Trade shows are considered by many to be a marketing medium that is rooted in old-school methods. It’s where people gather and talk, face-to-face, in a marketing backwater left behind by the tech revolution.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. Successful trade show marketers have embraced and integrated some of the newest major technologies. This tech-infusion has helped them attract more attendees to their booths, and improved their company image as being more modern and relevant.
Here are three of the most popular and growing technologies that exhibitors are using in their trade show booths:
The iPad (and their less-well known cousins the Tablet Computers) have revolutionized trade shows. iPads allow a booth staffer to carry with them anywhere in their booth a completely self-contained presentation tool. With an iPad, a booth staffer can show visitors photos of products, pdfs of product brochures, client interview videos, presentations (from either a PowerPoint file or a custom-made app), or simply navigate their company website to the most relevant info that supports each individual conversation. All the while using the touchscreen rather than having to use a separate mouse and keyboard. It makes for a smoother, more personalized, and ultimately persuasive conversation.
- Touchscreen Flat Screen Monitor
The advantages of the iPad (except for the portability) also hold for its big brother, the Touchscreen Flat Screen Monitor. These have come down in price to the point that more exhibitors are embracing them to allow for a similarly smooth and versatile presentation, but with a larger screen that increases impact and better communication when booth staffers are talking to a group, rather than an individual. They may be sitting on a table, or even embedded in a table top, or they are mounted onto a backwall. As these are more expensive than an iPad, consider renting them for your first show as a trial. If they work well for you, then consider buying your own, depending on the number of shows you exhibit at each year.
- LED Backlit Graphics
Backlit graphics have long been a popular visual tool to attract more attendees to your exhibit, especially in the sometimes dimly lit show hall. In the past, backlit graphics required a lot of expensive lights, plus laminated graphics that were delicate and hard to install and transport when scaled up to sizes more likely to make an impact. That has changed for the better, in two important ways. One, LED lights have replaced other forms of lights used for backlighting, because they are now much less expensive, can have a bright white color, and require less electricity, and give off little heat. Also, fabric graphics have evolved in price and construction so that a large fabric graphic can be backlit without need for image breaks or a light diffuser. This double improvement has unleashed the power of backlighting to create much higher impact exhibits. There are entire backwall displays and even island exhibits that have been built completely with backlit graphics.
To bring the attendee stopping-power of technology into your trade show exhibit, consider adding iPads, touchscreen flat screen monitors, and LED backlit graphics. These three tech tools are used by more of your exhibiting peers, and for good reason: because they work! Give them a try, and see your booth traffic and lead counts increase.
About the Author
Brian Gordon is a founding partner of Skyline Toronto, helping companies communicate their message through trade shows, events, and related displays. Clients include a broad spectrum, from Fortune 500 companies to small home-based operations. Areas of expertise include message creation, graphic and architectural design, exhibit display design and build of all sizes, set up and dismantle services locally and throughout the world, repair services, and educational trade show related seminars. Brian can be reached via his website at http://www.skyline.com/toronto-exhibits.