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Ten ways businesses can best market trade show events using new and forgotten technologies

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

The new and forgotten technologies that say it's think differently about trade events

Event formats aimed at the professional trades tend to be predictable.

Keeping audiences captive after the goody bag exchange and turning product testers into loyal brand advocates is a question of customer journey. It takes joined-up thinking, a multi-channel approach and meaningful online and offline interactions.

Trade shows continue to be an important part of the mix that tend to fall flat because too few are using the tools at their disposal to maximise their potential. From the pre-show build-up to staying front of mind following the event close, extended campaign planning that capitalises on rich content marketing opportunities is what it takes to create stand-out that transcends the trade show’s walls. In other words, it’s all about amplification – reaching beyond the exhibition, screen or store and into people’s consciousness.

So, how can brands quash trade show fatigue? It’s time to stop thinking in trade show terms and start thinking about executing live events.

Here are the most interesting technologies to help all B2B events organizers understand how to better reach their target market at upcoming trade events:

Email

OK, so not the most revolutionary medium to take the top spot but enjoying a revival nonetheless. Email is an important channel for nurturing prospects into the sales pipeline. It just needs to be used in the right way.

Wearables

Defined as technology worn on your clothing or person, these technologies could easily be leveraged to serve up real-time information to help visitors with wayfinding and influence their on-site schedules.

Geofilters and other location-aware applications

An offshoot of SnapChat’s brainchild, the customised geofilter is fast becoming a low-cost, high impact way to ramp up brand exposure within a defined area.

QR Codes

You’re telling me that in 2017 we’re still talking QR codes? Yes. QR codes can help make the user journey a seamless one and there will likely be a resurgence for relevant uses (rather than just sticking them everywhere because it’s the trendy thing to do).

VR and AR

Virtual and augmented reality is now at a point where the technology has become useful rather than just gimmicky. You can take a virtual reality tour of a future site or show a customer what their desired kitchen fittings would look like in their home.

Video and live streaming

With the launch of Facebook Live taking on Twitter’s Periscope, the opportunity to capture and share our experiences in the moment has become even easier.

Beacons

These Bluetooth Low Energy devices send out signals that interact with mobile phone apps to deliver powerful data capture capabilities. Next generation two-way beacons are now coming into circulation too.

iMessaging

With iMessage’s new features, Apple is effectively creating its own mini social network, and while there is a steep learning curve ahead, it is bound to be exploited in the events arena soon.

Mobile payments

Likely to have a huge impact on the events industry as organisers and exhibitors find new ways to process payments and engage attendees.

Facial recognition

As advancements in biometrics allow easier mobile payments, realistic authentication tools could also start to play a part in registration and other processes too.

For more insight into the immersive innovations supporting construction marketers in creating more memorable brand experiences in 2017 and beyond, you can download the full report from Refinery here.

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Philip Armitage

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