New Trends in the Trade Show Industry
In today’s world, if you aren’t able to “roll with the punches” and adapt to change, you are going to get left behind. This is not only true of your day-to-day life, but the exhibition and trade show industry as well.
There is a single, fundamental reason that people exhibit: to get their brand, business, product, or service noticed. However, if you want to create a successful exhibit, you have to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of this industry. You also need flexibility to ensure you can respond and utilise new trends to stay a step ahead of your competition.
The information here highlights some internal and external factors that affect this industry and also discusses some ways that you can use them to benefit your trade show presence.
The external factors that affect the trade show and exhibition industry are vast. While some are extremely difficult to predict, being aware of what they are and then using them to benefit your presence is paramount in ensuring you create a successful exhibit.
The Impact of Globalisation
For more than a decade, the upward trend of globalisation has reduced how important the definitions of boarders are, which has allowed easier international growth. This leads to people from all corners of the world coming to tradeshows. When you create an exhibit for a trade show, you have the opportunity to connect with people from foreign markets. This presents the perfect opportunity to enter a new location.
In the past seven years, the technological advances that have been made are nothing short of amazing. Such advances have completely changed the way the trade show industry can capture data and the way you reach out to visitors of your booth. However, these technological advances also come with more distractions for the visitors.
There is no way to avoid a discussion about the economy. When the economy suffers, so does every industry in existence, including trade shows. When a recession is in place, the exhibitors and organisers at these shows are no longer able to rely on just the appeal of the show to attract the visitors needed. It is imperative to be aware of what is going on with the economy and what the additional cost of marketing is going to be to ensure exhibiting is worthwhile. The only way you can overcome an economic downturn is to be savvy and invest in marketing that sparks interest.
There are also quite a few internal factors that can influence trends in the exhibition industry. In most cases, these are factors that are much easier to predict. However, you still need to be aware of what they are.
Before the Internet and social media, one of the best ways for companies to engage with customers was at an exhibition or trade show. Regardless of if you consider it better or worse, this is no longer the case. You have to engage with your customers all the time to drive them toward engaging with you at an event. If you want to remain competitive, you have to have a strong presence online. You can’t just rely on trade shows to give you the boost you need anymore.
As a result, exhibitors have to find ways to educate buyers. Stand visitors are going to be aware of what you have to offer. Therefore, you need to increase awareness before a show and then invest in the exhibit to stand out to potential buyers who may have already figured out what stands they want to visit.
Who is Paying to Attend?
In the past, if you wanted to go to a trade show, you had to pay. There was an inherent value offered by these shows, which meant that people were willing to pay a premium so they could attend. Then at some point the shows were changed and became free. With the diminished value of the show, the cost to attend also went down. The majority of trade shows nowadays offer free attendance. However, there are some new programs that have emerged referred to as the hosted buyer programme. This creates engagement outside of the traditional trade show setting between the host and seller. After a meeting is arranged, the cost of traveling is covered by the supplier to ensure qualified leads.
The best way to network is to force trade show attendees to sit through your B2C or B2B interactions, right? Modern shows provide a more laidback networking area. This is where emails can be checked and phone charging stations set up. However, this may not be the best way to network. When you announce that you are going to have an exhibit at a tradeshow, the networking efforts should begin then. Make sure that you contribute to the conversation on social media and are creating sharable content related to the potential attendees of the show. No longer is networking so cut and dry. It is a process that has to be done consistently and isn’t considered just a handshake while drinking coffee.
Today, data is considered to be big business. You can no longer just guess how you did at the last show where you set up an exhibit. There is now more software than ever before to capture information and apps that help you understand how you are doing at a show, often in real time. If you want a real understanding of your ROI, you need to embrace the data and use it. After all, your competition is also analysing such data.
The Bottom Line
While the information here may seem a bit broad, it has successfully covered a number of the recent factors that are affecting and impacting the trade show and exhibition industry. It is extremely beneficial to remain ahead of the game and vital that you stay updated on various factors that may affect how successful your efforts are. There is quite a bit of information online, but you need to remember that if you really want to be successful, you have to put in effort and time to do your own research.