03 Aug 2016

Exhibitor manuals are packed with vital information - from detailed build and breakdown timings or traffic schedules, to order forms for everything from electrical sockets, to flowers, to freight. They also usually include a tome of guidance and advice on how to make the most of your participation - training your team, stand etiquette, managing your leads, submitting your press packs.

But, surprisingly, considering the huge leaps forward in technology at events, there’s very little - if any - mention of making an impact at the event, or standing out from the crowd, or the newly available technologies that can help achieve that. There’s very little guidance around attracting the attention of passing visitors (bar the usual list of how not to do it) and nothing on actually engaging them at your stand.

In fairness, who could be better placed than the exhibitors themselves to know what methods, what conversation starters, what teasing titbits will best interest their potential visitors? And yet, when you’ve gone to such great lengths to get them to participate and you’ve hand-fed them all the logistical and practical elements to help them make the show a success, it seems a shame not to equip them with some creative ideas about how they might differentiate themselves from their competitors. Or how, having encouraged a prospect onto their stand, they might best showcase their services.

The biggest brands are incredibly sophisticated in how they achieve this and organisers are likely wary of teaching their granny to suck eggs, but some of the SMEs we work with are still trying to foist a printed brochure into the hands of their unwilling visitor, or are collecting unqualified leads in a giant bowl so they can wield them as proof of the value of the event.

In today’s world, creating an impactful stand or experience doesn’t have to be mind-blowingly expensive. It doesn’t even need to be really high impact; just transforming a space from a pile of brochures to content on touchscreens or tablets so that can be really powerful, not only in helping the visitor access what they want when they want it, but also in changing the perception of the brand, making them seem more slick and sophisticated and ultimately more capable.

There’s a myriad of interesting tech based solutions which organisers could introduce exhibitors, and indeed visitors, to – from virtual reality headsets to mobile apps, from scavenger hunts and networking apps to gamification solutions, from social media sharing ideas to advanced data capture solutions which can stream data direct to their CRM. The big brands know all this, but the little guys who need the most help simply don’t know a lot of these solutions exist.

To help counter that, we’ve ‘productised’ some of our technologies, to create off-the-shelf SaaS versions which are low-cost and low-maintenance. We are offering them alongside our more bespoke systems as an entry-level option for those who want to up their game on a limited budget.

We’ve created an Event Tech Roadshow, which we’d be happy to bring to an Exhibitor Day to help inspire exhibitors with ideas of what is possible. We’re also working with organisers to create a short guide to the event technology they can include in their exhibitor manuals, as an ideas-generator for exhibitors to get more creative on their stands.

Ultimately, if there’s a place for a floral order form in your exhibitor manual, isn’t it high time you added an event technology order form? We’re happy to help you achieve this, give us a call on 0345 226 3083 to discuss.

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