Abhishek Vanamali, CMO, Zensar Technologies looks at the future of exhibitions and what the new experience might entail.
Typically, physical browsing forms a core component of any exhibition as sellers and brands offer displays and demos. Certain sectors in the B2B space thrive on this format to create more connections, introduce new concepts and products at a large scale. Designed to be show stoppers in many cases, we have seen certain products making high profile debuts at such large-scale events.
As countries across the world take precautionary steps in ascertaining the risk in opening up this format to the scale, there are concerns and barriers such as people not wanting to be in crowded spaces and restricted air travel.
So how can we still create a successful exhibition experience?
Tech- infused experience
Technology will be the enabler as well as a great leveller when it comes to creating the seamless exhibition as we step beyond 2020.
In recent years, large format events and exhibitions have been implementing different technology aids to enhance the look and feel of their space as well as demos. As virtual events become a future reality, using high-end technologies to enhance the experience like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality will be a strategic decision.
Using 3-D modelling can help enhance the result and help create a completely new experience for the visitor who may be watching on their devices. Generating a life-like experience with virtual walk-throughs across the exhibition floor coupled with virtual booths and walk ways can engage well with virtual attendees. Visitors will have the option to select the displays and demos they want to see or even try out different variations at the click of a button.
Analytics driven ROI
One of the issues physical events face is the lack of actionable insights that can be leveraged to create post event conversations. There are some smart ways wherein we have seen ways to gather information, use facial recognition technology, in some cases, to measure a visitor and their interests as they walk through the exhibition floors. Yet, it is still a challenge to get smart insights on how a visitor will engage with your brand or product post event.
In the case of a virtual exhibition, it is possible to gather insights on time spent on each display, any interaction with the features available etc. These analytics can help brands plan marketing campaigns that are more targeted and effective, as well as identify what is working, and what would be improved.
In the case of physical events, once the event is over, the attendees tend to forget some of the key takeaways and are lost with the multiple channels of communication aimed at them. They only remember anything that was unique or different.
In the case of a virtual event, the experience stays for much longer as it is more interactive, and personable with the use of AI and Machine Learning tools. Brands can create a better long-lasting experience that remains after the event. Now it will be possible to create meaningful messages and share content an attendee was most interested in by applying hyper-personalisation.
Recent events have forced the industry to think of new innovative ways to drive engagement and brand conversations in the future. Experience led exhibitions are the future!