Immersive experiences at trade shows: attracting and engaging visitors

To survive at a time of constant technological advancement, companies sometimes need to reinvent themselves. This applies to companies across different business sectors. This is so critical that even museums have realized that they need to adapt to new technology. That’s why many of them are now focusing on the visitor experience.

In the United States, places such as the Museum of Ice Cream and the Color Factory are well-known for the interactions they provide. Other examples such as these can be seen around the world, thanks to the use of technologies such as Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.

Well, if even museums are reinventing themselves to take advantage of the new technology, why don’t we use these examples as inspiration to be used at trade shows?

The importance of immersive experiences at trade shows and industry events

Regardless if we’re talking about the B2B or B2C Market, you have to keep in mind that the consumer or the client will feel more drawn to your company if they can interact with yourbrand. This means providing your audience with a fun experience, and I can guarantee you, this rule applies to every type of company.

At a trade show, visitors are bombarded with hundreds of booths of different sizes that offering all types of gifts, catalogs, and etc. No one that visits a trade show will remember details of every exhibitor clearly. For your company not to fall into that category and become “just another exhibitor”, you have to make your space interactive.

Example of immersive experiences at trade shows

It’s very common to see product demos and product testing at trade shows. Many times, these products are extremely difficult to transport and many are very fragile. Using Augmented Reality (AR) and/or Virtual Reality (VR) allows you to:

  • Eliminate the high costs involved with logistics and transportation of products/equipment
  • Avoid incidents and accidents that can happen when visitors are trying out the product
  • Allows the consumer/client to engage and interact with your brand/product/equipment

With AR, your products can be viewed in photorealistic 3D and the visitor can also interact and manipulate your products as they wish even after they leave your booth. 

Augmented Reality at trade shows not only keep booth visitors engaged, but it also allows your brand to relay a message that will stick with them for a long time. The only reason that is possible is because AR overlays a virtual model of your product and superimposes it to the user’s actual surroundings.

Virtual Reality can take your booth’s visitors to another world, also giving them an experience they will never forget. A tourism company, for example, can use VR glasses to take their booth’s visitor to another city, or another country.

At trade shows, pretty much every single exhibitor hands out product catalogs and folders, and let’s be honest, most of them end up in the trash. Then why not hand out an interactive catalog that visitors will actually want to engage with after the expo? Augmented Reality can make that happen!

Tip: In this article, I gave you some examples of how to offer immersive experiences at tradeshows using Augmented Reality and/or Virtual Reality. I didn’t really go into how the technology works but you can read more about what is augmented reality and how does it work in this article

Wrapping up: Tips for a successful immersive experience

In order for the immersive experience to be pleasant for both your booth’s visitors and for your company, it’s important to pay close attention to the following:

  • Focus on the message: the experience has to be part of the overall message your brand is trying to relay. That is why before you think about the strategy, that is, how to implement interaction to your booth, you first have to define your message.
  • Easy to use: the easier it is for visitors and participants to get involved, the greater the probability that they will leave the event with your company in mind will be.
  • Connectivity: Since most immersive experiences rely on an internet connection, make sure you have Wi-Fi (or good internet connection) in your booth!
  • Make a connection between your message and the participant’s senses: make it so the immersive experience has some sort of emotional appeal (I spoke about the importance of this emotional appeal in this article about Mood Marketing).

Lastly, don’t forget that: at trade shows and industry expos, standing out amongst hundreds (and sometimes even thousands) of other exhibitors is crucial! Offering visitors an immersive experience is what will allow your company to leave a lasting impression.

‘Till next time!

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