In a recent report released by CWT Meetings & Events, trade show participation is projected to increase by 5 to 10 percent in 2019. Additionally, brands are shifting their focus outward with marketing strategies that promote unique and memorable experiences for attendees.
As competition increases, brands must be proactive to not only stand out in trade show settings but find ways to make meaningful and lasting impressions. With 2019 a few weeks away, we share four trends that are poised to take center stage in the event marketing industry.
The desire for a wow-worthy display is undeniable, but in today’s event landscape, that alone isn’t enough. Brands are expanding upon that fundamental desire and pivoting focus outward toward the user with a focus on customer centricity. A customer-centric booth design focuses on creating a positive, multi-sensory experience for trade show attendees through all elements of the booth.
Start by thinking about the emotional experience your brand provides (for instance, safety and security) and how to bring that to life through the booth environment. Connect emotion to seamless branding to enforce consistency and improve recall with your attendees.
Interactive elements such as touchscreen panels, quizzes, virtual reality, and augmented reality (more on that later) put attendees in the driver’s seat and allow them to explore at their own pace.
A customer-focused booth is designed with purpose. Elements and features such as comfortable chairs with charging outlets, technologies used, or even the textures and scents that make up the space, should be strategically selected and positioned in a way that will promote engagement and enhance the overall experience your audience with have with the exhibit.
As virtual reality (VR) capabilities continue to evolve, we predict it will become a critical component at events as brands seek personalized ways to engage with attendees. VR headsets create immersive 3D reality and provide attendees with experiences they would otherwise not be able to have within the trade show environment.
Consider hotels and resorts. You can’t bring the property onto the trade show environment. Rather than show a video of the property, hotels can make guests feel like they’re onsite, using VR to create a lasting favorable impression.
Need another reason to consider VR as part of your event strategy? Fifty-three percent of customers are more likely to purchase from a brand that uses this technology over one that doesn’t.
Similar to virtual reality, augmented reality (AR) enhances reality to create an immersive experience. AR technology overlays computer-generated images on physical, real-world surfaces.
With augmented reality, trade show attendees can interact with products in novel ways. Consider that AR can show the product from a development or iteration perspective, while onsite product models can let users touch and feel the finalized product. Augmented reality can bring ideas to life as well as products, for instance by looping in data visualizations that support a speaker’s keynote.
Meeting apps are already in use among tech-savvy brands that want to connect with and engage attendees and sponsors. We predict more users will turn to apps in 2019 as users start to expect event-specific apps.
New developments we’re excited about include translation and interpreting functions, which break down language barriers, and gamification opportunities. Brands should look for ways to engage trade show guests and reinforce branding, and apps provide a highly personal and customizable experience for the end user.
To put these trends into action for your next trade show, you need partners who can understand both your needs and your ideal customers’ needs and create a concept that will make an impact while remaining in budget. Look to Nimlok NYC to help you develop a goal-oriented trade show booth that will allow you to not only connect with customers, but build meaningful relationships in the new year. Contact us today for a free consultation.