The Role of Digital in Trade Shows

In 2014, Pricewaterhouse Coopers reported that the 284,000 tradeshows in 2012 attracted 87 MILLION attendees. The trade show business is booming, giving companies the opportunity to influence, educate and convince customers to buy products or services.


Today, emerging digital technology is a key part of any smart marketer’s booth strategy. Digital is a powerful medium to magnify attendee touch point opportunities. From online surveys and eblasts to in-booth engagement and custom apps, digital allows marketers to measure effectiveness. Furthermore, marketers can groom prospects in a more refined process to shorten the sales cycle and increase the close rate. Cloud software can allow for real time data aggregation resulting in quick strategy shifts even while on the trade show floor.


A Skyline survey of trade show exhibitors and attendees titled “16 Powerful Stats On The Value of Tradeshows,” shows 99% of marketers said they found unique value from trade shows they did not get from other marketing mediums. Respondents stated that their number one reason for attending a trade show is to learn about new products.


Engaging devices such as iPads, touch monitors or large video screens in the booth amplify the attendee experience by either simulating or presenting data or products through visual displays. Replacing traditional collateral with digital presentations can also greatly reduce printing and shipping costs. Moreover, attendees appreciate being emailed information in lieu of packing weighted stacks into their suitcases.


Tapping into an attendee’s smart phone is an unprecedented way to get close to attendees for trade show engagement. Either through trade show app ads or powerful social media sites, communicating directly with attendees initiates a more intimate conversation to “notch up” the face-to-face conversation in the booth.


It’s all about using digital strategies smartly to increase your prospect base and take advantage of every precious second spend engaging potential customers at your booth. With the right digital tools, you’ll be the star of the show.