SPEEDING ON THE DIGITAL HIGHWAY
Relentless technology change can feel like, being high on amphetamines — simultaneously exhilarating and exhausting. Just as we reorient from one bend, we find ourselves speeding on to the next one.
Just, when we thought we were getting the hang of @Facebook, @Twitter and @Instagram, new platform features and emerging networks are changing the social media landscape. Here’s a look at some of the popular digital engagements, and their potential impact on trade show marketing:
augmented reality ON A STEEP RISING CURVE
Both iPhone 8 and the iPhone X devices incorporate a new chip that allows the phones to provide users with extraordinary augmented reality experiences. Trade show and event professionals get ready to engage your audience via this method. Because, very soon that social media platforms will find ways to incorporate the new technology as well. Expand your mind. Be the trend setters of using augmented reality to gather the WOW of the crowd, NOW.
Augmently ARKit Portal Demo AS SHOWN BELOW
EMERGENCE OF Ephemeral Content
Facebook, Instagram & Snapchat stories are all examples of ephemeral content – spontaneous social posts that only last for a period of time. It’s fast and furious form of content creation for businesses, that had usually focused on creating well thought out, enduring posts. That’s why Instagram created Story Highlights for Business – a way to permanently archive your Instagram Stories and then curate and feature them at the top of your Instagram profile or not, depending on the quality of it. Yet, this is a great place to humanize your brand and showcase your top recent trade show moments, or to give a nod to your best partners and influencers.
Facebook Algorithm Changes
Facebook made a major change to its News Feed in early 2018, with posts from friends and family gaining greater prominence, compared to businesses and publishers. Going forward, trade show marketers will thus have to rely more on promoted posts, ads and influencers to reach their Facebook audiences. Learn more on latest updates that will actually be helpful for boosting your brand.
GOOGLE ALGORITHM CHANGES
We are living amidst radical changes. Your Search Engine Optimization becomes obsolete overnight. Here, are 10 tools that will help you run your site analysis like a Google bot.
Google's Webmaster Tools
HubSpot's Website Grader
Check My Links
Moz's Pro Tools
UpCity's SEO Report Card
Screaming Frog's SEO Spider
Found's SEO Audit Tool
Varvy's SEO Overview Tool
Learn more about these tools
New Social NetworkS, NEW LOGISTIC TECHNOLOGY
The social network Vero has been around since 2015, but it only began seeing explosive adoption in early 2018. Vero competes with Instagram for photo sharing. It offers many features that Instagram doesn’t, including allowing users to share links. Those social links may become an increasingly visible source of inbound traffic to exhibitor websites, similar to the traffic your site gets when you share links to it on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Are.na lets you build simple, visual collections by adding links and files of any kind. It’s the only platform designed to help you learn by connecting ideas with other people. It combines the creative back-and-forth of social media with the focus of a productivity tool — stripping away distractions to let you focus on your ideas. Use this as a internal platform to brainstorm trade show booth ideas
Rize is a many-to-many social video app. It leverages PROPS video infrastructure, and enables users chat with friends in real time, engage with content creators and watch linear content together. Rize will be seeded with the YouNow community and launch before the public token distribution.
NOW YOU CAN MAKE AN APP FOR YOUR EVENT
Attendify is an event technology company that elevates the attendee experience with the easiest event app builder, an exclusive social lead retrieval tool and pioneering event data management solutions. The cool thing is, you have one one attendee profile for all your events. Easily, onboard attendees to future events and remove barriers to app adoption.
MANAGEMENT LOGISTICS AND NETWORKING TECHNOLOGY FOR EVENT MANAGERS IS GETTING STREAMLINED
InviteManager simplifies event booking and management
This app aims to put all your company's client entertainment or employee rewards events (such as a sports outing or VIP concert) into one system. "From tickets to happy hours, dinners to sponsored events, everything you need to create incredible events for your clients is all in one place", says Tony Knopp, company's CEO. This mobile app, grants trade show managers to manage every aspect of their event from their smartphone or tablet — inviting guests, viewing requests for event tickets, and checking guests in to an event. Users can build custom invitations and landing pages for events, and gather details such as apparel sizes or dining preferences.
Negotiation Tracker by etouches makes the bidding process simple. It powers your negotiations and takes the complexity out of gathering all the details from multiple venues. You get a complete timeline of each rebid, not just a snapshot of the first and final offers. The various parties of your planning team are able to see at a glance how each hotel stacks up against others to negotiate better deals and get meetings booked.
Networking for a purpose
"Throwing people in a room and expecting the magic to happen simply doesn't cut it anymore."
With targeted marketing involved in developing ever-more sophisticated algorithms to match one's interest with a particular message or person, demand has increased to offer that at events as well.
The Zenvoy Business Matchmaker enhances the flavor of networking with an algorithm based on attendees' professional specialty, industry, experience, and location. It matching the users with connections with the possibility of creating future business. Currently the platform has 3,500 organizations and 1,300 cities in its network.
The rise of in-the-moment networking.
QuickMobile is an in-app networking tool to encourage engagement that strengthens connection, builds community and mobilizes meaningful conversations.
"Event planners can drive engagement and facilitate one-to-one connections with in-the-moment networking opportunities, such as sharing updates, photos, and videos."
THE GAINING PROMINENCE OF HUMAN TECHNOLOGY — Urge your CEOs and your CMOs to be in the forefront of your events.
We are witnessing unusual methods of trading. Ponder this for a moment.
"When Snap went public last year, it sold 200 million shares; none of them carried any voting rights. When Spotify went public, it raised no money. When members of the public bought shares in Uber in 2016, by buying into a Morgan Stanley vehicle named New Riders LP, they received no information about Uber’s income, expenses, or balance sheet, and had no assurances that the company was financially viable."
These are just the latest examples of a long-standing trend: If the masses come to know your brand, the normal rules of Wall Street don’t apply to you.
"When Spotify listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, for instance, its CEO remained in Sweden, rather than flying over to perform the ritual bell-ringing. Instead, he wrote a blog post saying that the whole thing was a bit of a nothingburger, “just another day in our journey.”
YOUR C-SUITES ARE ANCHOR POINTS IN YOUR JOURNEY. USE THEM TO WIN THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF YOUR CUSTOMERS AND MAKE THEM THE MEASURING BAROMETER FOR YOUR SUCCESS
MEASURE YOUR TRADE SHOW AND EVENT ROI
LOOPD measures your event ROI and provides organizers and other stakeholders — exhibitors, sponsors, and even attendees — a comprehensive view of the value generated by their events. This could mean tracking registration numbers prior to the event, measuring traffic during, or pulling data from surveys.
MEASURE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY
TSheets is a free time-tracking tool that helps marketers properly budget time and increase productivity. It even has built-in mobile and GPS capabilities for tracking time when you’re tending to your exhibit. Skyline can also help you plan your trade show timeline with this spreadsheet.
THE DIGITAL LIVING ROOM
Used mostly by Gen Zers, Houseparty is a video hangout platform used by over one million people each day. The platform is so successful that Facebook is reportedly investigating ways to create a similar functionality within their platform. A recent study conducted by Goldman Sachs concluded that Generation Z was more valuable to most organizations than millennials. They are just beginning to enter the labor force, and will have increased buying power for some time. It is worthwhile for exhibitors to get accustomed with the liking and the disliking of this generation.
influencer marketing LEADS THE PACK
Over 90 percent of marketers claim influencer marketing strategy to be very successful. Companies like North Face, Hubspot and Rolex use social media–based influencer marketing strategies to connect with new audiences and improve engagement with existing audiences. Influencer marketing is an easy and effective way to give your content added
value for your audience, and an amplification boost
to make sure it gets seen. Influencer marketing is the
fastest-growing online method of acquiring customers,
outpacing organic search, email, and paid search.
ACCOUNT BASED MARKETING ENABLES PRECISION MARKETING AT SCALE
According to Information Technology Services Marketing Association, 84% of the companies engaged in ABM, say it brings in higher ROI than other types of marketing. With technology, now, you can bring in a degree of personalization to many accounts.
According to Linkedin, consumers interact with native ads 20% - 60% more than traditional advertising. Consumers in general are getting more sophisticated in their response to advertising and are tuning out intrusive
or irrelevant messaging.
Facebook 'Spaces' goes mainstream
Facebook is working on a project called Spaces that is designed to allow friends to connect in VR. Given that Facebook owns Oculus, a virtual reality hardware and software company, it is no surprise that the social media giant is developing a platform to make use of this new technology.
Facebook is poised to scale Spaces in 2018. When they do, it is likely that it will be the first successful VR social media product at scale. "A future of holographic advertisements and AR-assisted healthcare is not as far away as you may think. In fact, 24 million digital reality headsets will be sold in 2018. By 2025, that number is expected to jump to 500 million. It’s no surprise that Facebook engineers are saying that AR devices will replace smartphones within five years."
AMAZON ALEXA DEMYSTIFIES CHATBOTS
Chatbots are computer programs designed to simulate talking to a customer service rep or sales rep. Once used only by large companies for fielding simple queries about business hours or return polices, many are now being developed for small business use, such as for handling restaurant reservations or for responding to inquiries received via messenger apps. With more than 80% of customer inquiries or complaints ignored or poorly handled, AI-driven chatbots can help busy exhibitors field questions and escalate hard leads to your sales team. Artificial intelligence, voice assistants and chatbots will enable brands to offer personalized shopping experiences on messaging platforms like Messenger, WhatsApp and Kik.
SLOW DOWN — DO NOT BE DRIVEN BY IMPULSE
We are dazed by the speed of change.
As a result we are driven by impulse and respond. We are loosing our power to think. We are always on the reactive mode.
This is is true for you and your customers. Your customers are inundated with the curse of MORE — more content, more channels, more digital experiences. Hence, in this mode of perpetual abundance, it up to you, (the chief experience officer) to decide the technology you want to use, the channels you want to capitalize and the in-person interactions that you want to highlight. And that is no small task.
Slow down, take stock of your brand power house — align your marketing operations with demand generation, digital marketing, field and channel marketing, communications and product marketing — once, you have done this and made each unit responsible for the grand success of your event, all things are bound to fall in place.
The evolution of digital marketing presents new challenges and opportunities for the exhibit industry. Adapting to the changing expectations of your virtual and real time audiences will help you find your high — where the speed gets under control and the effort more rewarding.
Sources for this article:
@skylineexhibits, @MatthewBohar @successfulmeetings, @entrepreneur