Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.
Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.

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16 Things You Can Do in a Virtual Tradeshow Exhibit

The use of virtual tradeshow exhibits may not be exploding, although my sense is that it is increasing. Some big tradeshows have gone completely virtual for the next year or so, maybe longer, depending on the depth and breadth of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Which leaves exhibitors in a bit of a quandary: what to do about virtual exhibits. Should you invest in one? Should you just wait out the pandemic and hope you can get back to live tradeshows in the next six to twelve months?

And if you are seriously considering a virtual exhibit, it’s important to consider all of the various things you can do in the exhibit. I’ve seen a few virtual exhibits lately, and there is a wide variety in the approach. Some exhibitors have chosen the simple, let’s-keep-the-cost-down approach. Others have tried to throw everything in but the kitchen sink.

As an aside, one exhibit maker I spoke with recently said that a recent client of theirs did a virtual exhibit and found that at the virtual tradeshow, they experienced a 700% increase in leads for a fraction of the cost of appearing at a live show. My eyes opened at that stat, and while it’s impressive, it’s likely not going to be a common experience for every virtual exhibitor. But it does demonstrate that there is a lot of potential in virtual tradeshows if you plan ane execute well.

Having said that, there are a number of ways to get engagement at virtual tradeshows. The first is crucial: make sure that potential visitors know about your virtual tradeshow exhibit so that they are prepared, put it on their calendar, and have expectations.

The second is to build the expectations and prepare for them by putting specific things in your virtual tradeshow booth that visitors want. Things they’ll respond to, interact with, and share with others.

From that starting point, the question remains: what should be in your virtual exhibit? There are many answers, and your company’s specific needs should help frame the answer. Here are a lot of the things, perhaps not all, that could go into your exhibit. Keep in mind that each piece will add to your overall cost, much like a 3D real world exhibit, and that each piece of content, such as videos or white papers or PDF reports, all will take time and money to create. Before finalizing your plan, create a budget based on all of the pieces you think are necessary to make your virtual tradeshow booth a success.

Here are a number of things you can and should consider:

  1. Product Demos
  2. A place to collect visitor’s contact information
  3. Download Center (PDFs, coupons, sales sheets, special reports, etc.)
  4. Archived video
  5. Live stream video
  6. Live chat
  7. Booth tour
  8. Schedule a meeting
  9. Learn about your company
  10. Learn about new products
  11. Give people the ability to share things on social media
  12. Steer people to your social media outlets
  13. Leave an audio or video message

No doubt if you put your mind to it, you can come up with more. What am I missing?


Pandemic SWOT Analysis

You’re familiar with a SWOT Analysis, I presume?

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

Year ago, I wrote a brief article on doing a tradeshow marketing SWOT Analysis, which would be a bit different from a more general SWOT Analysis.

But now that we’re in a pandemic created by the COVID-19, how would you approach doing a SWOT Analysis and is it worth doing?

Photo by PhotoMIX Company from Pexels

I would argue that while a formal SWOT is probably unnecessary, it’s not a bad idea to at least examine some of the changes the pandemic has wrought, to see what obvious and perhaps significant changes your company is facing.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

How are you positioned in the marketplace? Do you have new products about to launch? How are you perceived by your customers and clientele? Are you doing things to keep relationships going? Are sales strong or flat? Just knowing these and other related things will help you understand your position in the marketplace compared to your competition and compared to how you might have been with no pandemic.

Opportunities:

With no tradeshow marketing coming for at least another quarter or two, can you put the budget towards something else? Is a virtual event worth the investment? Can you do another kind of outreach for a fraction of the cost of exhibiting at a big tradeshow? Take a look at your options and see if there are missed opportunities that you may have overlooked.

Threats:

Are there marketplace threats you sense but perhaps haven’t put your finger on? Are your supplier lines still open and working well, or are there kinks that may signal something worse down the line? Do you have any competitors that are taking this time to move aggressively into an area that you thought you dominated? Threats are often overlooked because, unless you actively think about them and look for them, they can sneak up on you without you knowing until it’s too late.

All in all, doing a brief SWOT check-in may help you understand how the company is doing and give you insight and context in how you’ll handle the rest of the year and move into 2021.

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, June 1, 2020: Jonathan Tavss

What is the future of tradeshows, events and conferences? While most people in the industry I speak with think things will (mostly) get back to normal at some point, that may still be some time away. Which leaves virtual events as one way of keeping the clock moving forward.

This week’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee offers a chat with Kaleidoko’s Jonathan Tavss, who discusses a recent virtual event he helped facilitate, and what the future of tradeshows and events, combined with a strong digital presence, might look like:

Find Kaleidoko here.

This week’s ONE GOOD THING: Ted Chiang’s collection of short stories entitles Exhalation.

Selling in the Time of No Tradeshows or Events

The social distancing guidelines put forth due to the COVID-19 pandemic has effectively shut off a majority of the economy, like turning off a spigot. It would be easier to line-item the businesses that are open than those that are closed: grocery stores, drive-through coffee shops and some business offices. Ten million in the US have filed for unemployment in the past two weeks.

Ten Million.

The impact of this on the nation, on the world, is unfathomable.

I know many people who are sitting at home most of the day, binging TV shows or reading books or even playing board games or sharing music online. Others are making use of the time to learn a new skill, to tackle that novel, to write music, to create.

Others don’t know what to do.

If you’re still working, whether from home or in the office, and you have to sell to keep things going in the company, what do you do? What approach do you take?

I subscribe to several sales newsletters and thought I’d share a few thoughts. Some came from the newsletters, others from just my own experience. But here we are in a time where it’s difficult to even find someone to talk to.

First, when you call, it makes sense to ask your contact what approach their company is making. Are they putting everything on hold for the time being, awaiting the end of the social distancing and figuring they’ll kick back into action when the pandemic is over? Or are they moving forward with business as usual, as much as they can?

If it’s the former, tell them, that, ‘yeah, it’s a crazy time, I get it,’ and ask if you can send a quick email with your contact information so that when we do get back to normal they can reach back out to you. If it’s the latter, move into your typical sales questions to uncover any needs they may currently have for what you’re offering.

Seems appropriate somehow… (click to play the album!)

Another part of the equation is what you’re selling. If you’re in the restaurant supply business, chances are that your potential buyers are not even open, unless they’re doing take-out or drive-thru only. If you’re selling Personal Protective Equipment for health workers, you probably can’t keep up with the demand. It all depends on the specific products or services you’re selling.

Most people probably fall somewhere in between those two extremes. Which means you’re going to have to find a strategy that keeps at least some business coming in.

With millions stuck at home, that means people are going online to shop, they’re connecting via video meetings (Zoom is being mentioned dozens of times a day in the mainstream press!), telephone and email.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What shape is the company website it? Does it need upgrading? Can you add new products, new services and new ways for people to connect?
  • Are your social media platforms being updated frequently? With so much time on their hands, everybody is on social media.
  • Can you offer a digital version of your services? Lots of people are taking this time to create online learning classes or other ways of sharing their information.
  • Can you connect with others regularly? Sure! Some people are starting up regular Zoom meetings just to have a face-to-face connection with others outside of their home.

Bottom line: be there for clients and prospects. Don’t stop doing outreach, however that looks for you. Don’t be pushy but if you continue to think you can offer something of value, something that your clients and prospects can really use, keep doing it.

What do to When You Can’t Exhibit at Tradeshows

The tradeshow industry looks to be imploding, at least for the short term. Natural Products Expo West cancelled. NAB Show cancelled. HIMSS Show cancelled. SXSW cancelled. Even March Madness games will be played without an audience, if they’re played at all. I think it’ll get worse before it gets better.

You built an event calendar out for the year. You planned, you upgraded, you designed and produced new graphics, maybe you even invested in a new exhibit. But if the show doesn’t take place, how can you make the best use of your upgrades or your new graphics?

A couple of suggestions:

Put together a short video, maybe a minute or less, that you can share on social media. Explain that while you were planning to launch a new product or debut a new booth, but the show cancellation prevented you from doing so. Instead, show it off in the video. If it’s just a graphic upgrade, show those off in the video. If it’s a new exhibit, your exhibit house should have provided 3D renderings – show those off as well, and make sure to tell your clients and prospects and social media followers that you’ll be using it as soon as you’re able at the next show – whenever that is.

Use social media to launch the new products. If it’s feasible, have a little contest and give away some samples. Pick a few winners and mail them the samples.

Convene people for a Zoom virtual meeting. Maybe even make it a virtual tradeshow to where you can show off your new booth renderings – and hey, if you want to go all out and it makes sense for you and you have the room, set up the booth and use that as a backdrop for your Zoom call. Show it off!

Photo by Canva Studio from Pexels

Do one-on-one outreach to clients. Make calls, send emails. If convenient (or wise), schedule coffee or lunch. Keep in touch! Heck, schedule a Zoom call and send a coffee gift card ahead of time so they can have a fresh cup on hand! Talk to them about what you were going to do with the show.

Other promotions: create a small brochure and mail it to your clients and prospects showing off your new products that you were going to debut at the tradeshow. Have a sale. Offer free shipping. Do a BOGO sale.

Bottom Line: It looks like the frequency and functionality of tradeshows and events are going to be drastically cut for the foreseeable future. Don’t wait to figure out what you can do in place of tradeshow and events. There’s always something.


Thanks to Andy Saks of Spark Presentations for the inspiration for this blog post.

Put Your Tradeshow Plan in a Box

You’ve heard the phrase “think outside the box.” But in the tradeshow world, sometimes it makes more sense to think inside the box.
In many cases, it does make sense to think outside the box. Which means, generally, to do things you don’t normally do. Turn it upside down. Work backwards. Do something random.

But tradeshows have so much riding on them that the more you have a plan and the better you stick to it – with minor deviations as warranted – that it pays to stay inside the box.

Make the plan. Execute the plan. Stay inside the box.

While you’re making the plan, many weeks or even months before the tradeshow, that might be the time to think outside the box. What can you do that’s different? What your competitors aren’t doing? What might be an activity in your booth that attracts people? What kind of different ways you can think of to promote your appearance?

During the brainstorming and planning phase, come up with as many different and unusual approaches you can think of that might help you stand out. But vet them. Test them. Make sure they are practical and can be executed as flawlessly as possible. Then, once you have something in place, iron out the rough spots and prepare it for the show.

And once the show starts, don’t stray from the script unless there’s agreement among the principals that it’s a good move. Otherwise, work the plan, take notes on how it went, and make adjustments for the next show.

Thinking outside the box isn’t a bad idea, in fact in many cases it’s a great idea. Just know when and where to do it. The tradeshow floor where thousands of visitors are passing by, where competitors are putting up their best, is not the place to wing it.

11 Ways to Attract Attention at a Tradeshow

Wear colorful branded clothing. Whether it’s a staff of two or three, or twenty, having colorful branded clothing will immediately let visitors know who’s working the booth and who’s a guest. Bright colors attract, so put your logo on the front and an enticing message on the back. And to change things up from day to day, create a different colored set with a different message for each day of the show, and make sure your crew coordinates. Bright colors, especially if they’re tied into your brand work well: yellow, red, orange, blue, fluorescent.

Setup a giant prop and invite people to take a photo. Could be anything: a mascot, a giant purse, a full-size model of one of your products (if it’s small, for instance); something that stops people in their tracks. I’ve seen mascot, angels, musicians, giant hanging props, exhibits made from bicycle frames and more. They all had one thing in common: they begged to have their picture taken.

Once that photo has been taken, invite the visitor to spread the word on social media and include the show hashtag to make sure the post gets seen. Offer prizes to people that photo and share online.

Give something away and offer an incentive to wear it. One way is to print up a few hundred t-shirts or hats with your logo along with a fun message and tell people that if they put it on right there, they can also take home another gift. And tell them if you catch them wearing it at an after-hours show (be specific as to which one), you’ll be giving away $50 bills to random shirt wearers. This type of promotion gets others involved and spreads the word about your booth and products throughout the show.

Have a unique exhibit that begs to be seen. Sounds straightforward, but to break out of the cookie-cutter mold, it takes a designer that’s willing to create something unique and wild and a company that’s willing to spend to make it a reality.

Give visitors something to DO. Interactivity goes a long way. At the NAB Show, there were several exhibitors that gave visitors a chance to learn new software by joining them for a free class. Not only are you drawing interested people in, you’re keeping them involved for up to an hour and showing them exactly how the product works.

Contests. Give people a chance to win something by guessing the number of beans in a jar, answering a quiz, spinning a wheel or something else increases the chance you’ll get visitors to stop at your booth. Make sure to engage them in a brief conversation to uncover their needs regarding your product.

Famous mugs. Lots of companies hire famous (or at least semi-well known) people to be a part of the show. Authors, speakers, sports stars, actors, and so on can all draw a crowd. Authors in particular, if they’re in your industry, can be a good draw if they have a new book out. I’ve seen dozens of people in line to pick up a free copy of a new book and get it signed by the author (and snap a selfie!), and I’ve waited in line to get a prop soft baseball signed by Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith.

Comment wall. I see these more and more. Ask a bold question or make a bold statement and invite people to chime in with their thoughts on a wall. Invite people to snap a photo of what they wrote and share it on social media (make sure the wall is branded and has the show hashtag on it).

Bring media production to your booth. Know someone that is a podcaster in the industry? Invite them to record a few episodes of their show in your booth, and make sure to provide some good guests for them, whether it’s people from your company, or others. The simple act of recording a show in your booth will make a lot of people stop. That’s a good time for your staff to engage those visitors politely to find out if they’re prospects.

If someone in your company has written a book, offer free copies of the book along with free printed photos with visitors and the author. This has worked great for years for Bob Moore of Bob’s Red Mill, one of our long-time clients at TradeshowGuy Exhibits. Every time they exhibit at the bigger expos, Bob spends time signing books and posing for photos while a photographer takes photos and has them printed up in a few moments for the visitor.

There are literally countless ways to draw crowds to your booth. It all boils down to creativity and execution. What can you do to improve the traffic at your next show?

Top Ten All-Time Most Viewed TradeshowGuy Blog Posts

I got an email the other day from someone whose newsletter I had just subscribed to, and in the introduction email there was a link to the top 5 most read blog posts on her blog. That’s when an idea light lit up over my head and gave me an idea for a blog post (as a blogger, you’re always looking for ideas, right?).

Next thing you know I was pawing through my Google Analytics account to find out what were the most-viewed posts on this blog. These are the ones that floated to the top, for whatever reason. It’s all organic. I don’t advertise, but I do share links now and then on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. On occasion there might be a link here from Pinterest. Or another blog.

This blog is aging. It’s over ten years old, having been launched in November, 2008. There are almost 1000 posts.

One more note: the analytics breakdown shows the front page as “most-viewed” and a couple of pages (not posts) showed up in the top ten as well, including the Contact Me page and the We Accept Blog Submissions page. But beyond that, here are the top ten blog posts since the beginning of the blog (in traditional countdown order):

Number Ten: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Exhibit RFPs. I created a one-page sheet on what should go into an Exhibit RFP (Request for Proposal), and posted it on Cheatography.com, a site for thousands of cheat sheets. Kind of fun. They regularly sent me emails telling me how many times it was downloaded (500! 1000! 1500!). Not sure how accurate that is, but obviously it’s been seen by a lot of people. From September 2017.

Number Nine: Breaking the Ice: How to Attract Tradeshow Visitors. I referenced a number of techniques taught by tradeshow colleague Andy Saks for this article, which appeared in December 2015.

Number Eight: 23 Pre-Show Marketing Tactics, Promotions and Ideas. A laundry list that was posted in October 2009 when the blog was not even a year old.

Number Seven: How to Build a Tradeshow-Specific Landing Page. Inspired by Portland’s Digimarc, it’s a look at the steps you can use to put together an online site specifically to interact with potential tradeshow booth visitors. From December 2017.

Number Six: Write More Orders at Tradeshows by Replacing Paper With Digital Technology. One of two guest posts on the Top Ten list, this is from Sarah Leung of Handshake. April 2015.

Number Five: Tradeshow Debriefing Questions. Another oldie but goodie, this post from September 2009 guides you through the after-show info-gathering process.

Number Four: Virtual Reality for Tradeshows. You’ve seen them at shows: people wearing VR goggles. Is it worth it? A brief exploration, from June 2016.

Number Three: Exhibit vs. Booth vs. Stand. They’re called different things in different parts of the world, so I took a whack at trying to explain it. Just last summer in July 2018.

Number Two: 10 Skills Every Tradeshow Staffer Should Have. Margaret Coleback of Vantage Advertising LLC dashed of a great list for staffers, which appeared in January 2015.

Aaaaand, at Number ONE: SWOT Analysis for Tradeshows. It still surprises me that this post gets a whopping 3.95% of all of the traffic on the site. At the time I wrote it I had been spending a fair amount of time with a friend who was going through school to get his degree in marketing, and one thing that we discussed in depth was the SWOT Analysis. S=Strengths; W=Weaknesses; O=Opportunities; T=Threats. It’s a great exercise to work through in regards to your tradeshow marketing appearances. Check it out. It’s from February 2015.

Got any favorites?


Top Digital Marketing Conferences to Help You Step-up Your Marketing Game in 2019

This is a guest post by Vaibhab Kakkar of Digital Web Solutions.

Getting to rub shoulders with the leaders in digital marketing. Hearing their experiences and learning from them. Building useful contacts and partnership opportunities like never before.

Digital marketing conferences bring it all down under one roof.

And that’s why it’s always great for aspiring marketers to be a part of these conferences. But, can you or your fraternity attend all the big conferences? (Like all of them?)

Certainly not! You’ll need to make a choice.

To help you do that, here’s a list of the top 9 digital marketing conferences. To make sure these are worth your while and buck, we have shortlisted these on the basis of content.

So, let’s get going!

1. Digital Summit: Austin

Key Topics: Customer’s journey throughout the funnel, SEO, email marketing, content, UX.

Location: Austin

Date: June 04-05, 2019

With a total of 40 digital marketing experts assembling under one roof to make the Digital Summit: Austin happen, the event will certainly be rich with priceless insights.

To start off, the pre-event talks on 3rd June will include words and wisdom about influencer marketing and popular CRO techniques.

Moving beyond that, the conference will majorly focus on every important factor affecting digital marketing strategies.

So, be it SEO. Content. Email marketing. UX. Or growing your network along with your net worth, within the two days, speakers will open up and elaborate about all of these.

Also, failures and success stories don’t even need a mention.

The tickets are running out shortly and are priced between $200 to $995. A basic $200 ticket will simply allow you access to the masterclass, while a $995 platinum pass will include everything from lunch to exclusive keynote meetup & platinum swag.

Grab your passes now from their official site.

2. Call to Action Conference (CTA ‘19)

Key topic: Call to action optimization

Location: Vancouver, BC

Date: June 25-26, 2019

As the call to actions on websites and in ad sets are crucial for converting prospects into leads, the CTA conference will shower useful knowledge about how you can optimize your CTAs to the max.

Talking about techniques for writing brilliant CTA copies, choosing the right CTA colors, links and much more, this conference will guide you with everything you need for CTA optimization.

Super early bird passes are priced at CA$426.93 for existing Unbounce customers and CA$747.93 for everyone else.

Grab your passes here before the super-early bird period goes off and the prices go high.

Also, to get a rough idea of how the CTA conference events usually are and how the last one was, you can have a look at the speaker videos from last year’s event.

3. Nottingham Digital Summit

Key topics: SEO, PPC, experience sharing

Location: Nottingham, UK

Date: July 03, 2019

Take your digital marketing skills to another level with over 700 delegates and 26 expert marketing speakers and trainers. The grand event in Nottingham is going to have some of the digital industry’s leading thinkers, visionaries, and practitioners.

And another great thing about it?

Starting off at $50, the event is going to be the cheapest on this list. In fact, the costliest pass itself is priced at only a hundred dollars.

Which is why the event is supposed to be attracting a large number of aspiring and amateur marketers looking forward to honing their skills.

Grab your passes here, before the day is all sold.

4. MozCon

Key topic: Digital marketing

Location: Seattle, WA

Date: July 15-17, 2019

An electrifying and highly energized digital marketing conference, MozCon may just be bursting many digital marketing bubbles this year.

And with all the speakers and attendees from all walks of the marketing business, it may just be a perfect place to network with like-minded marketers and marketing enthusiasts.

By being a part of this event, you’ll get to learn about SEO, mobile, growth, analytics, content and a lot more.

The exact location of the event is The Washington State Convention Center situated on Pike Street.

To get an idea about what follows in MozCon 2019, you can have a look at the speakers who were there at the 2018 MozCon.

The price that one has to pay for attending the event varies for members and non-members of Moz. While members of Moz can avail a pass for $799, non-members will be required to pay $1,299 for the same pass.

To get your tickets before the early-bird deals expire, click here.

5. eTail Eadigitalst 2019

Key topics: Retail and e-commerce

Location: MA, Boston

Date: August 19-22, 2019

If you are a retailer looking forward to expanding your brand by exploring and bagging on new digital retailing opportunities like e-commerce, this conference can change your stars.

eTail has been inviting and gathering top retail executives from around the globe for 20 years now. The key USP of their conferences is that they bring their “how-to’s” from leading retailers. This motivates newbies and other experienced-yet-aspiring retailers to scale their businesses on their will.

The tickets for the conference are reasonably priced between $1,299 to $3,899. For further details and booking your place, you can check out their official website.

Discount coupon for eTail passes: Retailers can use MKTERMS19 to avail 20% off on current prices.

6. Inbound

Key topic: Inbound marketing tactics

Location: MA, Boston

Date: September 3-6, 2019

What makes INBOUND stand out of all the other digital marketing conferences on this list? A stand-up comedy show.

But calm down, that’s not the highlight. Apart from lighting up the mood with a spot-on stand-up show, the event is going to discuss in detail some of the most effective inbound marketing strategies and techniques.

Also, the event will include innovative discussions and presentations relating to inbound. This is to make sure that the attendees get the most of the killer inbound growth tactics.

Speaking of the strength, INBOUND is going to be totally houseful with over 25,000 guests arriving at the venue from more than 100 nations. The past INBOUND events became famous for getting influential speakers like Michelle Obama, Deepak Chopra, and Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah on-board.

Apart from that, the event is charmed up with an instagrammable ambiance, the INBOUND studio, and platforms for interviews, videos, and curated content (which can also be reinvented for IGTV).

Prices range between $299 and $1,399. For booking your seats, go check out their register page.

7. Social Media Strategies Summit: NYC

Key topic: Social media marketing

Location: New York

Date: October 15-17, 2019

With over 63% of customers expecting companies to offer services via their social media channels, the need for investing rightly in social media marketing is real.

Helping you with the same, Social Media Strategies Summit: NYC is going to talk in details about crafting, managing, and optimizing all your social media marketing strategies.

That’s the first aim of the conference; instructing the attendees about the nuts and bolts of a successful social media strategy to position their brands for success.

The tickets start at a price of $1,399 and go up to $2,289. To see various pricing features and to book yourself before the prices go up, see their pricing page.

8. Internet Summit

Key topics: Digital marketing using Facebook, Google, Pinterest, and several other platforms

Location: Raleigh, NC

Date: November 13-14, 2019

For all the digital marketing enthusiasts who are always hunting for new marketing tactics and using new media platforms for expanding their reach, Internet Summit can be a boon.

Speakers include Dave Isbitski from Amazon, Diamond Ho from Facebook, Caroline Hubbard from LinkedIn, Seth Weisfield from Pinterest, Ben Morss from Google and many more from other platforms.

Also, the event will cover topics like email marketing, storytelling content, mobile marketing, UX design and optimization, analytics, etc.

And the best thing about the summit provides is a continued learning experience with access to speaker slides and recordings after the conference, so, you don’t have to worry about forgetting.

Standard ticket prices start at $445 and go up to $1,195. However, if you book before July 24, 2019, you can save $200 on each pass that you buy.

9. Digital Marketing Leaders Summit: Hong Kong, 2019

Key topic: Digital marketing

Location: Hong Kong

Date: December 13-14, 2019

One of the greatest digital marketing conferences taking place in the last month of 2019, Digital Marketing Leaders Summit: Hong Kong will uncover the secrets of SEO, influencer, email, and social media marketing.

The conference is going to have some of the leading thought and internet marketing leaders from across the globe.

To get an idea about their previous events, have a look at the list of their previous speakers.

Early bird passes are priced at $799, $899, and $ 1,099. To know more about what the three passes offer and to book yourself before the early bird offers go void, visit their registration page.

Final words

For marketers and entrepreneurs trying to step-up their marketing game, the concept of digital marketing conferences can turn out to be a game changer.

But with hundreds of such conferences taking place every year, choosing the best one can get you in sweat. To ease things out for you, here we talked about 9 of the top digital marketing conferences, hand-picked by us, so you know what you just can’t afford to miss.

Hopefully, this helped you.

Don’t forget to share this piece with your marketer friends to pick the right conference for you and to book tickets before the seats dry out.

Vaibhav Kakkar is the CEO of Digital Web Solutions, a globally trusted agency with a full suite of digital marketing & development solutions. Vaibhav believes in building system over services, and has invested in multiple tech startups including RankWatch, NotifyFox and a CRM software to help scale up client agencies from scratch to niche-leaders with million dollar turnovers.

As Technology Evolves, so do Tradeshows

I’ve been attending tradeshows for nearly twenty years. In looking back on photos from that era – the early ‘Naughts as the first ten years of this century are sometimes referred to – things look different. It’s often subtle, but what the photos from that era show is what’s NOT there. You have to look closely and compare the images from around 2003 – 2005 with images from today’s shows.

Lots of these types of exhibits in 2004 (Natural Products Expo West)

The big changes?

Video: Depending on the show, some are stark and blatantly obvious. For example, I saw so many large video walls at this year’s National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas I lost count. Big, small, portable banner-stand-like video walls, large walls used for training (Adobe and others), most of them extremely high quality.

Some smaller shows or different types of shows may not have the large video walls (or only a few), but my impression is that a majority of exhibits have large video monitors. These typically range from around 40” to as much as 70” and all show sharp images. It’s much easier to attach monitors on exhibit walls when the monitors are so slim compared to what was available a couple of decades ago.

Fabric Graphics: Printing on fabric has come so far, it’s hard to imagine what it was like at the turn of the century. Printers have gotten so much better and fabrics have also improved that in many cases what you’re seeing on the exhibit walls are fabric graphics printed with such depth and clarity it compares with top of the line paper printing.

LED lighting: Hand in hand with fabric graphics, the evolution of LED lighting has meant better lights for a fraction of the cost. Combine LED lights and an aluminum frame with fabric graphics and voila you have a fantastic-looking lightbox that shines!

Augmented Reality: I’ve only seen this a few times at tradeshows, but I think it’s going to spread. It’s showing up at museums and other permanent installations. Why not tradeshows?

3D Virtual tours: Again, not used so much these days, but check out the recent interview I did with Phil Gorski from Ova-Nee Productions and see what they’re doing in the tradeshow space. I can see this happening more and more to take the physical tradeshow to a larger audience in the digital world.

Virtual Reality: Not something that is taking over the tradeshow world, but it is definitely there and a smart exhibitor that chooses to use VR will plan to do it right. Here’s an interview I did with Foundry45‘s Dave Beck.

Interactive Touch Screens: Depending on the way you want your visitors to interact this can be a big benefit to help show off your company, products and people.

Charging Stations: At the turn of the century hardly anyone thought of the need to charge a portable device. Now it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t have that need a time or two a day during a long tradeshow. Charging stations can be custom-designed and built to fit your brand and to fit seamlessly into your exhibit.

Apps: Of course, there were no apps 15 – 20 years ago. Today it is a rare tradeshow that doesn’t have its own app where you can find exhibitors, information and subscribe to updates about the show.

Big Video Walls in 2019 (NAB Show 2019)

Social Media: This also didn’t exist back then. Today it almost seems old school to be doing regular social media posting about your tradeshow appearance. I mean, even Grandma is on Instagram, right? But social media is still a good way to post photos, respond to comments and let your followers know what’s going on while your company is exhibiting.

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Tradeshow Guy Blog by Tim Patterson

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