Trade shows may be a tried-and-true B2B faithful, but trade show marketing has morphed into an entirely new creation. Welcome to the world of experiential marketing, where the exhibition floor is a stage and every brand is a player, looking to captivating their audience with ever-more unique and memorable interactions.
Well, that’s the idea, anyway. It can be hard to know where to start with experiential marketing, especially for B2B Businesses with complex, intricate offerings that may seem difficult for casual passers-by to engage with. How do you bring your work to life and get it to stick for a busy buyer with a long list of pre-planned appointments?
Trade shows and exhibitions are where we go to get inspired. That applies to exhibitors just as much as attendees. Trade shows offer a unique opportunity to see how others create experiences, to learn from their successes and to kickstart your own vision. With that in mind, here are three great experience ideas to learn from.
Instant Photo Moments
Social media goes hand in hand with experiential marketing. After all, social is made for sharing our most exciting experiences. It makes sense, then, to offer an exhibition experience that creates a photo or video memory which visitors and brands both can share on their social channels.
Nobody wants to pose for an awkward group shot in front of a branded backdrop. A great photo op, like this 360 photobooth at Microsoft Ignite, should be a moment of discovery, capturing users as they learn about and interact with your brand in an unexpected way. You can showcase your offering at its best, while your buyers remember the fun they just had.
A View to VR
Virtual reality might seem like a shiny new tool, but it has a long history that led to its current peak: VR and augmented reality are projected to have a global economic impact of $29.5 billion USD by 2020. Forward-looking B2B businesses are already harnessing that impact at trade shows.
An exhibition stand provides the ideal, contained backdrop for creating an augmented reality world that can only be accessed by VR headsets. It’s an opportunity to create an animated journey deep inside a product, seeing it from new angles that even the slickest video couldn’t bring to life so vividly. At Pack Expo, for example, visitors to could use both mobile VR and goggles to see the world from a green bean’s point of view.
Gaming the System
Hosting games and competitions is an activation technique that has mostly been seen in B2C spaces, until now. It can be difficult to find an angle through which to introduce play into a B2B product offering, at least not without forcing it and coming off cringeworthy. But new tech applications can change all that.
At DockerCon, the makers of the Docker software platform harnessed the power of the esports trend by introducing a new product game, Docker Dash, which conference attendees could collaboratively play. By solving challenges together, users were able to build their own apps, which is what Docker was designed for doing. Other attendees and those offsite could follow along with gameplay via social media.
Give your B2B audience a chance to play. Find your way into their social world. Appeal to all their senses, and their sense of wonder. Find the magic in your product and use these key tools to tell its story.
Discover tips for boosting your exhibition attendance with our brand-new guide, available now for download on The Knowledge.