Exhibitions and other live events can bring many benefits, including gathering a large number of qualified leads. Nowhere else will you find a room full of people with buying authority, all looking to source new products like yours.
But in order to get these leads you need to attract visitors to your stand. Having a well-designed stand will help to bring you attention. But, increasingly, technology is being used by exhibitors to draw in the crowds. Visitors like to have something other than a salesperson to interact with, there is less pressure when you are scrolling through an iPad than if you are talking to a sales rep. Technology is also used to give people further information, demonstrate products and automate the lead-taking process. Overall it gives visitors an additional experience than just dealing with salespeople.
So what technology is used for these purposes? Here we cover some of the main items.
Exhibition stands can be equipped with built in iPad stands as a way to incorporate this technology into your stand. iPads are used to give visitors more information about products or services supplied by the company. If displaying the actual product isn’t an option because it is too bulky or difficult to take to an exhibition, then iPads can be used to demonstrate them. They can also be used to access the company website, or a specific micro-site created especially for the event.
2. Interactive TV screens
It is possible to have a TV built into an exhibition stand. This can either be used to play adverts or presentations of the company and products. Or it can be touchscreen so that visitors can interact with it and find out more information. Having a screen running adverts will catch the eye of passers-by and may draw them into your stand where you can talk to them further. They are also useful for showing products or services that cannot be displayed on the stand.
3. Lead capture apps
Automating the lead capture process can save a lot of time both during and after an event. Prospects can fill in their own details, and you will have them all stored in one place, rather than having business cards floating around the stand which can get lost. They also do away with the need to enter a lot of data onto a CRM system after the event. Most apps will synch with your system and upload the leads automatically, saving a lot of effort. You also have the ability to take more information from a prospect than just that supplied by a business card. This will help you qualify leads.
Some of the best lead capture apps are:
- EventPilot – EventPilot offers a simple and fast solution to capturing leads and following up. It is free to download onto your own device, so no need for additional hardware. This app includes quick scanning of badges, offline use, Cloud back-up and the ability to synch and export the list to other devices.
- Cvent Leadcapture – LeadCapture is a mobile app that synchs to your Cvent account so you can share data between different programmes. You can add badge and business card scanning and the app will integrate with other lead capture tools.
- iCapture – iCapture is a first-class badge scanning app aimed at small businesses. It partners with other leading badge providers, which turn a mobile into a badge scanning device. It can scan QR codes, 2D barcode badges and RFID. It will synch with Salesforce, allow you to score leads and work offline.
- Attendify – this is the only app that will link to social media. It is easy to set up, it doesn’t require extra hardware and allows you to enter lots of additional data about each lead to qualify them well. You can also view the performance of staff on the stand.
- vCapture by Validar – this is compatible with PC, Mac, and mobile, Validar specialises in “universal lead capture”, a fully-customisable solution that can work as a direct extension of your current CRM. It enables you to rank and categorise leads and integrate with Salesforce.
4. Virtual reality
Some exhibitors are making use of virtual reality software to draw in the crowds. You can either use it to demonstrate your products, or it can be used for games that will entertain visitors. The technology is still new and not being widely used, so if you are able to incorporate it into your exhibition stand, you are bound to attract attention.
If not virtual reality you can still have games on your stand. Installing a games console will attract the attention of visitors and encourage them to interact with you. If you can find games that are relevant to your business or products, even better. Gaming consoles will add entertainment for visitors who have got bored of traipsing around the hall, you will provide welcome relief.
6. Hybrid events
During the pandemic, with all live events cancelled, organisers had to get creative to keep some form of event running. So virtual events became a thing. People could ‘visit’ the event online with an avatar, go to different stands and seminars, and chat online with the companies exhibiting. Now, post pandemic, with live events happening again, many are still retaining a virtual element to become hybrid events. Organisers live stream the presentations and seminars for people to log in to and companies can be contacted online. This gives options for those unable or unwilling to travel to the event.
7. Online ordering
Many exhibition stand contractors, like Quadrant2Design, now allow customers to order their stands online. This allows a broader reach, customers do not have to travel to their offices they can simply look at the options online and make an order. If you choose a reputable company, like Quadrant2Design, you can be assured of the quality of the stand, and feel secure ordering it over the internet.
Various forms of technology are now being used by exhibitors at live events to help attract customers and make it easier to take their details and for them to order. Some are just for fun, like games consoles or virtual reality. Others make the exhibition more efficient for a business, like lead capture apps. All add another element to the experience of exhibiting.