Trade Fairs and Expos offer the regular chance for brands to redefine value propositions, reach out to new customers, and touch base with existing clients. It can also bring an unparalleled ability to get instant feedback. While these events typically come with a considerable cost, they can be worth every penny when this budget is matched with sell-defined objectives and the means to attain them. The value of in-person events is irreplaceable – there is no alternative to the new opportunities that come from a fortuitous meeting and personal interaction.
Grab attention - and win
At Purple, we know that grabbing attention equals success. This is certainly true at Expos, where the battle for attention must be won in a few scarce seconds. When you’re at an Expo, you don’t want to be standing there watching people walk, disinterestedly, past your stand. It’s even worse to watch them crowd around a competitor! As always, the challenge for stand holders is to make sure yours stands out from the crowd.
It has to be outstanding to win.
Keeping in mind that you have a short window of opportunity, it’s vital that you leverage your stand to extract the most value from every possible interaction. With a carefully-designed stand that uses a variety of different interactive technologies you can turn your stand into a sales conversion machine, by turning it into a journey with a start, middle and end. The ‘end goal’ should always be building a stronger relationship with the customer – and perhaps winning a bigger or better deal.
The objective at the earliest stage, however, is just to create engagement. Once you have their attention and engagement, you can become more customized, and then show stories for specific audiences. You can employ interactive elements too, and this can help the participant to create an experience that is self-customized by their own interactions.
When you create your digital stories, they need to work with your whole Trade Show stand design strategy. There should be a logical ‘flow’ to the way your stand works. Like a trail of breadcrumbs. It will contain distinct elements that bring customers, step-by-step, through a multi-stage journey that ends in capturing customer data, or giving them something that brings them back later.
You could start with digital signage, for example, to give an easy way to start engagement. Once they have spent time around your stand, they should have figured out that something special is going on in that enclosed space (your immersive experience room or IX). While waiting for their turn, you have more opportunities to connect with the customer personally. After experiencing your main event, the customer finishes their journey with a final touchpoint that ensures you keep a lasting contact with them, long after the trade show finishes.
The specific strategy for each company is always different, because it needs to reflect the brand at every stage.
Creating a winning Trade Show strategy
The strategy component of your Trade Show stand design is really important – in fact, it’s huge. It doesn’t matter how many big, flashy screens or interactive experiences you offer; if the strategy isn’t cohesive and well-directed it just won’t have an impact.
At Purple, we love to think along with our clients and find innovative ways to create special experiences that have bankable value. We love to work with stand builders, as well as AV/technical partners to achieve top results, as a team.
Technology for successful Trade Shows and expos. The physical setup is a significant part of this, because it forms the actual ‘shape’ of the customer journey as they experience your stand. We offer a range of digital storytelling concepts, as well as creating entirely new ones that suit special requirements.
To stand out, a trade show booth needs to offer something unique - and we can help create this. But, of course, the technology itself is only impactful when you have great content. This is why we also like to brainstorm with clients about the content strategy, and create custom content when it’s needed.
Killer digital content brings exhibition stands to life
It should go without saying that your digital content is a vital component, because it weaves together all the different interactions and touchpoints. High-quality and well-designed digital content also really brings an exhibition stand to life.
Easy to use digital storytelling software
All our solutions are powered by the versatile Hyro digital storytelling software, which makes it easy for stand-holders to command the entire experience from a tablet or smartphone. The best part is that the Hyro software also enables our clients to easily add their own content, and create customized non-linear storytelling experiences, in advance or ‘on the fly’. This level of self-control helps our clients to have the most impact, because it’s easy to use and offers amazing capabilities.
Purple’s Proven Solutions for Expos and Trade Fairs
We love creating new ways of engaging with the customer, and we make these accessible as defined packages. However, there is an incredible synergy that comes from combining these concepts in a smart way. These can be arranged strategically in a way that considers the ‘journey’ through your booth at each stage. Starting with low-threshold concepts for easy engagement, and then leading up to the ‘main event’.
Expo Digital signage
For the first stage of the customer’s journey, you need to offer the ability to easily engage. Digital signage for exhibitions and Trade Shows is becoming more common, because it makes it easy to engage and interact. We offer two different types of digital signage; Sensor-driven signage and Interactive Signage.
Sensor-driven digital signage is digital signage that is activated by a sensor – this can be a straightforward presence sensor, or sensors that detect engagement with specific (3D printed) objects.
Interactive digital signage on the other hand, gives the opportunity to create a deeper and more personal experience that is directed by the interaction itself. Using interactive digital signage, new customers can find information and storytelling experiences that interest them – this makes them more impactful.
Immersive experience rooms pack a serious punch. These are perfect for the ‘main event’ in your booth, and the mysterious, sealed room will naturally stimulate curiosity.
PopIX is a fully-immersive experience room that is essentially portable. This means it can be easily set up in less than three hours, used for a few days, and then packed back up again. Consisting of four immersive walls with incredible, wrap-around, 360 degree projections and a powerful sound system, the PopIX creates an amazing immersive experience.
The value of PopIX is twofold: first, the immersive room creates an air of mystery that makes people curious. When this is combined with other technologies and ways of interacting, you can create a funnel that leads to the PopIX as the main event, followed by a brand activation experience (or something else) to create a lasting connection.
At the final stage of the journey, new clients will be delighted with something that creates a lasting memory of the amazing experience they have just had. StreamIX is just one way (there are many others) that you can do this. This final ‘brand activation’ at your trade show stand will cement this experience, and it can also spark curiosity from passing attendees.
There are so many possibilities here. This might include, novel ways to combine the real event with virtual spaces to make short videos (these can be sent to the attendee later by email), photo opportunities, or co-creating new virtual products, for instance,
Purple’s professional streaming solution. StreamIX can also be used as an incredible tool for engagement and digital storytelling. It’s essentially a mini digital virtual studio with a large screen that enables you to show incredible digital stories. Easily managed with the Hyro software, it can be customized to selected audiences, used as a brand activation tool, or become an interactive Trade Show experience on its own. This concept is usually used for online streaming – so why not connect to an online element to create a hybrid experience? Hybrid events like these are very powerful when used the right way.
Adding depth and value to your touch points
Exhibiting at an Expo or Trade Show demands a considerable investment of time and capital – so make sure it pays off. Every single touchpoint should be optimized to provide the maximum value and depth of engagement.
‘Brand activation’ plays an important role here, because it helps your experience to have lasting impact. There are so many possibilities in this area, but the most important part is creating an emotional reaction through interacting with your brand activation.
Whether you create a special ‘selfie opportunity’, offer a gift, or leave some other trail of breadcrumbs – make sure it’s a special experience they’ll remember and share. When you give attendees something they can talk about afterwards, you’re not only cementing the memory of your brand – you’re also converting them into brand evangelists who will share this experience with others, long after.
As with so many things, success comes from good preparation and thinking ahead. Your strategy should be perfectly matched with technologies that enable rich, detailed, and personalized experiences. Purple’s expertise in digital storytelling, combined with our creative mindset will help ensure that every part of your stand works together as a holistic experience.
Trade Show and Expo FAQs
How do I stand out at an expo?
To make your trade show booth really stand out from the competition it should be bold but still restrained. It needs to fill the senses but not overwhelm them. A simple trade show booth design is more effective at grabbing attention than a cluttered one that has no clear structure, or uses too much audiovisual equipment. Sensor driven signage and digital signage can create an instant point of interest that turns your booth into an activity and fosters more interaction.
How do you get people to a booth?
People are always interested in what other people are doing, so to attract customers to the booth you should try to create an activity that gets people to stick around. If you’re offering something really special and memorable, you’ll soon have a line of keen visitors, waiting to see what all the fuss is about. Immersive experience rooms are ideal for this, because they can immerse visitors in a 3D, 360-degree experience that really impresses.
How do I get a successful booth at an expo?
The goal of a trade show booth or stand is to make new contacts and maintain existing ones. To be successful, a trade show booth should give multiple opportunities for interaction, both in-person and using technology. Most importantly, it needs to be memorable. A trade show is full of exhibitors, so you need to make sure you stick in people’s minds by offering something unique.
How do you do digital storytelling at a trade show?
Digital storytelling is most successful when it is customized to a specific audience, however trade shows require a subtle approach. To start with, the digital story that everyone experiences should highlight the broadest benefits of your brand offering – something everyone can appreciate, but also to make this unique to your brand story. Using versatile digital storytelling software can help make trade show experiences more customized, because the content can be easily adapted once the visitor is drawn deeper into your booth.
How can you use hybrid events at a trade show?
In-person trade shows can benefit strongly from hybrid experiences. These connect online participants with real-world attendees and the exciting physical events happening at the trade show or expo. Using a professional streaming solution like a StreamIX can help ensure that this works smoothly, and can give an arena for two-way interaction. The possibilities are truly endless; it can range from collaborative tasks, to interviews, product launches, and round-table discussions.