Seven Ways Corporate Events and Tradeshows Are Evolving

Corporate events and tradeshows are nothing new, but noticeable changes in the way such events are orchestrated have taken place.

Understanding the evolution of corporate events and tradeshows is a good way to get a grasp of what today’s audiences are looking for at such events and how to leave a good—and hopefully lasting—impression. Technology is the most obvious change. However, tradeshows and corporate events have evolved in other ways over the years, including how such events are marketed and presented.

Let’s take a look at seven ways corporate events and tradeshows have evolved this past decade.

1. Apps

Yes, there is an app for that tradeshow you’re planning. That includes apps for everything and anything related to tradeshows and corporate events, no matter how simple or elaborate. Many of the tradeshow apps out now can be customized to further promote your event or help attendees plan their day at your event. Apps can also help attendees keep track of all the information typically presented at a tradeshow or corporate event.

2. Emails and texts

Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, emails are relevant again. You can easily send out mass emails or texts to inform all relevant personnel of any last-minute changes. Emails can also be used to promote your event, especially since you easily send out the same email to all relevant parties. That allows everyone in attendance to be fully prepared when coming to your events. This is also a great way to send out quick follow-ups or you can add new contacts you meet at your event to your email mailing list. The possibilities are nearly endless. You can text other employees to ensure that everybody is on the same page. You can even solicit immediate feedback following a successful encounter or transaction at your event.

3. Smartphones

Aside from texts and emails, smartphones can also be used when you make a sale at your tradeshow. Instead of jotting down customer information, you can easily complete the transaction right there with attachments that turn your smartphone into a card-swiping machine. Smartphones also allow you to easily add contact info without worrying about losing it before you get back to the office.

4. Interactive exhibits

Gone are the days of simple poster boards and a few product samples. Exhibits are more interactive than ever. Potential customers often have the option being directly involved with some high-tech exhibits. Real-time adaptions, including some in 3-D, often greet attendees at today’s tradeshows. Data can easily be accessed at the touch of a button to allow potential customers to see the benefits of specific products and services without having to sit through a boring sales pitch or walk through an assortment of booths while someone hands out a brochure.

5. Measuring results

It’s no longer enough just to “have a feeling” that your tradeshow or corporate event went well. These days, it’s all about cold, hard data. Just about every aspect of your tradeshow or corporate event can be measured, from the number of visitors to your booth to your ROI ratios. Even any sales generated following your event can be measured in real time. You can easily see where your budget dollars went and how effective your results were, which allows you to make productive adjustments for your next event.

6. Knowledgeable buyers

You are no longer the main source of information for your attendees. Today’s potential customers and clients are more informed than ever. Don’t be surprised if someone coming to check out your event already knows how your last product launch went. You can also be pretty sure that your attendees have read any online reviews about your business to determine how trustworthy you are. That means you need to be just as prepared, if not more so.

7. Social media

For all that social media can do, it will never replace the actual advantages of putting together a great tradeshow or corporate event. That is mainly because human connections still matter in the business world, especially when you’re promoting your business or showcasing upcoming products. Besides, there is something about the actual interaction with people that can’t be replicated—at least, not yet. Social media, however, can be a great way to promote your event and send out photos and videos from your event as it happens and once it’s concluded.

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If you find that your tradeshow or corporate event isn’t as successful as it used to be, it might be time to make a few changes. The more adept you are at incorporating new technology into your event, the more likely you are to see productive and cost-effective results.

Kristine Mason has worked as a business consultant for the past seven years with some of the largest brands in the US.
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