Creating a Seamless Event Experience at Exhibitions
Over the years, the expectations of visitors to trade shows and exhibitions have changed substantially. Whereas at one time it was the product that was the focus of attention, today it is the quality of the experience offered by the exhibitor that determines success.
For companies that are in the business of actually selling products, the vast array of choices on offer today means that a product will not necessarily sell on quality alone. Although product quality and reliability remain important factors in gaining a foothold in the market, a brand now needs at least one unique quality to make it stand out from the crowded field. In a similar fashion, companies which provide a service rather than a product now find they have to emphasise the unique qualities of their service in order to win business.
Standing Out from the Competition
Trade shows and exhibitions obviously provide the perfect opportunity for companies to meet both existing and potential new customers face to face. While the product or service on offer should still be of the highest quality and meet exacting expectations, many of today’s exhibition visitors are swayed more by the experience than anything else. With so many products jostling for position in a crowded market and scores of service providers offering similar packages, exhibitors need something else to stand out from the competition.
Advances in technology and the huge growth in social media over recent years have changed what visitors to trade shows expect. Access to some form of digital technology, such as a tablet or similar smart device, is no longer hoped for at an exhibition – it is expected. When exhibitors discuss stand options with their exhibition stand design company, one of the first topics often raised today is whether the stand will feature some type of interactive digital device. Although it very much depends on the type of industry an exhibitor is in, the lack of technology on a stand can come as a disappointment to potential customers.
Creating a Personal Connection
After the exhibitor and exhibition stand design company have agreed upon the perfect stand design, the next step in delivering a true event experience is creating a buzz before the event. Ideally, this should start with various event-related marketing posts on Twitter and Facebook which can be shared by the target audience. By continuing the social media activity during the exhibition itself, and encouraging visitors to upload photographs and videos in real time, a personal connection between exhibitor and customer is made. It is this emotional bond which creates that all-important immersive event experience.
In today’s social-media-dominated society, a person who has an experience is likely to share it with their online community. The very nature of social media now ensures that such word-of-mouth spreads far more quickly and to a much larger audience than it would have in the pre-online days. It is a marketing dream for those companies that can offer a true event experience.