Blink and it’s been two months since I’ve returned from my study tour of the USA! I haven’t yet shared all that much on what I’ve learnt with any of you after being swept back into regular duties. But, I’m here now and ready to divulge!

ExhibitorLive is a hard and fast conference delivering trade show best practices from some of the best in the biz. This year I was quite intentional about what I was seeking.

For anyone who knows me, they’d agree I’m passionate about improving the results exhibitors get from trade shows. These trips are one of the ways I expand my knowledge and learn about tools that can help me on my quest.

I think we hit the jackpot this year – Anyone sick of going to trade shows and being unable to justify the expense will be excited to hear about the new partnerships we are working on.

We will have a whole lot more to share with you in the coming months… All will be revealed soon!

In the meantime, here are a few of the things I came across:

1. Lead Tracking – Here are some highlights

  • A customised app that every staff member can use
  • Customised to your requirements
  • Set targets and monitor progress in real-time
  • Record memos and save the transcription
  • Scan business cards to upload contact data
  • Use at multiple events
  • Demonstrate clear ROI
  • Track engagement before and after the show
  • Include the success of your social media campaigns
  • Send information to clients in real time or delay till after the show


2. Analyse the effectiveness of each shows 

It is so hard to compare shows if you’re using only basic metrics. The reason most people struggle with measuring trade show ROI is that they don’t have a framework for comparing the other contributing factors that fall outside of cost of exhibiting and leads/sales.

I discovered a product that puts a framework in place to consistently measure all of the “hard to measure” aspects across each event.

It’s never only just about the number of leads… There are so many more things to track.

Then, you have to take action on that data!

How you compare different market segments, types of events, stand position, quality of attendees, etc, has often been a subjective “gut feel” discussion rather than an ROI consideration.

Having a process to demonstrate clear ROI will make it far easier for teams to clearly identify areas for improvement and know which shows (or even products) are worth allocating more or less resources to.

This kind of analysis tool is invaluable because it creates a snapshot that key decision-makers can always return to when identifying how well a show performed. Anyone serious about their trade show investment should follow a system like this.


3. Improve the Human-to-Human Experience 

Ok, this one isn’t a tool, but more of a framework for getting the most out of your team at exhibitions. It’s more of a tactic but it deserves a spot on the list because it isn’t always about finding a new shiny tool. I was reminded that honouring the customer journey is paramount to a brand being memorable.

The idea of humanising experiences is far from new, but as technology continues to grow (witness AI) so does the art of being human. The people behind the brand are what solidify credibility and trust.

“85% of an exhibitor’s success at a trade show is dependent on the performance of the staff”
Highway 95 Creative

I know this sounds like staff training, and that is part of it, but it is so much more.

The reason I’m excited to bring this to our clients is because you can’t complete a puzzle without all the pieces.

For an incredible trade show experience, you can’t just have a good looking exhibition stand. It’s the magic in the background that brings everything together – The plan, the people, the execution and, of course, the measurement!


4. Gamification 

As a general rule, I am not a fan of “playing” because normally the target market my clients hope to attract aren’t necessarily looking for games, but there are occasions where it will work really well. The secret is to integrate it into a strategy that makes logical sense to the attendees.

We now have access to a number of solutions that can:

  • Personalise games
  • AI photobooths
  • Act as lead generation tool
  • Be included as part of your engagement scoring strategy
  • And much, much more

5. Visitor Tracking – Facial detection and heat mapping for exhibitions

For those who want to go deep into the engagement numbers, we can include technology that:

  • Tracks visitor numbers on the stand
  • Dwell time on the stand
  • Determine what areas/messages are gaining more attention
  • Where they entered and left the stand
  • How long they looked at key messaging
  • Much, much more

To sum up, I was like a kid in a candy store! I went to ExhibitorLive looking for products and strategies that will help bolster the results we help our clients achieve and I didn’t know what I would find. I’m beyond excited to share these tools with our clients because I know that all of them are going to help make the process of attending exhibitions and conferences even more valuable.

If you would like to learn more about any of the tools mentioned in this post, feel free to reach out to me.

Yours in Exhibiting,