The tools and techniques used for lead generation during trade shows are always changing. Businesses that fail to keep up with the latest trends risk being perceived as outdated or old-fashioned, which can hurt their chances of capturing leads. While there are dozens of trends impacting the industry, here are a few of the main ones to watch:
Social media use
Just about every aspect marketing is being impacted by social media, and trade shows are no exception. Businesses are able to kick-start discussions leading up to an event to generate excitement and ensure a good turnout, while also continuing conversations online following an event. The technology has made it easier to build a large network of potential customers, and a growing number of firms are making social media efforts part of their overall strategy for trade shows.
Virtual trade shows
Many firms are using social media networks to share news or run contests during conferences, which minimizes the need for people to stop by booths to get access to important information. Many industry experts have noted that this is providing a unique virtual element to trade shows. Some companies have taken this a step further to run virtual trade shows, where interested parties are invited to view videos or chat with representatives online.
American Image Displays noted that a number of publishers are using conferences to show off their latest e-readers. Other industries have also found industry trade shows a good time to announce products and showcase prototypes. Software designers often create specific demos for visitors to try out during these events, creating interest and building brand awareness.
My Display Source noted that exhibitors are getting more intimate with attendees by renting smaller spaces and using these to create a more inviting environment. The goal of this strategy is to make it seem like each booth visitor is getting individual attention. This includes customizing follow-up emails and marketing materials with information gleaned from trade show discussions.