Both attendees and exhibitors prefer one-on-one interactions as their chosen method of face-to-face connection at trade shows, according to the latest report from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR). More than half (56 percent of attendees, 67 percent of exhibitors) said that they prefer one-on-one interactions for both pre- and post-purchase contact. It’s interesting to note that the reasons for attending an expo haven’t changed that much in the past 25 years. EXPO recently published a list of the top reasons from 1987, and not surprisingly the top two reasons are seeing new products and meeting sellers face-to-face.
But it’s not all about the in-person meetings anymore. There are many tools that can effectively expand the reach of a trade show or conference. For example, you could blog live from your booth, sharing text updates, images or videos. Of course, this plan is dependent on the WiFi capabilities of the venue. Another tactic that a few shows have begun to use is Pinterest. Now in case you’re not familiar with this tool, it’s a virtual bulletin board where users “pin” images to a themed board. (It’s also fast becoming one of the major social media players.) Both show organizers and exhibitors could create boards, creating a look and feel of the show online. When you link back to your blog or website from the pins, that can also drive more traffic to your site.
And speaking of online meetings … be sure to RSVP for the live webcast kickoff for the Exhibit Marketers Café on Oct. 2. We’ll have special guest experts, a behind-the-scenes look at the Café, ask-me-anything Q&A, bonus gifts & more.
With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. She travels the country consulting and training both exhibitors and show managers. She's the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, host of the Trade Show Insights blog-cast and creator of the ExhibitorEd Success System, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the Exhibit Marketers Café. To request an “Extra Shot of Exhibit Success” go to www.ExhibitMarketersCafe.com.