3 Trade Show Marketing Trends to Keep on Your Radar


Trade shows are an integral part of any industry. Whether you run a small business creating bespoke handicrafts or work for a huge corporation that wants to showcase its newest line of deluxe products, a trade show is one of the best ways to keep in touch with your peers, reveal your new wares, and test out your newest ideas.

However, trade shows are changing, and if you want to keep up, you’ll need to stay in touch with the latest trends. Below, we’ve got three hot trade show marketing trends that you’ll want to use.


Intensified Interactivity Intensified Interactivity

As you probably already know, trade shows are your chance to attract attention. But now more than ever, attention is at a premium.

To combat this, trade show vendors have gone interactive, employing every tactic they can to get the attention of users.

Creating a great trade show display involves not just setting up the slickest booth or the most eye-catching graphics, but combining trade shows with your inbound marketing plan. You want other showgoers to cross your threshold and have an experience that stays with them when they leave.

Trade shows are a space to showcase who you are and what your brand is all about to people who probably only know you from the other side of a screen, or another end of a phone line.

Booth designs have become more focused than ever on touch displays and hands-on product demos, but trade show marketers shouldn’t discount the value of face-to-face interaction. According to the Trade Show News Network, 46 percent of trade show attendees are in executive or upper management, and 81 percent of trade show attendees have buying authority.

These are the people you want to impress at a trade show. These are busy people making decisions about the future of their business. If you dazzle the upper echelons of a potential partner, you may just be ensuring the future of yours.


Provocative ProjectionsProvocative Projections

With the advent of cheap projectors and technology such as Kinect, interactive projections have become a staple of the trade show circuit. Interactive projections enable somebody to create everything from floor mat experiences to mock sales displays.

The imagination is the limit as to what can be designed, so a business can ensure that any projection truly reflects the look and feel of their brand.

These ideas can range from data displays to projection mapping to interactive billboards to immersive videos and demos. The inspiration is endless, which is another reason marketers and designers have embraced this creative art form for live events.

Furthermore, once you have designed and enabled an interactive projection for your brand, it will be usable and reusable for as long as you want it to be.

Unlike a conventional display, it never wears out, and fits in a shoebox. This cuts down on the costs of moving into and out of the trade show.


Gamified Get-togethersGamified Get-togethers

According to the experts at Bunchball, gamification is, “the process of taking something that already exists — a website, an enterprise application, an online community – and integrating game mechanics into it to motivate participation, engagement, and loyalty.”

Any marketer who has not been living under a rock has probably heard this term repeatedly, but what does it mean for trade show marketing?

Event gamification, as it is known, is a little different from gamification as it is normally executed. Most companies gamify their apps, or sales software.

At a trade show, you don’t have the advantage of a captive audience, but you do have the advantage of a large event. People are walking all day, ready to explore and learn.

An app like Livecube can help leverage all of that foot traffic and movement to your advantage. Since you set the score, you can dictate prizes and rewards, set up leaderboards, and implement custom challenges among attendees.

Showgoers will not only remember your product, but also the fun they had while engaging with your company’s game.

Gamification doesn’t have to be all about phones and high-tech wizardry, though. Sometimes, the analog to digital diversion is a better fit for your brand.

Putt-putt, prize wheels, or Plinko can generate showgoer engagement beyond the screen. Using a combination of both digital and real-world games is the best of all possible worlds.

Imagine putt-putt with digital leaderboards and prizes, or a show-wide strongman championship at your booth. With these ideas, vendors get the face-to-face interaction that a game like putt-putt provides and the digital follow-up from an app.

Once everybody has had their fun and has begun to go home, that doesn’t mean that the show is over. No. The show must go on, whether by inboxes, phone calls, or in-person follow-ups.

If you can nail your in-booth experience, you will ensure that those follow-ups translate to leads, sales, and exciting new partnerships.