Face to face contact with visitors is made at the trade fair stand, but digital marketing tools such as digital lead generation systems or mobile technologies like augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) are opening up new opportunities to extend trade fair stands into the digital world and provide visitors with an emotional and direct experience of one’s own company and product world.
Beacons at the trade fair stand
One technology that is particularly suited for use at trade fair stands is Beacons, which are transmitters that send data to smartphones over short distances via Bluetooth. These signalling devices can be used to provide people in the stand’s vicinity with incentives to interact with the company or give them access to additional information such as navigation help, a business card with a sales contact, a product brochure or a voucher code to participate in a contest. In this video, Dexperty explains the technology behind iBeacon.
Setting off into digital worlds: augmented and virtual reality
Some exhibits simply can’t be demonstrated at a trade fair stand, but they can in the virtual world. Large machines and systems, vacation spots or the special features of a construction, which only become apparent when a certain component is seen from the inside – this is all no problem using virtual reality . VR goggles show visitors video content that makes them feel like they are part of what they are watching. In this way, trade fair visitors actually experience the exhibits by viewing them from all angles and zooming in on them instead of simply seeing them fixed in place in front of them.
They can assemble components themselves, take a trip inside tiny components, or – as presented by ZF at the IAA Commercial Vehicles fair – drive an innovative new truck via 360-degree video.
Right in the middle, not just on the sidelines: mobile trade fair marketing
AR and VR can be implemented at trade fairs particularly well when combined with mobile technologies like Messe Frankfurt’s Navigator apps. Visitors can use these apps to find exhibitors, site maps, events and much more. At the same time, they are kept informed of news during the trade fair.
But an app can also serve as a successful enhancement and mobile extension of the stand itself. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles used its own app at the IAA 2015 trade fair, for example, to send valuable additional information about the exhibited innovations to visitors on their smartphones using Beacon technology. Using VR, visitors also had the opportunity scan a vehicle that they were particularly interested in and take a look at the electric drive. Smartphone users could also use the app to book test drives in the new Passat GTE on the IAA trade fair grounds.
For more information about Digital Marketing & Trade Shows also read our articles Digitally networked: social media in the trade fair environment, Online on the hook: digital marketing for optimum trade fair preparation and the interview Digital marketing at Messe Frankfurt: Personal contact digitally enriched.