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Technology to make your exhibitions stand interactive

by Ross Pike

To stand out and attract attention, businesses at exhibitions are increasingly making use of technology on their stands.  At some trade shows it’s a bit of a competition to see who has the most innovative stand.  Clever use of the latest technology will of course pique the curiosity of visitors and draw people into your stand.  Visitors like to have something to interact with other than a salesperson says Ross Pike, operations director at Quadrant2Design.

 

So what technology can you embrace on your exhibition stand?  Here we look at some of the options.

 

  1. Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) allows businesses to demonstrate their products either online or through a VR headset.  There are two main types of VR content – 360-degree videos and 3D animations. Marketing products using virtual reality allows companies to bridge the gap between experience and action. You can use VR to provide a digital experience in place of a real-life one, which can immerse users in the virtual world whilst showcasing your product.

VR is increasingly used on exhibition stands to create an immersive experience for visitors, although the technology is relatively new and not widely adopted.  You can use it to showcase your products, or just for games to draw people in.

 

  1. Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) allows users to superimpose digital images over a real-world environment.  If you want to demonstrate how a product would look in real life, augmented reality is a good way to do this.  You can show visitors what clothes would look like, or showcase different product options.  Many businesses already use AR technology on their websites to show furniture in rooms, make-up applied, cars in different colours and clothing options.  It wouldn’t be difficult to set this up quickly and cheaply using laptops on your exhibition stand.

 

  1. Micro-site

 What is a micco-site?  A micro-site is a stand-alone website dedicated to a single topic or idea, used to promote a business, product or service. The benefit is a clear and concise message, without compromising your primary website.

In the context of exhibiting, it allows you a digital platform to; promote your presence at a show, support your physical stand and increase conversion after the show.

Some of the best micro-site interactions:

  • Pre-Event Marketing – A micro-site is launched a number of weeks before a trade show. This will allow enough time to promote your exhibition stand in advance, generating traffic and potential leads.The micro-site can include information on locating the stand in the hall, what the stand will look like, names of staff on the day and booking meetings at the show. In addition, as the micro-site carries your branding, it is hugely effective for brand recognition. If potential visitors know where to find your stand, know what it looks like and is familiar with your branding you’ve significantly increased the likelihood of a visitor stopping to say hello.

Promoting the micro-site through email footers, email marketing and social media will give the best chance of getting as many potential visitors on the site ahead of the show.

 In-Event Marketing – Visitors who interact with your micro-site can access supporting literature, find further information on products, download documents to their phone, or fill in their details to request more information. This data is stored on the micro-site to be used in your lead follow-up after the show.

 

  • Post-Event Marketing – During an exhibition, hundreds of people can pass through your stand, verbally interact, and then move on to the next.

This is where a micro-site comes in. By the time you follow up leads a few days after the show, visitors’ memories of who they spoke to will have blurred, so you need to be promoting and giving visual clues to jog their memory.

When you send your follow-up with a link to the micro-site, they are instantly reminded of how your stand looked, what you offered, and who they spoke with.

To increase conversions, be memorable and make your follow-up email stand out. Visitors will receive many follow-up emails from the companies they have spoken to.

 

  1. iPads

If demonstrating your product in the flesh isn’t possible, a good solution is to include iPads on your stand to show visitors your products.  Your exhibition stand designer should be able to incorporate iPad holders within your stand. Aforementioned, an iPad is the perfect host for visitors to interact with your micro-site at your stand.

 

  1. Interactive TV screen

You can have a TV screen built into your stand to run adverts or presentations on your products.  Again this is useful if your full product range cannot be demonstrated on the stand.  If you make it a touch-screen TV, visitors can use it to find out further information about your company and products.  Running adverts will attract the attention of visitors and draw them to your stand.

 

  1. Lead capture apps

Why has the effort of filling in forms and then entering the data onto a CRM system, when you can automate the process?  Lead capture apps allow you to take details electronically and will then synch with your database.  Rather than misplacing business cards, you can have all the information in one place and be simple to reference.

 

Some of the best lead capture apps:

  • EventPilot – EventPilot offers a quick and easy solution to capturing leads and following them up. It is free to download onto your device, so no need to have additional hardware. The app enables quick scanning of badges, offline use, Cloud backup and the ability to sync and export the list to other devices.
  • Cvent Leadcapture –  LeadCapture is a mobile app that syncs to your Cvent account so you can share data between different programmes. It will scan badges and business cards and the app will integrate with other lead capture tools. Everyone on your team can download it onto their device (either Android or iOS).
  • iCapture – iCapture is a great badge scanning app aimed at small businesses.  It partners with other leading badge providers, which turn mobile into a badge scanning device.  It can scan QR codes, 2D barcode badges and RFID.  It will allow you to sync with Salesforce, score leads and work offline.
  • Attendify – this is the only app that links with social media.  It is simple to set up, you don’t need extra hardware and it enables you to enter lots of additional data about each lead to qualify them well.  You can also assess the performance of all staff on the stand.
  • vCapture by Validar – this is compatible with PC, Mac, and mobile, Validar specialises in “universal lead capture”, a fully-customisable solution that can work as a direct extension of your current CRM.  It allows you to rank and categorise leads and integrate with Salesforce.

 

  1. QR codes

Rather than handing out printed brochures, you could opt to be more sustainable and have all the information accessible digitally via a QR code. In present times, this method has been widely popular due to the ongoing global pandemic, COVID-19. Being able to transfer promotional information digitally, limits contact and thus can potentially ease the minds of visitors to your stand.

 

Everyone has a smartphone these days so scanning your QR code should not be a problem. QR codes can also be optimised to take a visitor straight to your micro-site page. This is not only a sustainable option, but it also saves you the brochure printing cost which can be quite high.

 

  1. Sensors

To add an element of surprise for visitors to your stand you can include sensors which are triggered when people are close to them.  These could start a video, turn on a light display, play sounds or trigger special effects.  This element of surprise will increase visitor engagement and attract attention.

 

  1. Social media

You can use social media to live stream your exhibition.  This will engage visitors who are there and also people who are not.  It will provide users with a platform to interact with you.  Link up with the hashtag being used by the event organiser to enable more people to find you.

 

 

Summary

Many new technologies can be introduced to your exhibition stand to make it more interactive.  These will all help attract attention and draw visitors to your stand.  Any good exhibition stand designer should be able to help you incorporate these into your stand design for a flawless look.

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