In 2012, all corporate marketing activities will continue taking a hit and that definitely includes event participation, with all the planning and travel and lodging expenses that go along with it.
- Use floor plan and lead retrieval apps for smart phones. Save money on shipping equipment and hiring on-site tech support for complicated, outdated devices.
- Push speaker schedule updates and vital info out via apps and instant messages.
- There are hundreds of direct apps for events, trade-shows, associations and venues, try one.
- Don't assume - use new, less expensive 1D session tracking. See what's popular. Rinse. Repeat.
- Offer online agenda building for attendees.
- Offer sponsorships of mobile apps and eBlasts instead of printed guides.
- Encourage outreach to online communities like LinkedIn.
- Enhance show websites with multimedia like podcasts and videos – update constantly with news and links. Update site with videos of attendees and exhibitors throughout the show.
- Social media outlets like Twitter let you listen to your exhibitors on what’s working and what’s not - get feedback, provide quick updates. Here's a link to our 50 Social Media Ideas for Your Tradeshow.
- Instant polls in sessions with wireless devices.
- Use online registration and communications only to streamline staff workload when it comes to getting forms returned and manually entering information on each exhibitor.
- Spend less money on printed materials – offer electronic literature distribution, digital collateral. Post QR Codes at session entry points that link to PDF session handouts.
Now is the time to try something different, step out of your comfort zone - embrace new technology. Why? Cost savings and increased efficiency. With less money and less staff to help you, your best bet in 2012 will be improving procedures with technology. Get your event up to date with the latest technological developments.