall at your counter. Rely on a winning mix of technology and creativity to ace the event game this season.
4. Implement an Audience Response System
Pulling the crowds to your booth at the trade show is only half the work. The real job is to garner audience participation during your presentations. You cannot expect to keep them hooked with old-fashioned ideas like asking them questions or encouraging them to share their opinions. Consider implementing an audience response system with a voting keypad or feedback wall. You can even let the attendees use their own devices to interact with your booth or share feedback. The technology turns passive attendees into active participants and creates value for them. Not to mention, it increases the ROI for your business.
5. Opt for Mobile-friendly Event Materials
Another idea to go high-tech with your trade show presence this year is to opt for mobile-friendly event materials. Think beyond the paper cards and handouts, and make your materials available online as a mobile-optimized PDF download.
This way, your promotional materials stay on the devices of your target customers forever unless they delete them. Rest assured, they will retain it if you have compelling materials.
Moreover, there is hardly a chance of the customers losing your ads as they are accessible at their fingertips. They can even spread the word by sharing mobile-based material with people they know. Moreover, you can save a lot by skipping print campaigns and choosing mobile promotions instead.
6. Invest in Timely and Relevant Content
Content is the mainstay of event success, whether you participate in a trade show, host a virtual conference, or go the hybrid way. You need to invest in timely and relevant content, and technology can help you achieve the goal. When it comes to content relevance, following the audience’s needs is crucial.
Your content should revolve around the solutions that address these requirements. You can rely on technologies like data and analytics to create audience personas and know their pain points better. Further, try using Artificial Intelligence to personalize audience experiences physically and virtually. The idea is to make every attendee feel special as it can hook them to your brand for good.
The ultimate goal of events and trade shows is to establish your presence and influence your participants. It is possible only if you can stand apart in a crowd. The only way to do it is by thinking outside the box and presenting unique experiences for your audience.
Technology can help you win on all fronts, from event promotion to actual presence and post-show marketing. Instead of taking a one-time approach to using technology, make it a part of your long-term strategy. Rest assured, you will impress your audience every time and build a strong brand in the long run.