With the turn of the year many businesses are already planning their trade show events for 2018 whilst many more have already got a full trade show schedule lined up. As 2017 ends, there have been a number of trade show trends that we’ve noticed emerge and some of which we are sure will power through 2018, too. Here’s how to make the most of them.
The amount of technology involved in trade shows shouldn’t be a surprise. With augmented reality and virtual reality becoming more commonplace, trade show stands utilising technology to engage with visitors is becoming more prominent as a trend.
Although this can seem like a big investment, it entirely depends on how you decide to tackle the technology trend. We’ve seen some firms create a competition around getting the best time on a PlayStation racing game, whilst others have bought a Scalextric track. Others have kept it simple and bought the latest iPhone or iPad as a giveaway prize in exchange for your information.
Whilst we’ve previously seen trade show stands go crazy with budget, a new trend that has emerged shows how companies are instead being clever with their budget. Excellent trade show stands don’t necessarily mean they have to have a big investment and therefore many businesses are gravitating towards the more affordable options whilst placing a heavier emphasis on their people.
It’s no longer enough to collect an array of email addresses and simply blast them with your marketing material in the hope that they will make a purchase. Personalised experiences at trade shows are becoming the norm and businesses need to ensure their embracing this trend in the coming year – it won’t be going away any time soon.
A standard trade show stand with a few banners might not be enough to catch the attention of passers-by, and so companies with limited budgets are coming up with more creative ways to engage with visitors. We’ve seen everything from themed crossword puzzles, to professional balloon artists.
Brand continuity is something that’s become of paramount importance in recent years and 2018 won’t be any different. Brand voice and brand story are going to be some of the biggest drivers of trade show trends. With customers having more purchasing control than ever before, conveying the brand story through continuity is vital.
Despite being in the world of technology, the trends that have emerged throughout 2017 and those that will continue into 2018 evolve around human interaction and the human connection that develops as a result of networking at trade show events. People are less likely to invest money in a robot when with a competitor they can get to know a real person and feel connected to them.
In recent years, the essence of trade show events has become lost in translation, so this new trend that emphasises the importance of human interaction is going to be one of the biggest drivers of 2018 trade show events.