E•Connections

For exhibit and event professionals  

Set Your Roadmap for 2016 Success  

December 7, 2015 By Editor


The New Year will be here before we know it, and it's never too early to start planning for another successful year in the world of trade show exhibits. So, what are some specific steps you can take to increase your career success in 2016? We've got seven suggestions that are sure to set the stage for a prosperous and booming new year.

  1. Start Pitching Ideas Now
  2. Make Time to Test New Concepts
  3. Work Towards More Interactive Exhibits
  4. Explore New Exhibit Technologies
  5. Find Ways to Lower Costs
  6. Gather More Data on Attendee Experience
  7. Take Steps to Better Measure Exhibit ROI

  1. Start Pitching Ideas Now

If you've been working in this industry for awhile now, then you know just how long it can take an idea to come to fruition after it's pitched—especially if you're part of a larger company or organization. In such situations, it's not unheard of for an idea to take a year or more of pitching, planning, and budgeting before it turns into a reality. So the time to start brainstorming and pitching ideas for 2017 is now. top

  1. Make Time to Test New Concepts

Implementing new exhibit concepts takes a great deal of discussion, planning and budgeting. This is no secret to any exhibit manager. However, when new concepts are rushed or implemented haphazardly because there wasn't enough time not only do your chances of success drop precipitously, but you also have to live with the results or the rest of the year. So, if you're thinking about trying something new in your exhibit for 2016, make sure you leave enough time for testing before you jump into it. This will increase your chances of success. top

  1. Work Towards More Interactive Exhibits

These days, traditional “talking heads” or lecture-style exhibitions are not what exhibit attendees are looking for. Instead, today's attendees are beginning to expect an increasingly interactive and engaging experience. For example, if you're planning an exhibit to launch a new product, your attendees don't just want to hear you talk about it—they want to see you demonstrate how to use it in real-time. And then they want to have an opportunity to try it out for themselves. The same applies whether you're planning a presentation at a trade show or designing an experience in your exhibit. Finding a way to get people participating will make you memorable. top

  1. Explore New Exhibit Technologies

There are all kinds of exciting exhibit technologies that you'll want to explore and make sure you are using to your full advantage, where applicable. For instance, social media technologies have begun to play a huge role in trade shows and exhibitions across the globe. In addition to using common social media outlets, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to share updates on your exhibit, you'll also want to consider using up-and-coming technologies that are popular with millennials. These include social media technologies such as Snapchat and Instagram, Periscope and Meerkat. Never has social media interaction with your exhibit been as important as it's expected to be in 2016. top

  1. Find Ways to Lower Costs

Although the economy has been on a bit of an upswing over the past year, it's still important for exhibit managers to find unique and creative ways to lower costs making major sacrifices in work quality or attendee experience in the process. From saving on printing exhibit graphics to finding better deals on transportation, lowering or at least managing costs of exhibit participation will be noticed and appreciated higher up in the company. top

  1. Gather More Data on Attendee Experience

In past years, there's been a bit of an oversight when it comes to measuring the success of an event in terms of attendee experience. Exhibit managers focused their efforts on figuring out the return on investment from attendee visits to their exhibits Today, however, exhibit managers cannot overlook the importance of measuring the attendee experience and working to improve it year after year. The greater the experience for attendees, the easier it is for managers to figure out which exhibit strategies were successful versus which may need to be nixed in the future. Show floor lead capture to sending follow-up surveys to attendees to contacting a handful of them personally are some of the steps exhibit managers can take to obtain these metrics. top

  1. Take Steps to Better Measure Exhibit ROI

Of course, while shifting focus to measuring attendee experience is important, so is continuing to measure and gather data on exhibit return on investment. After all, these are the numbers that most higher-ups within a company will demand to see in order to continue funding participation at trade shows (and, in turn, your job). The key is figuring out which methods are most effective in accurately measuring ROI. Of course, this can be easier said than done; if you struggle with tracking metrics for trade show and exhibit ROI, you may want to consider trying a CRM (customer relationship management) tool. top

 

There are a number of ways in which you can get a look at the “big picture” and get a jump start on a successful exhibit. From taking the time to pitch and test ideas sooner and implementing new technologies to incorporating more interactive ideas and everything in between, you'll be setting the path for a great year. Here's to a successful 2016!








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