For a modern event company or exhibition marketing team, it can be important to make effective use of technology. Indeed, up-to-date tech features have the capacity to liven up an event, help a brand promote itself as cutting edge, improve processes, and make things more convenient for both event staff and attendees alike.
Nevertheless, there can be something of a balancing act involved, and it is crucial that the cost of technology does not outweigh the benefits. In this article, we take a look at various ways you can deliver that all-important tech touch for your event, without exceeding the budget you have set.
1. Create a Mobile App
Mobile apps have become a major aspect of modern life. In fact, the number of apps available from the Google Play Store alone reached three million in June 2017, while Statista reports that the average number of apps used each month by smartphone owners currently stands at 24.9.
These statistics help to demonstrate not only the popularity of mobile apps, but also the willingness that most people have to install them on their devices. For an event company or exhibition planner, such widespread adoption represents a significant opportunity to add a tech touch to an event, at an affordable price.
According to a survey of 96 app developers, the average total development cost for a mobile app is just over $6,450 – a little over £4,750 at the current exchange rate. The costs can be significantly lower, depending on how complex the app needs to be, and once the app has been developed, maintenance costs are minimal.
Event attendees can be encouraged to download the app, and the app can then be used to deliver important information, obtain contact details, process payments and even to send push notifications, based on the user’s physical location. This all adds a solid tech component, without taking up valuable space in exhibition stands.
2. Touch Screens and Tablets
When it comes to event marketing, brands need to convey important information and also make their exhibition or event as interactive as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to use interactive touch screens and these can be easily integrated into most modular or custom exhibition stands, at a low cost.
A key benefit of using touch screens to convey information is the element of self-service provided. This has become increasingly important, and according to Gartner, customers will manage 85 percent of the relationship with a business without interacting with a human by the year 2020.
Moreover, in situations where budgets are more restricted, or where booth space is limited, tablet devices can be used in the place of larger touch screens. These offer many of the same benefits as a touch screen, and even provide the added benefit of being portable, allowing attendees to move around as they use them.
3. Social Media Integration
Social media also has a vital role to play in terms of extending the reach of an event, so that those away from the venue are able to experience aspects of it. For this reason, social media integration should be a major priority when planning an event, and this can take a number of different forms.
A photo booth, for example, can allow attendees to take and share photos of themselves, and a company logo can be automatically included on these images, boosting brand awareness. Moreover, social media walls can display a live feed of all social media posts that utilise the event hashtag, helping to stimulate conversation.
“Your attendees are your event’s best marketers,” explains Rachel Grate, writing for Eventbrite. “A social media wall is great encouragement to post in real-time. The only catch? The social media wall will only display posts and pictures tagged with your event’s hashtag.”
Unfortunately, as Rachel Grate points out, research suggests that fewer than 50 percent of event attendees remember to include the event hashtag. To solve this problem, it is imperative that you promote the hashtag in as many places as possible, including on the exhibition stand. In the case of photo booths that are set up to be able to post images to social media, it is usually possible to configure them to automatically include the hashtag on all posts.
For exhibition or event marketing campaigns to achieve success, brands need to be able to stand out, excite attendees and make things as convenient as possible. In the majority of cases, this necessitates the use of technology, in order to provide a multi-sensory experience. Yet, this does not need to break the bank.
A mobile app can serve to provide information and send alerts to attendees, while intelligent use of touch screens can add an interactive element, reminiscent of self-service retail technology. Finally, social media integration allows brands to generate a buzz, and enables events to reach beyond the confines of the physical location itself.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Reno is a founder and director of a leading exhibition and event company Enigma Visual Solutions, specialising in modular exhibition stands, event branding, event production, exhibition services and much more. He enjoys sharing his thoughts on upcoming marketing ideas and design trends. Feel free to follow him on Twitter.