Trade shows and conferences have always been about making connections. And while that hasn’t changed, many of the tools available have.
Social media is now a major player in creating connections before, during and after the event, which also extends those connections. Echelon Design created an infographic on “Social Media in the New Event World,” showing how organizations are using these tools. (Click on the image to view a full-size infographic.)
If you’re familiar with SXSW, you know the legendary event is a hub for cutting-edge ideas and technology, and this year’s SXSW Interactive trade show (SXSWi) in Austin was no disappointment. Some of the innovations taking center stage included smart goggles that relay messages to the wearer, 3D laser printers that create realistic objects, and a monitor on wheels that allows you to have an person-to-person conversation with someone far away. For more details, check out this article and slide show from CultureMap Austin. Perhaps all three of these inventions might make their way to a trade show near you in the not-so-distant future: the goggles for attendee interaction, 3D printers that print out samples of your product, and the robotic-style monitors for taking the show to a virtual audience (i.e. companies who rent out the monitors to attendees who don’t have travel budgets but want to walk the show, or exhibitors who want extra staff in the booth during select hours). How do you see these technologies in use on the show floor?
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Weekly News & Insights from SXSW … and the Vatican?
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Ever since I wrote my book, Build a Better Trade Show Image — ten years ago — I’ve been trying to convince both show managers and exhibitors that doing shows the same way won’t cut it anymore. If you look at the statistics for many expos (especially association shows), you’ll see the primary demographic is age 40-plus, with many averaging even age 50-plus. But if you want your show to stay alive, you better figure out how to reach the 20- and 30-somethings, and you better do it quick!
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Want Your Trade Show to Stay Relevant? Better Learn to Appeal to GenY!
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In case you weren’t able to make it to Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show this week, here’s a way you can keep up with what’s happening. CES has created a great dashboard that archives all their social media feeds, including Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr. So take a look at what you’re missing as well as get some ideas for what you can create for your own upcoming shows.
This week, Social Media Examiner posted 30 predictions from experts on what to expect this coming year. It’s definitely worth clicking over to read the entire article, but here’s a quick summary for you:
- Consolidate & focus (tips #1 & 16) – Which tools are working? Where does your target audience hang out?
- Use photos & videos (tips #2, 13 & 14) – Hard to believe YouTube is only 6 years old. How did we ever live without it? And more important … you are using video in your trade show marketing, right?