Think Beyond The Traditional Exhibition Model
The traditional exhibition model is undergoing a massive change. Successful organisers of expos and trade shows are looking at new ways to enhance the exhibitor experience, ultimately increasing their exhibitor ROI, and demonstrating the value of a participation in their event. While the traditional model certainly considers the exhibition stand as a central part of the investment, today's exhibitors need more reasons to spend money for an exhibition. How do you tackle this challenge as an organiser?
Be an “expo pioneer”
Doing things the same way they have always been done can be a real business and innovation killer. Thinking outside the box and finding innovative ways to design an exhibition is part of being an “expo pioneer”. How about "thinking outside the stand” and opening up new ways for exhibitors of getting involved in your exhibition?
You offer your exhibitors a space where they can present themselves in the best possible way. But there's so much more to it. What else do you offer them? How do you raise the probability that they can be found on the show floor? How do you help them to engage with trade show attendees?
Innovative experiences for the exhibition industry
Here are some great tips on how to enhance the exhibitor experience.
Combine digital with face-to-face.
Incorporate technology in your business and offer your exhibitors state-of-the-art digital platforms and websites. Offer them more advertising opportunities, for example banners on the exhibition website. Provide new ways for your exhibitors to get in touch and stay connected with attendees. Mobile apps offer great possibilities to predict visitor traffic on exhibition stands and help your exhibitors to get the maximum out of their investment.
Put a focus on Wi-Fi and mobile connectivity.
Stable Wi-Fi is a prerequisite for exhibitors and attendees. Many exhibitors enter their business contacts and leads directly into their CRM on the show floor. They also may want to check who visited their exhibitor profile, send out e-mails to promote stand events or simply check their e-mails and send out product information.
Organise networking events such as "Bird Of A Feather Lounges".
The exhibition stand is one place to meet potential clients and business partners. However, very often events that take place off the show floor or on industry associations' stands offer different and less formal ways of interacting with attendees. "After-show" hours or cocktail receptions are a nice way of bringing different event participants together in an informal and relaxed atmosphere. Your exhibitors will be grateful for any additional networking opportunities!
Make buying easy.
You demand a significant investment from your potential exhibitor. The last thing you want is to make the actual buying process an unpleasant experience. Don't create any extra work by issuing faulty proposals or invoices. Make sure the client data you get is correct and doesn't need to be re-entered for accounting purposes. Providing a digital "one-stop-shop" is a fairly elegant way of a) improving the exhibitor experience and b) generating upselling opportunities. Clever exhibition tools may suggest complimentary furniture or sponsorship opportunities based on the items the exhibitor has purchased.
There is a lot of room for creativity when it comes to planning and organising innovative exhibitions. I would be happy to hear about any example you successfully incorporated in any of your trade shows. Feel free to leave a comment below.
More tips needed?
If you wish to read more about enhancing the exhibitor experience and growing your revenue, download our free e-book “Hacking The Exhibition Bottom Line”.