Trade Show Technology Trends to Watch in 2012

Some of the strong technology trends that emerged in trade show and event marketing in 2011 are sure to carry through to 2012…

Indoor Positioning Systems use a new technology that is more precise than GPS.  In conjunction with smart phones and tablets, these systems could be employed in exhibit halls to track traffic, provide directions, and deliver advertising and promotional messages. In conjunction with QR codes, the technology could be used to create a high-tech scavenger hunt.

QR Codes are popping up everywhere. Once incorporated into graphics, Quick Response codes can be used to run contests and videos, or to convey brochures and websites. They work best with “click to value”, so be sure to give attendees a reason to scan. Don’t limit QR codes to the trade show booth; think about getting them onto other promotional material, even lanyards.  For now, the audience may not be familiar with how QR codes work, so they should be accompanied by instructions, and a shortened URL alternative.

Social media integration is not new, but it is not going away. Twitter hashtags are a great way to connect with attendees.  YouTube videos of your booth in action could extend the reach of your booth beyond the exhibit hall. Something as simple as taking visitors photos at your booth and tagging them on Facebook could put your brand in front of hundreds of new prospects.

Free Wifi is increasingly in demand by trade show attendees and exhibitors. Look into the possibility of sponsoring the WiFi access to elevate your company’s profile.  Don’t forget to make sure your website is mobile-friendly.

Interactive Kiosks such as Kaon’s Presenter Pro, which was named a “Buyer’s Choice” at the Exibitor2011 world conference and exhibition for trade show and corporate event marketing, are here to stay. No matter how knowledgeable the trade show booth staff, if they’re outnumbered they may not be able to help everyone who stops by. Also, some people prefer perusing products and information on their own. Kaon’s technology allows customers to explore, learn and engage with products with or without assistance.  On a smaller scale, iPads loaded with the company’s product catalog can encourage customer interaction.

Technology provides valuable tools to connect with the customer. It doesn’t replace human contact, but it can enhance the interaction and help you stand out.  There’s no substitute for face-to-face conversations.

What trends do you see being big in 2012?

About darlenehollywood

Public Relations agency principal fixated with B2B and B2C marketing trends.
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2 Responses to Trade Show Technology Trends to Watch in 2012

  1. Pingback: AASP/NJ Announces First-Ever ‘NORTHEAST Exhibitor Boot Camp’ Seminar | Auto Ecommerce Trade Association

  2. Very good point on wifi access – especially free. Now, this is not going to turn around quickly. Interestingly, I found a prediction for 2007 that also indicated wifi as the thing to happen. This is a “keep up at night” convention center managers.
    Architecture issues: A lot of the convention centers were built as fortresses, so now wifi access points are difficult to execute.
    Heavy investment: For a trade center, the wifi infrastructure alone can run from 500K to a lot more than that – not inexpensive technology.
    When talking to the infrastructure managers that try to keep the capital costs down while maintaining competitiveness, this is one of the wicked issues.
    Security: The other issue to consider is security of the wifi network. Everyone expects open access – with all the manageability complexity of the firewall and scanning.

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