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Creating an immersive exhibition experience

Businesses today don’t just want an exhibition stand design – they want potential customers to have an “immersive experience”. Fine – but what does that actually mean?

Seamless digital presence
Increasingly, the stand that users and customers see at the exhibition is just one element in a complete strategy that encompasses digital, social media and physical interaction with people in a real-time space.

For example, businesses can build engagement with people that they know will attend an upcoming exhibition event, via selective use of Twitter and Facebook social media groups. This makes people feel that they have been specially invited, and that when they approach the stand, they are already on a “guest list” of friends who will be welcomed.

It helps the sales team on the stand to get to know the people who may be there on the day, so the stand can become a muster point for people. Go the extra mile by offering to get your potential customers coffee, or to put their collection of brochures behind the stand so they can collect them later. All these small gestures build engagement and add to a sense that your business is friendly and helpful.

Remember at every interaction, to gather Twitter names, Facebook pages, email addresses and LinkedIn names.

Remember to follow up
Afterwards, it’s a good idea to follow up with tweets about meeting people, what the trade show was like, maybe what the traffic was like going home – anything to remind people that you have a shared experience. Hopefully, you will have captured video and photos from the day, so you can share these on Instagram and Facebook. This all helps to build a community of users for your products.

It can also help if you have a blog, where you can share your experiences of the show, and cross-link to social media and YouTube.

On the stand
What are your visitors looking for? You need to communicate this clearly to your exhibition stand designer. Do your potential customers want a display that goes into serious technical detail, and a professional expert to talk to? Or would they prefer a self-serve booth that allows them to state their requirements, give contact details and ask someone to get back to them?

If drawing your customers into an experience is important, you need to talk to your designer early, because it can involve sophisticated technology such as video walls, that the exhibition stand contractor will have to plan out. However, many immersive experiences concentrate on the exact opposite. They aim to take the visitor away from the stressful, busy atmosphere of a trade show and lead them into a completely calming chill-out zone, where they can regenerate.

So when you decide you want an “immersive” stand, think too about what that really means for your particular customers. A high-tech alternative reality experience? Or a calming space where they can perhaps sit down and be served a herbal tea? They’re both immersive but only an individual business can say which experience is right for the visitors to its stand.


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