Exhibitions are one of those rare events where you can do business and at the same time have a lot of fun alongside serious meetings. For a lot of people who attend exhibitions, visiting a show gives them the opportunity to meet up with colleagues and friends from the industry, make crucial purchases and also have a lot of fun while doing all this. All of us like to take a short break from our regular workdays once in a while (even the boss) what better way to combine work and fun than attending an exhibition?
It was a dull world
Strangely a few years ago a new trend had started in the exhibition business, it was suddenly un-cool to have any fun activities on the exhibition floor, this was despite the common knowledge that the fun activities in exhibitions were a major crowd puller. Exhibitions suddenly became a place where one could only do business and it was better still if the crowds were less as more people somehow meant less business activity. Thankfully this trend was soon over as more and more exhibitors realized that more visitors meant that many more prospects could be approached and more people could know about their company and products, leading to future sales opportunities.
Let the games begin
Now fun activities are back on the exhibition floor and how things have changed. Exhibitors now realize that organizing entertainment and activities in their exhibition stands is a vital element of their planning for a successful exhibition. Other than the usual exhibition stand hostesses, exhibitors are moving towards participatory activities to keep the crowds involved. People like to be involved in an activity rather than be just mute spectators, so even though song and dance shows still get the crowds, these shows do not do much towards getting customers really close to the brand, as most of the visitors tend to watch the show and move on without bothering much to interact with the exhibition stand staff as they want to catch the next show at an exhibition stand nearby.
Inventiveness, imagination, and innovation
As exhibitors are increasingly realizing the value of immersive participation from visitors, they are quickly adapting to new technologies and innovative ways to make visitor experience at their exhibition stand more participatory and interactive. One of the activities that have been popular for a long time is seminars and workshops. Many leading exhibitors have been organizing seminars where industry leaders and product experts give talks and air their opinions about the current state of the industry, how the particular products of the exhibitors can be helpful and representatives of the company also do their product launches and listen to customer concerns and suggestions at these forums. These kinds of seminars are very popular and draws a very good crowd. This is one of the classic ways to keep visitors engaged and gets them to take an interest in the brand and products the exhibitor represents.
Using technology to the fullest
An advance in technology has proven to be a big help to the exhibition industry. Using disruptive technology is what every successful exhibitor aspires to do. Using large video walls where visitors with the help of touch and gesture technology can get to know more about the products, or solve a product centric puzzle or play a game keeps visitors asking for more, the whole experience gets even better if prizes are to be won. Launching special exhibition-centric apps for mobile phones where a visitor who downloads the app on to their device and can get products at special prices is a great way to spread the word about the participation of a company in an exhibition and also get hordes of visitors to their exhibition stand to claim their discounts and know more about the products.
Fun times are back again
By imaginatively using video and laser technology, many exhibitors build life like movie halls at their exhibition stands where visitors spend quality time looking at laser shows and films on the brands and products. Many manufacturers of large industrial products prefer this route where visitors can get a close look at their products and their applications without actually going to the trouble of installing oversized, unwieldy and most probably dull exhibits. Through these shows, visitors can get a 360° view of the products, that no live demo or exhibit can ever do. These are just a few of the technologies and ways that exhibitors are using to make the visitor experience a never to be forgotten one.
Traditional means of engagement such as handing out useful giveaways, plying visitors with refreshments and putting up entertainment shows are still very popular, but getting the visitor totally engaged and immersed in the brand is what the demand of the hour is. Visitors can look forward to having a lot more fun than what they are used to when they visit an exhibition in the near future and the good times are just beginning.