How to Cut Through the Noise in Experience Economy with Trade Shows

Experience Economy” is the in-thing these days; exhibitors all around the world seem to be talking about it, not many of whom have the slightest idea of what it means, to begin with, and those who do, well, they often fail to make the most of it.

Let’s start with what the experience economy is and more importantly, what makes it the need of the hour?

The Introduction

If you have shifted your focus from the goods and services you sell, and are now engaged in delivering experiences that the customers can relish and be a part of, voila, you already know what experience economy is, but if you haven’t, here’s what you need to do – sell your goods and services, of course, that’s what you are out there for, but do it with a different approach – try and emphasize the effect(s) your offerings can have on people’s lives. Once you do that, there’s no stopping you!

Trade Show and the Experience Economy

What is that you aim to achieve through your company’s participation in exhibitions, events and trade shows? Reaching out to the customers? Hosting a conference or organizing a roadshow isn’t going to get you there anymore. You have to look for new, engaging ways. Simply put, unless the customers or the attendees are the core of everything you do, you won’t succeed, not in today’s modern, multi-sensory world!

Ways to Succeed In the Experience Economy with Trade Shows

  • Cash in on shareability: Given the fact that your customers are already using the social media to capture their lives’ moments and share with hundreds and thousands of followers, it shouldn’t be a problem for you to deliver shareable experiences. The icing on the cake is that even those who are not physically present at your events can now be a part, right from the comfort of their home(s), if and when you give the attendees enough reasons to share their experiences online.

 

  • Let them dive in: The attendees are looking for multi-sensory experiences, the ones that they can be a part of and/or relate to. Give them what they look for. Use virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to your advantage, but make sure you deliver immersive experiences if you are looking for genuine emotions or responses. The idea is to grab their attention, and if you can virtually teleport them from one part of the world to another, they’ll be all ears (and eyes), and pay attention to whatever it is that you have to say.

 

  • Appeal to all five senses: There are only two ways to go about any Trade Show – you either stand out from the competition or you don’t. The difference lies in whether or not you know how to incorporate sensory activities into your Trade Show. Choose the right kind of music, be careful while zeroing in on the light activations and offer unforgettable culinary experiences and you are good to go. And of course, if there are some interactive activities that the attendees can be a part of, there’s nothing like it.

 

Here’s the thing: the attention spans are way shorter now, and also those who attend your Trade Shows expect a lot more than they used to. It’s high time you adapt to the change and offer immersive, multi-sensory, and disruptive experiences. Do it now, before the competition decides to make the most of the experience economy, leaving you with little to no choice.

 

How An Audit Of Assets Or The Lack Thereof Could Impact Your Next Show

If you think preparing for a trade show is a piece of cake, think again. You not only need to design and fabricate your booth, but also contemplate fetching (or evaluating) the assets that would make it a booth in the first place. Yes, in the absence of important assets such as branded displays, a lead capture and/or management system, demo gear, and marketing collateral, your booth is nothing more than a box, one that would fail to draw in the crowd.

Of course, whether you design the booth on your own or outsource it to one of the leading exhibition booth designers & builders, either way, you do need these assets. And if you already have them, it is imperative that you conduct an audit, a thorough one indeed, as you ramp up for your next show, more so because if something’s missing or is in dire need of repairs, you should at least have some time on hands to do the needful.

 

Hope For The Best, But Prepare For The Worst

Start off with some of the biggest assets, say, your booth. Dust it off and see if there’s any damage that must be taken care of.

Look closely. Chances are that if you have used the same booth or exhibit for quite a few shows, it would have a couple of rough edges by now. Get them fixed at the earliest.

If the booth designer has an in-house warehouse, and that’s where your booth is at the moment, do stop by for an inspection. Again, doing so would give you the time to get the modifications done, if any.

And if you don’t have a booth to begin with, needless to say, get one designed at the earliest.

 

Is Your Marketing Collateral Worth Its While?

You do know that marketing collateral could get the word out, but so do the other exhibitors at the show, and in all probability, the attendees would go home with dozens of pamphlets, pins and lanyards. Or would they? Maybe not. Many of them will throw away the “prized” collateral on their way out.

Here’s what you could do:

Take along two different types of materials. The first one could be just a piece of paper, which you can hand over to just about anyone, who comes in or merely passes by your booth.

The second type however needs to be of relatively better quality; like a glossy booklet or a press kit perhaps. Do not keep them out in the open for all to see. They are better concealed, and should be handed over to only those with the purchasing authority. You could also consider giving them to your qualified leads.

Better still, go paperless. Offer digital copies of your material, especially if the millenials form a great chunk of your target audience; anything digital goes down well with them for obvious reasons.

Just so you know, even 3D-printed coasters, scratch-off cards and vibrant stickers make for great marketing collateral – basically, anything and everything that does the trick and is unlikely to make its way into the trash can.

 

Are Your Technologically Ready?

When conducting an audit in the weeks and days leading up to your next show, do keep a tab on the latest technology as well – because that’s the only way you could offer the attendees an immersive experience – something that they look forward to. Depending on what you sell or offer, you may need some or all of them:

A computer terminal

AR & VR equipment

Interactive displays

Beacons, geofencing or any other location-aware technology

 

More importantly, if your product could benefit from a demonstration, make sure you do a test run to get a reality check before you bring it to the table.

In short, don’t let the niggles prevent you from putting up a good show. Conduct an audit, a timely one for that matter. Being forewarned is forearmed, remember?

Is Automated Event Registration Worth Its While, Or Good For Nothing?

Event management is no piece of cake; if anything, it’s quite the opposite – there’s a lot you must do, but chances are that you won’t have enough time to do it all. And that’s when automated event management comes into the picture – it takes the burden off your shoulders and gives you time, and time is money, right?

Word is that automation is on the rise; exhibitors from all over the world are using it to their advantage.
And not just shows, marketing automation has paved way for successful roadshows and award ceremonies as well.

But the question is: is it yet another flavor of the week, or is automation here to stay? More importantly, what good could come out of it, if you do plan to give it a shot for your next trade show? Let’s find out.

It’s Not New!

Automated event registration is not something you would have heard of for the first time – it’s been there for quite some time now. Seasoned event professionals across the globe swear by it, and maybe rightly so. After all, it does help you maximize engagement, and with correct implementation, could boost the event attendance by up to 20%. And don’t you agree that the task of registering guests and passing on the necessary information to them could take ages, and even worse, it’s a quite a mundane one, to begin with? Well, if that’s a yes, here’s some good news. Cloud-based registration tools could offer you a much better experience. So, it’s a win-win!

Or Is It Now?

You may have chosen the best available online registration software for your next show, but one thing’s for sure – it would warrant some management – quite less, agreed, but definitely not nil. Oddly enough, if you have your hands full, even that little work would add to your woes, thereby defeating the very purpose of embracing automation in the first place. Here’s what may be a deal-breaker:

– You’d still have to deal with enquiries; can’t let them go

– Not all your delegates may be as tech-savvy as you are. And if they are not, be ready to hand-hold and take them through the sign-up process

– And what about payments? Card or invoice, either way, you could land in the soup!

Is there a way out?

Thankfully, There Is!

Find an expert, one who could help you get the most out of automated event registration, but do make sure that the expert or partner you outsource to, does justice to the job. Here’s a checklist that could come in handy:

– Is the software easy to use? Or would the attendees have a hard time comprehending it?
– Is an instant confirmation on the plate?
– Are the fee payments being handled? Or you need to take care of them?
– Does it offer value for money? Is it only about registration or could the attendees also expect their travel and accommodation needs to be taken care of?
– What about social media? Is some kind of integration possible, or is it a big no-no?

The bottom line is that automated event registration could be a game changer, provided you know how to go about it and are able to avert the loopholes involved.

Heimtextil 2018: Why You Must Be At The Trend Barometer For Textiles?

If high-caliber buyers from over 130 countries visit Heimtextil each year, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t. Not that you need a reason(s) to be at the first trade show of the year for home & contract textiles, but it’s always good to know what you could look forward to:

Discover the impact of urban life: Urbanization is the buzzword at the next edition of Heimtextil. When the future is urban, that’s exactly what it should be, right? In fact, the Heimtextil 2018 “Trend Book” is all set to explore how the urban future is likely to shape the spaces around us – the spaces which we live, work, shop and socialize in.

Interestingly, you’ll be presented with four different opportunities, namely, The Flexible Space, The Healthy Space, The Re-Made Space and The Maker Space – opportunities that you could grab to explore and/or witness the major lifestyle trends as well as the designs, materials, and colors in vogue.
Of course you could look for inspiration, but then there will also be a lot of information for you to grasp – information that can come in handy for sure, if not now then maybe later, or whenever it is that you decide to come up with long-term ideas in tandem with the future consumer behaviour, while keeping the design and colour trends in mind.

Target the pet lovers: If pet lovers form a major chunk of your target audience, there’s no better place to be at than the Heimtextil 2018, more so because there’ll be a new show dedicated only to animal textiles. The show named “All About Pets” would make the otherwise difficult task of reaching out to pet lovers a lot easier – you can easily showcase your products & accessories for animals to an audience with avid interest, thereby achieving the very purpose of participation.

Benefit from the new exhibition format: Yes, there will be a new exhibition format that you should look forward to, and try to get the most out of.

If you have been on the lookout for the perfect platform to let the world know about your innovations and product solutions, look no further – right from acoustic textiles to modular carpets, and from products with abrasion-resistance properties to innovative wall coverings, you could contemplate presenting anything and everything that’s relevant (and preferably new) in terms of interior design, at the “Interior.Architecture.Hospitality Expo”.

And the best part is that the new format would give you the opportunity to understand and meet the requirements of the hotel sector as well as the architects.

More importantly, the expo’s accessible location at Hall 4.2, in close proximity to the Trevira Presentation and the Salon, is likely to generate a higher footfall than expected. Now that’s a win-win!

With more than 3,000 exhibitors, Heimtextil has been one of the largest trade fairs for home and contract textiles, and the 2018 Edition would be no exception. If anything, it would be larger, especially because some of the key players from the industry including Afflatus International, Narayan Overseas, URBAN VILLE B.V., and Shreysha Textiles will be there. So, block your dates from 9th to 12th January 2018, plan your trip to Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and be ready to eat, sleep and breathe textiles for four days. Whoa!

Here’s How Your Exhibit At Dubai Woodshow Could Yield Better Results

There are shows that only generate business, and then there are shows that go beyond the obvious – shows that let you achieve a lot more, and are not only about on-site sales and/or lead generation – The Dubai Woodshow is one such example.

In fact, it’s more of a platform, one where the Wood & Woodworking Machinery industry in the MENA region comes together, giving the exhibitors the perfect opportunity to showcase their products & services, and create brand awareness at both regional and international levels – a platform where the exhibitors get to connect with the key visitors; visitors who have the purchasing authority – a platform that facilitates interactions with the industry experts and makes it easier to keep tabs on the latest industry trends and technologies.

In short, it’s a platform that you, as an exhibitor, shouldn’t miss out on, and now that that’s been established, here’s how you could get the most out of your participation in the next edition, to be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, from 12 to 14 March 2018:

Identify your goals: Your exhibit at the Dubai Woodshow would give you access to more than 10,000 elite trade professionals from the MENA region and beyond, making the otherwise difficult task of promoting and displaying your latest products and services a lot easier. Is that what you want? Or would you be more interested in meeting suppliers, manufacturers, trade associations and institutions, and establishing new contacts? How about both? Whatever it is, make sure that you and your team know what you are out there to achieve, and you would have a much better experience.

Start early on: Your exhibit is supposed to let you engage with the prospects, right? But you don’t really have to (and shouldn’t) wait for the show to begin to connect with them; try and do that beforehand; well in advance for that matter. Use the social media to your advantage. The 2017 Edition of the Dubai Woodshow saw 9455 unique visitors, and the number is expected to rise even further in 2018. So, you have a task at hand; do it diligently. Let LinkedIn and Twitter be your aids. Follow your prospects; let them know of your participation. Should they attend the show, they must be aware of your exhibit.

Put up a good show: Your success at any show is very much dependent on how your staff behaves, how good you are at grabbing the opportunities, and whether or not you keep abreast of the latest technology – the Dubai Woodshow is no exception. Train your staff; let them know the do’s and don’ts. Plan for product demos, and see if you could also be a part of any of the speaker sessions. The idea is to make the most of your time out there, on the show floor. And yes, do everything you can to draw the crowds. You may consider putting technology to good use. With interactive screens and VR, you could easily become the center of attraction.

Whether you are a manufacturer, trader, supplier, or distributor of MDF or veneer, or you offer your services as a carpenter or architect, there’s a lot you could achieve at the Dubai Woodshow. It’s just the how that you need to work on.