Jesse Johnson is a Marketing Specialist and Blogger at Meeting Tomorrow, a full-service event technology partner to businesses and meeting planners around the country.
There’s nearly an endless (and ever-growing!) supply of technology you can utilize at trade shows and events. However, having the latest and greatest tech doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a more successful event or get more leads at the show. In order to be truly great, event technology should be aligned with your event goals and used in a way that promotes engagement and interaction. It needs to compliment your brand vision instead of draw attention away from it.
Below are some surefire ways you can use event technology to drive attendee engagement:
1. Perform Interactive Product Demonstrations
Touch screens are truly great tools for engagement at events. They allow attendees to fully interact with your content rather than simply watching and listening. Touch technology is perfect for exhibitors to demonstrate apps and 3D product models, and particularly useful for large products or complex processes that can’t fit into smaller event spaces. If you’re looking to maximize impact, touch video walls are undeniably impressive and open up the opportunity for interactive group presentations.
2. Promote Friendly Competition With Gamification
Gamification is a great way to get the people in your booth excited about being there. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to create unique brand associations and give attendees something special to remember you by. There are a variety of ways you can gamify and incentivize your guests, including game show tech (like virtual prize wheels), gamification apps and social media contests. Whatever method you choose, creating an environment of friendly competition is a fun way to break the ice and encourage conversation and networking.
3. Transform Your Booth Using Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (AR) is really big right now and there are some great virtual applications for trade shows and events. One cool idea is to create a virtual scavenger hunt for guests to find hidden objects and clues overlaid on your actual booth. Alternatively, hire a gaming designer to create a custom VR game that relates to your field. Or, incorporate virtual notes and special features to go along with product demos for those interested in diving deeper. With so many possibilities, VR and AR have incredible potential to up the fun factor for attendees. Just make sure VR makes sense for your content and event goals.
4. Draw a Crowd with Great Video Wall Content
If you’re displaying videos, social feeds or digital signage, there’s no better way to draw attention than a video wall. The sheer size and brilliance of video walls make them much more impressive than standard monitors, and your content options are greater too. A few ideas to help pull in foot traffic are featuring attendees via social media feeds and showing live demonstrations and contests. You can also display your activity schedule and display sponsors so everyone can see.
5. Direct & Inspire Conversation on Social Media
Events give you the opportunity to network with attendees in person while simultaneously connecting with them online. If you really want connections to last beyond the show, you should have a social media strategy in place to promote your booth and inspire others to interact on your accounts. Using a social media wall to direct and display social discussion is a fantastic way to generate buzz. Incorporate thought leaders, giveaways and a social photo booth to up guest engagement even more.
6. Invite Guests to Charge Their Phones for Free
Event guests rely on their phones to make plans, stay organized, share content and network. The last thing anyone wants is to be without this major tool during a show. Mobile charging stations give you a great opportunity to get your brand in front of attendees, have meaningful conversations and distribute promotional material. Guests won’t need to leave the event space to charge up, so you’ll have even more time to interact.
7. Create an Irresistible Event Photo Opp
When attending any event, people love posting about it online and showing their friends how much fun they’re having. If you can create a fun-looking, unique photo opp that people will want to post, you’ll have a steady stream of guests ready to talk to you and explore your space. Let your imagination run wild and create a cool social media photo station to inspire posts and simultaneously promote your booth and brand. Leverage your social media wall, gamification tech or VR component to boost your efforts!
Overall, technology is only as good as the planning that goes into its implementation. A simple monitor or iPad can be engaging if the content is great and the team running it is friendly and professional. Always filter your event tech ideas through your brand vision and make sure it will be engaging for your audience. If you do that, you’ll be well on your way to a successful event!
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