Successful trade shows become known as the places to make connections and engage in lead capture, which can boost attendance and create opportunities. The more successful an event, the more tempting it is to keep everything the same. After all, if it isn't broken, why fix it? However, this approach can leave you hosting an outdated conference with declining numbers. To keep growing attendance, trade show managers need to continually update their events to reflect various trends in their industries.
Tip: Consider different formats to create excitement
The Los Angeles Auto Show recently announced that it will adjust its format to provide exhibitors and attendees with a better experience, BizBash reported. The event was founded in 1907 and has become one of the premiere events for major auto manufacturers to show off prototypes and concept cars. Instead of resting on their laurels, the show's organizers are extending opportunities for press coverage and hosting a Connected Car Expo during the first day of the event to encourage major announcements by big exhibitors.
Format changes influence the look and feel of a conference, keeping it relevant to the audience. Incorporating new technology can also improve attendee experiences. For instance, it has become common for exhibitors to use social media and video within their booth displays. Show organizers can also use these tools to engage potential attendees before and after an event to create networks that exhibitors can tap into to boost lead generation.
Tip: Don't be afraid to try new things
One simple strategy for incorporating social media is to hold a contest for exhibitors. Hubspot stated that contests are essential to capturing attention and creating excitement. The more creative you can be, the more effective the contest, so don't be afraid to enlist the help of others in organizing and executing this type of initiative. BizBash reported that during the Los Angeles Auto Show, organizers and the software company Splunk hosted a fast pitch competition to help exhibitors refine their sales pitch. A team of industry experts were assigned the task of determining who had the best 20-minute pitch during a special luncheon.
These types of changes can breathe new life into your trade show. Keeping formats and events fresh requires a consistent approach to following trends and monitoring the interest of the audience. With a little effort, even conferences that have been around for more than 100 years can be seen as cutting-edge.