Using Technology at a Tradeshow

by Sonny Cutting

My last piece focused on the Power of Face-to-Face events, and as you’ll know from having read it, I’m a big believer in networking and creating real-life business relationships. However, this doesn’t mean I think technology has no place in business tradeshows; far from it. There are a number of impressive technological tricks both exhibitors and event organisers can use to create an innovative tradeshow experience, so in this piece, I’m going to name just a few examples that add wow factor to events.

 

Making sure an event is equipped with the latest technology builds intrigue amongst potential visitors, especially if said tech makes the tradeshow more accommodating. A brilliant example of this is charging stations. They not only allow visitors to stay at a tradeshow longer; but also create another area in which networking can take place between guests and exhibitors.

Another excellent addition to tradeshows is seminar earphones. Net XP trialled this tech at the Mid Sussex Exhibition earlier in the year and found it immensely successful. Having guest speakers talk through headphones to their audience meant that distractions were kept to a minimum, and chatty neighbours or busy tradeshow halls were drowned out. This brought value to guests, who were in turn more focused on the topic in question and more engaged with the speaker.

Exhibitors themselves should also try to utilise technology to attract visitors to their stands. While a business card bowl and box of chocolates may have worked in the past; it is quickly being overshadowed by the impressive interactivity of tablets that engage visitors beyond simply swapping details. It could be just a contact form that you use, but having digital surveys and quirky activities relevant to you and your business on hand work even better.

Now, this last one could perhaps be overlooked by some as it might seem glaringly obvious, but social media is powerful technology that should be harnessed by anyone involved in tradeshows. For organisers, it’s vital to nail down a social media strategy prior to exhibition day. That means regular posting from official accounts with recognisable hashtags, months before the scheduled date. This encourages potential visitors and exhibitors to engage before, during and after the event, in turn building trust and a positive reputation for the show, as well as generating a pre and post-show buzz online.

So whilst it is true that business is carried out between people, technology can undoubtedly enhance this in many fantastic ways.