So, what do we have to look forward to in 2014 and what new and continuing trends should trade show marketers have on their radar?
Here’s 5 trade show trends for 2014 that are sure to keep picking up steam!
Trade Show Rental Programs Stay Strong
Renting vs. purchasing trade show exhibits and booths will continue to be a viable solution for your trade show marketing program. Not only are there cost benefits to renting your trade show exhibit over purchasing, but the modular nature of many exhibits – it’s quite possible to have the true look and feel of a custom exhibit without purchasing, storing and maintaining an owned property.
In fact, there are numerous benefits to renting, which include:
- Ability to look different from show to show
- Reduced costs by not having to store and maintain your exhibit
- Flexible cost structures, which may include “rent to own” programs
- Exhibiting at more than one show at the same time
Social Media Is Here to Stay
If your company isn’t already engaging with customers, peers and prospects via social media (Facebook, Google+, Twitter etc), you’re already a bit late to the party – but not too late. Currently only about 7% of marketers report NOT using social media for their businesses, which means that finding help should be relatively easy. Or if you plan to go it alone, there are numerous, credible resources and tools across the web to learn from.
To be sure though, social media use before, during and after trade show events will only get stronger in the coming year and you want to be on-board!
Marketing Automation Is Picking Up Steam
Marketing automation tools are being used, with great success, to capture leads, deliver personalized advertising and track/quantify ROI. When using email marketing to attract attendees before, during and after your event, marketing automation can be an invaluable tool.
Marketing automation can help you to market to prospects at all stages of your event and build profiles and warmer leads in the process. And due to it’s digital, online nature – everything is very easily tracked and quantified.
Interactive Kiosks & Tablet Usage
The use of interactive kiosks at trade show events is nothing new but is sure to show steady growth in the coming year. From attendee registration kiosks to those you use within your own exhibit, kiosks assist with content delivery and lead capture.
They’re fun to interact with, help draw visitors to your booth and can help reduce the amount of printed deliverables needed at your event. In fact, by having visitors interact with your kiosk and opt-in to receive digital brochures & catalogs they can be immediately added to your marketing automation system. And studies show that the majority of those printed brochures and catalogs never make it back to the attendees office anyhow!
Mobile Usage and Apps Providing Staggering Usage Rates
The numbers are in and mobile traffic accounted for 14.3% of all retail traffic this past Black Friday (according to IBM Coremetrics data). That is up from 5.6% in 2010!
While this is related directly to holiday shopping and not trade shows, the fact is – mobile usage is increasing at a staggering rate, across the board. Take this stat for instance – “91% of adults have their mobile phone within arm’s reach 24/7”.
The point is, if your trade show event is driving users to your website or landing pages – they had better be optimized for mobile devices or built “responsively”.
And let’s not forget about web and native mobile apps. Not only does your event most likely have a dedicated app but consider if designing and developing an app makes sense for your company – even if it’s just used for lead capture!
Of course these won’t be the only trends for 2014, but they’re certainly at the top of our radar!