In addition, rising exhibiting fees and other related costs are making a return on investment a must. So, what's the answer? How can brands that market at in-person events produce engaging experiences and how can they track what's working and what's failing?
Incorporating experiential marketing principles at a trade show booth can seem like a daunting task, but with careful planning and some strategy, it can work wonders for the ROI. Essentially, the objective is to create an interactive and immersive display that provides an authentic experience that will drive networking and ultimately help the company gain qualified leads.
While this practice looks different for everyone depending on the brand and the type of customer they're looking to engage, this article is going to provide some best practices to keep in mind when planning a next exhibit.
DO: Reverse engineer exhibit to foster interaction.
DON'T: Create a made-for-all, one dimensional presentation.
It's no big secret that it's tough to stand out at trade shows. What isn't so obvious to many exhibitors yet is that attendees don't want a boring lecture. It's not personal and it does nothing to foster a connection between the brand and target consumers.
Instead, a company should aim for an experience that draws them in and engages them with their brand/product. The key to creating this type of experience is to consider what specific action they want the visitors to take and, as stated before, reverse engineering their exhibit to make it as easy as possible for them to take that action.
DO: Design a booth with the brand personality in mind.
DON'T: Use the same old signage and freebies that everyone uses.
As we stated earlier, it can be difficult to stand out among all the other booths that, quite frankly, look exactly the same. Instead, design a booth around the brand personality. Ask questions like:
What's the company's back story?
What's the brand mission?
What emotions do they want to evoke from consumers who interact with their brand?
What tangible products, informative media, or other features can a brand include to enhance, personalize, and create unique experiences?
DO: Incorporate interactive displays that increase engagement.
DON'T: Just aim for a "bigger is better" display that may just turn people off.
Experiential marketing doesn't just encourage interaction with customers, it enables them to show how a product or service works. One of the most beneficial ways to do this is by providing a live demo. This gives the brand an opportunity to educate consumers about their product but it also gives them an opportunity to see how their product works for themselves. As a result, live product demos tend to increase visitation rates and more importantly, dwell time and engagement.
Again, it's not about a one-way, unending lecture. It's more about providing an experience with a product and engaging with the audience. After all, 92% of trade show attendees say their reason for attending trade shows is to learn about new products, according to Trade Show News Network.
Obtain Metrics That Can Help Increase ROI
The most critical component to use experiential marketing at trade shows to increase ROI is, of course, a method for tracking performance metrics so a company can determine what worked, what didn't, and what can be improved upon for the next event.
This is called real time customer experience tracking and it is our specialty at FastSensor. We track customer engagement for ROI in real-world settings such as retail stores and trade shows.
Our technology can track foot traffic, dwell time, visitor profiles, and even conversion from displays so a brand can gain insight into their visitor experience and position their displays and their staff accordingly.
Our AI-powered analytics provide actionable data that can help a brand achieve optimal ROI by creating the ideal experience for visitors and generating more leads. Our passive tracking software goes beyond other forms of technology like Bluetooth and WiFi tacking by helping a company to:
--Track and engage with visitors.
--Collect behavioral data on visit frequency and dwell time.
--Explore how visitors navigate so the company can optimize their journey.
--Measure passerbys, conversion rates, and attractiveness.