Tracing the back-dated history of the trade show industry explains how exhibiting model came into existence- by demonstrating goods in market called “bazaars” specifically in Middle East. Fast-forwarding approximately 100 years, 1851 got legitimately engraved as a year marking the first-ever trade show hosted by Queen Victoria! Indeed history has a lot to showcase the bygone era of traditional marketing but when you look around, you will realize, you are all surrounded by automation-inspired technology.
Accepting the fact, technology innovation is largely considered as a process to accelerate, streamline and economize the activities around us; meanwhile, it has also contributed to transforming businesses across the world. Speaking of which, technology has always been a valuable aspect in delivering show insights, work efficiencies, and improved decision-making at the trade shows. Believe it or not, event technology has helped increase 20% trade show attendance, proliferate productivity by 27%, and reduce costs by 20-30%? Let’s unveil a few of the trade show technologies witnessed over the last decade!
Digital Directories/ Catalogs
Years back, printed directories and catalogs were in mainstream at trade shows. However, today, the numbers of printed directories are dwindling fast. By that time, a surge was witnessed in digital directories and catalogs resulting in print cost savings while enabling show investment somewhere else. Here are some compelling findings denoting the advancements seen in trade show industry with the growth in digital catalogs:
- Increase in visitors engagement by 33 %
- Increase in sponsorship sales by 13 %
- Decline in printing cost by 7 %
Event Software Programs
Two prime factors of trade shows are face-to-face marketing and lead generation- to which, strategic planning and right execution are just as fundamental to attain the success on show floor! However, in 2008World Economic Forum stated, “It’s crucial for event organizations to have core competencies- that come along with technology readiness”. In later years, event software programs such as etouches and schedulers came into existence streamlining communication and providing an optimal timeline to stay on track.
The American Marketing Association defines gamification as “the process of utilizing psychological and sociological factors driving intense gameplay to consumer measurement”. Gamification is a fantastic method to craft an environment on show floor that encourages active participation and holds attendees in an interactive mode. In fact, the response suggests that businesses gaining acceptance as investments in software programs show significant monetary benefits besides greater customer engagement. As a matter of fact, New York Based Company reported revenue growth by 126 % in the first half of 2013 soon after incorporating gamification software in its business model.
Virtual reality has drastically amplified the value of trade shows in past few years. Not even five years back, CES was proclaimed as the virtual reality technology show of the years in 2016- had an entire section of VR showroom that became a buzz in the tech world. A survey conducted in 2016 to collect responses in favor of Virtual Reality suggested, 52% of the customers were likely to associate with a brand sponsoring VR experience. Meanwhile, Intel showed a profound interest in representing what VR has to do with presentations and events by exhibiting in CES 2017.
Virtual & Hybrid Trade Shows
By the end of 2020, trade show industry took a drastic shift in hosting events. A situation with which we all are familiar! Virtual events in response to pandemic were likely to offer support to the tearing industry. Report submitted by Event Outlook, stated, 93% of business leaders invest in virtual events. On the other hand, same study report stated, 97% of event marketers expecting growth in hybrid trade shows. This new exhibiting model indeed gave flexibility and expansion to the industry.
Coming towards the end, last and foremost technology introduced by Sensations Exhibits called “Smart Booth” is another add-on to the list! Smart Booth comes with access to operate your physical booth by being remote. Hence, this decade has served tremendous technology innovations beneficial for the trade show industry while enabling organizers and exhibitors to make the most on show floor. Let’s embrace the offered innovations and see what the coming decade holds for future events!