Written by Nathan Sykes
Technology is changing every aspect of our modern lives, including how we work. Modern tech even has a hand in convention centers and trade shows. With all the advertising happening on the Internet, interacting with another business’ products on the showroom floor is now easier than ever, no matter what they trade.
For executives trying to find other businesses to work with, technology makes trade shows much easier than they were in the past few decades. Attendees can swap contact information instantly, and every booth has incorporated something show-stopping. To get ahead in the market, businesses must make their appearance at a trade show memorable, which is where modern technology comes in.
Radio frequency identification, or RFID, is a way to electronically identify and track tags attached to objects. Using RFID technology at conventions has been game-changing. It speeds up registration, so people waste less time waiting in lines, but the real tool comes in collecting data.
RFID helps gather data to tell planners what did and didn’t work at their show. The technology can spot repeat attendees, as well as those who left early. Data can find out what people liked to see and what they didn’t. If showrunners understand the data and implement it correctly, they can create more engaging booths and get more repeat attendees.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and others have changed the way businesses interact with customers and each other. For events, people can use social media to tag businesses and booths they enjoyed in photos, generating buzz about the company.
Social media can also start building excitement for the event and booth days or weeks in advance. Using hashtags specific to the event, posting throughout the day and even doing some livestreaming can garner attention from people who are and aren’t attending the conference. Online attention about your company is just as critical, if not more so, in the modern age than attention in the real world.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Virtual reality, or VR, and augmented reality, or AR, are changing the ways we showcase products that are too cumbersome or exclusive to bring to the conference floor. Businesses can use a few headsets to put the attendees right where they need to be, allowing them to experience a personal tour at their pace.
Most of the value of VR and AR is the immersion into brand-new experiences. Because they create such an engaging experience, people can use them for nearly anything, with no constraints or limitations. Conference attendees can inspect large machinery, play with a prototype or even tour a facility right there at the booth.
While facial recognition helps with safety at events, the technology is also useful for advertising. Where safety is concerned, people can go through security faster and more efficiently, while also making check-in seamless.
However, don’t forget about those posts on social media. Some sites like Facebook use facial recognition to tag a user’s friends in photos. This technology can help you reach a wider audience every time someone uses social media outlets. Just remind people to tag themselves and their friends in the pictures.
Technology and Conferences
Technology is going to keep changing and become more advanced as time goes on. Now is the time to start incorporating modern tech into events, both to get ahead of the curve and to avoid getting left behind in the inevitable technological tidal wave. Regardless, technology used correctly can make a company stand out at an event where there are hundreds of businesses just like yours. Differentiation can be vital to making the big deal, so be memorable and modern in the approach.
Nathan Sykes is the founder of Finding an Outlet, where he writes about the latest in technology and business news and advice.