The digital age has us neck down and staring at our phones 90% of the time. We’re constantly experiencing a taste of sensory content overload and ads are popping up that are catered to our interests and conversations. Which is why trade shows are such a valuable asset for a brand experience. As humans, we crave interpersonal communication and connecting with other people face-to-face. We crave stumbling upon experiences that are unexpected. We crave conversation. It’s only natural.
Trade shows are also a valuable space to share innovation, new ideas, new age design – and build value for brands. How? At trade shows, brands and consumers can converse in a way that’s embedded in interaction. So, how can we best connect with those around us while we’re there? Whether you’re hosting an exhibitor booth space or walking around as a show organizer, here’s a list of ideas to share your value in the trade show space.
Host a Meet-Up: When designing a booth, create a space where people can connect on the show floor. Perhaps they can schedule their own meetings prior to the show through an app or website – and when they’re there they can network and enjoy a collaborative space. Quick tip: Provide valuable assets to them while they’re visiting like small branded notebooks, pens, stickers, etc.
Get Steve Jobs About It: Set up a stage on the floor where you can showcase product, Steve Jobs style. You can invite different presenters to the stage to showcase their own product or show some from your own brand. If you want to get super interactive, have the audience vote on their favorite products, and execute the sharing session like a talent show.
Set the Stage for Speakers: Like the product showcasing idea, you can also utilize a stage for featuring unique speakers in your industry. The speakers or panel can go on throughout the day and you can post the schedule live on your website and on the show floor. To go even deeper into this idea, set up a Speaker Café Sessions where attendees can chat one-on-one with the speaker afterwards and ask questions/have coffee.
Influencer Sessions: In order to build brand awareness, create an influencer list of people in your industry you can personally invite to experience the brand. Perhaps you host a networking breakfast at your space or a questionnaire opportunity for people willing to discuss. Either way, pulling influential people into your space and giving them something in return can benefit you in the long run – these relationships enhance your hospitality. Interaction isn’t about a bowl of candy anymore – have local fresh foods and refreshments available for your guests. Note: this doesn’t have to happen on the show floor. You can also create your own space at a local restaurant or pop-up dining hall. Make it fun!
The overall theme here? Make people feel welcome in your space. It’s easy to get stuck in the whirlwind of trying to get in front of the people that matter. However, the bottom line is to make things personal and heartfelt, much like people do when they bring a fresh baked pie to the new family in the neighborhood.
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