5 exhibition stand trends that will improve your success in 2020
Posted by Tom Oakes
If your exhibition success rate in 2019 left you red-faced like Jeremy Corbyn, here are 5 exhibition trends to use in 2020 to improve your ROI.
Hopefully 2020 will finally put the political circus behind us, leaving businesses to look forward. And so with that in mind, here’s five exhibition trends to start using in 2020 if you want to capture the increased vigour of those seeking your products or services.
You’ve only got a short window to keep any of your exhibition visitors engaged and captivated. In fact, Exhibit Marketing and Trade Show Intelligence found it’s a maximum of 60 seconds for 58% of visitors (and 6% wouldn’t wait at all).
That’s why the exhibition festivalisation trend is one that will continue in 2020. As to what to include, visitors surveyed in UFI & Explori’s Global Visitor Insights 2018/19 Edition, rated the following exhibition stand trends for their entertainment/enjoyment factor:
- Talks and presentations delivered in different ways
- New technology (such as virtual reality)
- Information networking
- Distinctive theming/decorations
- Interactive/audience generated content
- Fun ice-breaker activities
2/ Pass the Goldfish 3-second test
Keeping your visitors interested is vital but you need to get them to your stand first. And you have just three seconds to grab somebody’s attention at an exhibition, according to the book, Exhibit Marketing and Trade Show Intelligence. This is one trend that will never go out of fashion.
Your exhibition stand design is one of the first things people will notice, so it not only needs to be captivating, it needs to reflect your brand identity. The Centre for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) found that for 88% of respondents, building brand awareness was the most popular benefit of face-to-face interaction at trade shows.
There’s lots to consider to get it right – from the audience you’re targeting, and your brand identity, to your goals, budget and more.
For a thorough overview of all the things you need to consider, check out our blog: Exhibition Stand Design: An 8 point guide (to getting it right!).
Personalisation is a key trend that will continue in 2020. Many organisers now offer technology that helps match event participants with the right people at the right time based on their interests. As an exhibitor, you can use the data collected pre and during the event to send highly personalised notifications such as welcome messages or special offers based on interests or the attendee’s buying intent.
Many apps also include survey features, which can be used to offer a more personalised sales service during and after the event.
4/ Save the
A Royal Mail study shows that the top 3 words to describe mail are important, official and considered – whilst email brings to mind quick, spontaneous and informative
Exhibitions are a great opportunity to build better relationships with your warm leads, loyal customers, best referrers and any key industry influencers/journalists. Make sure they know why they should come along to say hello and why you value them with save the dates.
Like the trend for personalisation during the exhibition, there’s a move towards sending personalised invites based on CRM data. And whilst many of us seem to be engrossed in our phones 24/7, we’re seeing more clients using mail invites to help cut through the noise of email and social media
5/ Generate a PR and social frenzy
The industry press will often use exhibitions to uncover the latest products or disruptive service trends. Some will even offer teasers of what to watch out for at the event too. So if you’ve just launched a cutting-edge product or unique service offering, don’t miss the chance of press coverage. As well as sending personalised invites, consider sending them a video teaser or tagging them in a social media post.
And if you are featured before the show, maximise it by using the social proof on your stand e.g. ‘As featured in TechCrunch’ or ‘Voted TechCrunch’s “One to Watch in 2020’.
Keep the exhibition fresh in people’s minds by promoting it zealously in the month before the event. Include it on your email signatures, ensure every employee drops it into key conversations and go big on social to generate interest. Try experimenting with teaser videos and photos, special offers and competitions. And again, tag connections you’d like to see at the exhibition.