In Trade Shows, Trends

As the seasons start heating up, so do the year’s top industry events.

Here at Dana, we’re already prepping for this October’s IMEX America! Our client since launching in Las Vegas seven years ago, it’s the biggest meetings industry trade show in the U.S., where every sector is represented.

Watching a leader like this firsthand has given us a pretty good grasp on the hard work involved with making such an event a real sensation. It’s an impressive undertaking, and one that must continue to evolve with the times.

That also means Dana’s been tracking 2017 trade show trends. We’re ready to share our observations on the first half, so you can know what to expect or maximize your own efforts.

In-the-flesh interaction remains paramount.

No matter what kind of bling you bring to the booth, remember that face-to-face connections are still a primary reason why attendees flock to trade shows in the first place.

Implement an open design, and staff it with friendly people who are knowledgeable about your brand. Out front, they should actively engage passersby, to spur meaningful conversation, listen to their needs, establish vital relationships and, ultimately, inspire sales.

Tailored-to-you treatment, because attendees are people too.

Personalization has been hotter and hotter as of late, and we predict it will only grow more in the years to come, as tailored tech capabilities advance.

From the first hello to follow-up, at a booth or across devices and platforms, communicating in a customized manner keeps people from feeling like another face in the crowd—and prevents them from seeing you as one.

To ensure the friendliest interactions and most fruitful opportunities, deliver a unique, seamless experience that addresses their particular needs and interests.

Even a little technology goes a long way.

We live in an increasingly techy world, so integrating it into your trade show presence is only natural—and anticipated. But it doesn’t have to be complex. Utilize simple digital aids, like a touchscreen device, to demo your product or explain your services.

Virtual reality experiences, Bluetooth capabilities and 3D-printed models are also being put to good use.

However you apply such gadgets and gizmos, ensure they entice attendees, and more importantly, become smart, stimulating and persuasive methods for relaying your brand.

Incorporate a focus on facts and figures.

That tech we mention above? It’s a great tactic for collecting data about booth visitors and their behaviors.

From there, analyze what you’ve learned. Then, employ it to target customer segmentation and personalize your marketing and future trade show efforts most appealingly and effectively.

And educate your audience as well.

For IMEX America and many trade shows, live, revealing and comprehensive education programs often provide a lure that’s just as tantalizing as any other trade show trappings.

Attendees love getting an in-person glimpse of brand-new possibilities and cutting-edge trends. They appreciate chances to garner insight, become industry experts and feel like part of the exclusive set.

Give ’em what they want by providing in-booth demos and sessions, as well as educational events at or surrounding the trade show itself.

Walk the floor with Dana.

We can help make your next trade show the most successful ever. Email Lynn Kaniper at or call 609.466.9187, ext. 117 today.

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