What We’ve Learned from a Year of Global Exhibiting

Posted 17/12/2019
What We’ve Learned from a Year of Global Exhibiting

We have attended, represented our clients or even exhibited ourselves at some of the biggest trade exhibitions in the world this year, from Exhibitor Live to Mobile World Congress to Automechanika and many more.

Each show has been an incredible learning experience. We witnessed businesses from across the globe push the boundaries of exhibiting through their brave and bold ideas.

As the end of the year approaches, it’s time to reflect. Discover our most valuable lessons gained from a year of global exhibiting. Apply what you learn here to maximise your 2020 exhibiting efforts and reap a remarkable ROI.

Futuristic tech fuels immersion  

Fun and new technology – like virtual reality and wearable technology – can attract attendees to your booth like shopaholics to a Black Friday sale.

Create a mesmerising experience using such tech and you can immerse attendees in your brand story, helping them remember you for all the right reasons.

During Exhibitor Live, we spoke to Gary Taylor, Director of technology at Live Marketing. He recently helped the tech giant, Philips, create an unforgettable booth experience using wearable technology:

Attendees could walk around an oval-shaped moving structure while wearing a hololens. As they moved around the area, virtual icons would pop up with content which attendees could engage with.

Gary told us that the booth experience was a massive hit. We’re not surprised – it was a dynamite tactic to ignite engagement while emphasising Philips as a technology trailblazer.

We expect to see lots of business investing in futurist tech to attract, engage and persuade with incredible prowess. Will you be one of them?

Attendee education takes precedence

Valuable information that’s presented as engaging and simple helps your brand become a trusted authority.

More and more exhibiting businesses are cottoning on to this fact and reaping the rewards. Take Engage Balloons, for example. At its Exhibitor Live 2019 booth, the business used monitors installed with augmented reality technology to present images of attendees in real-time.

At the top of the monitor was a header featuring questions for attendees, such as: “Why does your agency shy away from trade show marketing?”. As the attendee stood in front of the monitor, a speech bubble appeared above their head as if in answer to the question. For example: “It’s not our area of expertise.”

This was a genius way to address prospects’ problems and offer useful insight. It also encouraged attendees to discuss their concerns in more detail with Engage Balloons’ booth team, sparking great conversations and increasing the chances of conversions.

Replicating their success starts with learning what information your prospects want. Then you can create hyper-personalised learning experiences that highlight your business’ value and authority.

Sustainability drives likability

Sustainability has become a huge focus of 2019 on a global scale – people want to buy from brands that help them make a positive impact on the environment. Greta Thunberg winning Time’s Person of the Year just shows how eco-conscious the public (aka your consumers) are.

In answer to this demand, we’ve seen a big increase in the number of businesses incorporating sustainability into their trade show displays.

Some exhibitors have gone all out, making sustainability of core theme of their booth through powerful storytelling and attendee experiences. While others have opted to build their displays out of environmentally-friendly materials.

One of our favourite stands from Exhibitor Live was created by Loki Box Design. The company transforms old shipping containers into trade show booths for its clients. As a business that uses recycled materials to create its products, Loki Box Design’s sleek display was all about being kind to the planet.

This concept grabbed attendees’ attention and was an excellent conversation starter. It also got other exhibiting businesses to think about their environmental impact.

We believe sustainability will be an even bigger trend for 2020. If you want to impress attendees and position your business powerfully, take note.

Going local enhances personalisation

We’ve noticed how big international shows are going more local. Take Automechanika, the world’s biggest trade fair for the automobile aftermarket. Originally, the event was held in Frankfurt.

Over recent years, Automechanika has been exported to a long list of cities in various countries, such as Birmingham, Chicago, Dubai, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Madrid and Mexico-City.

It’s a similar story for the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry. Until 2006, the event took place in Cannes. Today, the MWC has gone worldwide, with separate events held in Los Angeles, Shanghai and Barcelona. But why?

Taking an internationally renowned event worldwide makes it easier for exhibiting businesses to connect to customers. They can go directly to them, and create a booth experience that’s highly-targeted, personal and intimate. This increases the likelihood of a great trade show performance, improving a business’ ROI.

So, if you’re thinking of exhibiting in 2020, do your research and find out if there’s a trade show local to your city. You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to show off your brand, products or services to local prospects .

Share your favourite exhibiting lessons

Which trade shows did you attend this year? What has the experience taught you? We’d love to hear about your unique exhibiting insights from 2019. Tell us all about them on Twitter.

Posted 17/12/2019