In order to stay ahead of the competition and attract attention during a tradeshow, it’s important for your company to remain on top of the latest trends and be properly equipped to organize your next event. Here are some trends and tips to keep in mind.

Technology 

Technology is at the core of our day-to-day lives. It will also play a crucial role in your tradeshow booth. 

According to Caroline Lepage, CEO of Agora Conventions and Events, a huge trend that is impacting the event world is gamification. Tradeshow promoters are increasingly using technology to incite attendees to visit as many booths as possible. For example, some organizers are encouraging participants to take selfies with as many exhibitors as possible to earn points or rewards. Be open to these innovative marketing tactics to drive traffic to your booth. 

Personalization  

Tradeshow attendees are bombarded with information that is often irrelevant to their specific needs. To keep participants engaged, offer them a personalized experience whereby they can learn about your company, products and services based on their real needs and interests. While having a busy tradeshow booth is good, getting the right people to visit it is even better. 

As Ms. Lepage suggests, you can hold a VIP event, which is akin to incorporating an “event into an event.” For example, invite a specific segment of your clientele for a short workshop or presentation in your booth. In addition, you can organize other custom events that go beyond your booth, such as suppers or cocktail hours.

Meeting tradeshow attendees is a great way to drum up new business; tradeshows provide the perfect opportunity to have long conversations and make people feel comfortable at your booth. Visitors can, for example, sit down at your booth, use their computers and even have a bite to eat. These are all means to start a conversation with potential clients!

Design  

Without being overly simple or too glitzy, your tradeshow booth should be functional—and capture people’s attention. Booths made out of fabric are very popular nowadays, as they give a sense of lightness and can cover wide booth areas. Another trend? Immersive ambiances that create unforgettable experiences. Another way to attract attendees to your booth is suspending signage from the ceiling, which captures the eye and can be seen from far away.

Planning

One crucial key to a successful tradeshow is the planning. Ms. Lepage explained that several companies focus only on the tradeshow dates and forget that even though they have an impressive tradeshow booth, if nobody visits it, all the efforts and money invested will be useless. No visitors, no leads. No leads, no sales results. 

That’s why a lot of work must be carried out before a tradeshow. Your clients, potential clients, suppliers and partners must know that you are exhibiting at an upcoming tradeshow. Send them an invitation that includes your booth number and any special launches, information sessions or other micro-events you’ll be holding during the show. Get active on social media, which will get the conversation going with your followers and other attendees before, during and after the show. Make sure your email signature includes the names, dates and locations of upcoming tradeshows.

To stand out further from the exhibitor crowd, you could also send invitations that include an object that is associated with your company or specific sector. Ask recipients to bring this object to your tradeshow booth to participate in a contest or receive a special gift. 

Once the tradeshow is over, the work doesn’t stop. Set up a process your team will follow to contact the qualified leads. This is probably the most important step of all: why invest so much money in a tradeshow if leads are not converted into sales?

Remember: participating in a tradeshow can be a strategic solution to increase sales, penetrate new markets and acquire new customers. However, a tradeshow must be well-thought-out and prepared for months in advance. This year, take the time and develop a winning tradeshow strategy!

Sources

Lepage, Caroline. Entrevue dans les bureaux de LaroucheMC. 28 novembre 2016.

Vatange advertising Trade Show Trends to Watch in 2016 . http://www.models4tradeshows.com/trade-show-trends-2016. 16 septembre 2015.

Buckman, Craig. 6 tendances à considérer dans un stand d’exposition. Skyline Montréal. http://www.skylinemontreal.com/6-tendances-a-considerer-dans-un-stand-dexposition/.

X-pression Num-eric. Salons et foire : des idées pour vous démarquer!. http://xnumeric.com/tendances/. 8 juin 2015.

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