To celebrate Core-apps 10-year anniversary, Trade News Network chatted with Wayne Crawford, Core-apps’ veteran vice president of sales. He gives some insight on the top 10 technologies that have changed trade shows over the last 10 years.
10 Technologies that Have Evolved Trade Shows in the Last 10 Years
- Event Apps: These have replaced printed binders of trade show information, placing it all in the hands of attendees everywhere they go
- Floor Plans and Booth Routing: These advanced systems offer routing features to help attendees find the exhibitors and products they want to visit
- Heat Mapping: This provides event organizers with a good snapshot of traffic flow, exhibitor and product interest, and also event session and special-feature interest
- Event Management Systems: These sophisticated systems can include floor plans, exhibitor lists, and a lot of information about their participation in the event for reporting and analytics
- Audience Polling: This provides the ability to capture real-time feedback from and engagement with trade show attendees
- Kiosks: These are used for navigational purposes to help trade show attendees find exhibitors, products, or anything they’re most interested in
- Beacons: These help with heat mapping, measuring check-ins at sessions, and are even used to prompt attendees to visit a certain exhibit
- Live Event Analytics: These provide the ability to report on the behaviors and reactions of attendees in real-time
- Chatbots: These can be voice-activated on event mobile apps, trade show websites, and even on trade show floors
- Augmented Reality: So far, the primary use is by exhibitors showing more information about specific products and how they work through 3-D modeling
The thing is, technology is rapidly changing. And the ability to adapt it and leverage it for your brand, within the trade show environment, could be the extra sizzle you need to get ahead of your competition.
We spoke with our Chief Marketing Officer, Rhiannon Anderson, to ask her a few questions to get her take on the most important technologies for today . . . and those she’s watching in the future.
Q: Out of Crawford’s top 10 technologies for the last 10 years, which ones do you believe are the most relevant and impactful for today?
Rhiannon: While all of these technologies have been impactful, I’m always going to lean more towards those that have the best potential to evolve to a face-to-face conversation.
Being able to do that effectively requires we know the audience we’re trying to reach: who they are, what they’re looking for, the pain points they feel, etc. That’s why I think the technologies that help us better capture, store, retrieve, and understand data and analytics are the most relevant. So, per the list above, event management systems and live event analytics.
I also think Audience polling is also important. It’s an engagement opportunity that will only continue to get better and evolve — especially with advances in connectivity through 5G.
Augmented reality is also on my most relevant list. There’s definitely a WOW factor with it on the trade show floor. But it’s also becoming more familiar with attendees, which is a good thing. There’s less of a learning curve. There’s also a cost effectiveness factor to consider for exhibitors.
Sure, there’s a significant expense involved, but it’s a one-time build. Essentially, you’re digitizing your product or your product’s physical space — and you can take it and use in trade shows, business meetings, new business pitches. Potentially, you can use it anywhere. And again, it’s only going to get better.
Q: In terms of technology, which ones do you see impacting the trade show industry in the future?
Rhiannon: I’m watching the continual evolution of augmented reality and how it stands as the inspiration point of a multitude of different trade show applications — especially as it relates to more one-to-one, human interactions.
Take a Hololens Headset. They’re expensive and cumbersome. Not to mention, most people probably don’t have the first clue how to use them — so there’s little familiarity.
But the idea of creating a gesture-based story or reactive content . . . there’s a potential to demonstrate your brand in a unique way (the WOW factor) without a significant space of separation that a headset creates. And when you layer a touch screen experience, and 3-D modeling, suddenly something new doesn’t feel so overwhelmingly foreign.
Q: For those looking to integrate technology into their trade show experience, what would your advice be?
Rhiannon: You have to consider value. Does it have the potential to actually give a return on your investment?
Also, my litmus for technology integration is this:
- Does it create qualified leads?
- Does it create better follow up, post trade show opportunities?
- Does it create a meaningful user experience that leads to human interaction?
Interested in more tips and advice to help create your best trade show campaign ever? Download our free resource: 7 Keys To An Irresistible Trade Show Campaign.