When trade show exhibit goers walk the vast exhibit hall floors and come upon highly creative, interactive trade show displays, they get to stop and join in on some fun. The trade show attendee becomes part of the exhibit. By using experiential activity, the trade show exhibitor not only entertains but also educates their key customer prospects with entertaining “hands on” experiences.
Are these kinds of participatory activities important at trade shows? Absolutely. They boost traffic to the trade show exhibit site, leading to product interest and often substantial sales from experiencing first hand a dynamic new product. In addition to increasing sales and generating more leads, the experience is also intended to connect with the attendees on a deeper level. This usually happens because they are utilizing all of their senses which often leads to a stronger connection.
According to the book “Experiential Marketing”, written by Kerry Smith and Dan Hanover, “studies, focus groups, and market research began to show that consumers who considered themselves to be “in a relationship” with a company were less influenced by price, performance, and service.” These experiences create emotions which drive individuals to respond with a feeling or sense of connection. Of course, the connection must continue past the event, through email, social media, and events, in order to build a stronger relationship. It does take time, however, with consistency, authenticity, and value add, your consumers will continue to buy your product and/or services.
Last month, we attended the Be Conferences in Austin, TX presented by The Wrap. Influential women in Media, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship and Technology gathered in a first-class setting for VIP networking, workshops, panels and mentor sessions with top industry executives, thought leaders and creatives.
Our CEO, Danelia Argueta got a chance to visit LinkedIn’s experiential suite and also meet their CMO and SVP, Corporate Communications, Shannon Stubo. As a sponsor, LinkedIn certainly came prepared for the task at hand. The first thing that was noticeable was the ambiance. It was comforting and brilliantly designed with a balance of vibrant colors that matched their branded color blue. It also was held in a private suite which made the experience more personal.
Like all campaigns, LinkedIn had a very defined objective in mind – to increase users activity on LinkedIn. To accomplish their goal, they created 5 activation stations:
1) Headshots: Attendees were able to get their headshot by a professional photographer. A good LinkedIn profile photo is one of the most important aspects of a profile, yet sometimes missed. Usually, individuals who don’t have a headshot tend to be less active on the platform. To fix that, attendees received a great looking photo and were able to upload it the same day.
2) Consultants: They also offered the opportunity for attendees to meet with one of their consultants to review their profile. They offered helpful advice to improve their profile. One thing we did learn is that now you can download several examples of your work such as flyers, business cards, advertisement, and other images to highlight your capabilities.
3) Artist Wall: The artistic banner had the question, “How do you connect?” They provided markers for attendees to write their answers while they waited for their headshots.
4) Mimosa: On the last day of the event, they offered a Mimosa break. What a better way to make new connections while drinking a mimosa.
5) Instant Poetry: One of the coolest features was having in the entrance of the suite, Silvi, a poet with a typewriter creating instant poetry. Attendees walked up and briefly shared a little bit about themselves. Within less than a minute, Silvi was able to create an inspiring poetry about the content the attendee provided. Absolutely amazing!
We reached out to Victoria Carnathan, LinkedIn’s Global Events Manager to capture the results, and she said, “on a high-level, the LinkedIn suite was definitely a popular experience for attendees with lots of positive feedback.” She also shared an article for us to include on this post, “Tips for Building a Great LinkedIn Profile: LinkedIn Career Expert Series”
Remember, people want to try before they buy. At trade shows, they want to see for themselves and be part of the action. That is why the use of interactivity works especially well at trade show displays that introduce new products and services.
Project Z is an event marketing and branding strategy agency based in Houston, TX. Our mission is to maximize our clients’ event marketing dollars and provide all the resources available to help them execute effective event campaigns. Our strategic solutions elevate brand awareness and deliver results that provide memorable interactive experiences. For more information about our services, to list your event, or for event invites please email email@example.com