Exhibitions: alive and kicking in a digital era

Anna Clague
Marketing Consultant

As the world transitioned into the digital age during the COVID-19 pandemic, brands headed online to provide alternative virtual experiences, raising questions about the future of traditional events. However, as the dust settled, a new chapter unfolded, revealing the resilience and growing demand for physical events while harnessing the power of digital media.

The Power of Human Connection

Since 2021, InstallerSHOW has witnessed an impressive surge in visitor numbers, doubling attendance, and tripling the number of exhibitors. This achievement demonstrates the increased desire for human connection, which is further amplified through powerful brand reach online.

Gymshark exemplifies a successful brand that built a robust community by engaging customers on a personal level through a UK tour. In-person events were seamlessly combined with online experiences, forging authentic connections on a more human level.

Brand Storytelling

Effective brand storytelling across digital channels before, during, and after an event is crucial. Engaging content on websites, social media, and email marketing builds anticipation, creating a sense of exclusivity, enticing attendees to be part of the exhibition experience.

Ahead of the show, exhibitors should connect with their audience, offering personalised invitations, exclusive discounts, and behind-the-scenes insights. This proactive engagement fosters a sense of community, making attendees feel valued and eager to attend the event.

The Event Experience Beyond the Show

During the exhibition, live streams provide real-time access to key presentations, panel discussions, and product demonstrations. Digital platforms enable exhibitors to reach a broader audience, allowing remote attendees to participate virtually. By using social media channels, this ensures consistent content sharing, creating a vibrant buzz around the show.

Embrace the Data

Post-exhibition, digital platforms empower exhibitors to leverage collected data for impactful follow-up. Analysing attendee behaviour, preferences, and interactions enables tailoring of post-show communications with personalised and relevant content. This data-driven approach fosters ongoing engagement, extending the brand storytelling beyond the physical event.

In a rapidly evolving customer landscape, exhibitions retain their appeal by delivering immersive experiences and creating genuine engagement. By embracing digital media, brands can captivate audiences, fostering connections both online and offline.

With the InstallerSHOW expecting an impressive 38% increase in visitors next year, now is the time for brand planning. By seamlessly combining digital media with immersive experiences, exhibitors can craft a captivating narrative. One which resonates with attendees, ensuring a successful and impactful event that leaves a lasting impression. Successful trade events embrace the future as they integrate the best of both physical and digital worlds to drive business growth and genuine human connection.

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