Trade Show Trends: Pack Expo 2018 From a Millennial Marketer's Perspective

Hayley

Exhibitors: you guys know how to put on a good show. For our first time attending, we were certainly impressed with the level of effort each of you put into displaying your brand. Whether it was done with vibrant television screens, double-decker booths, or lively entertainment, the exhibitors at Pack Expo 2018 did not disappoint.

Here are a few takeaways from a marketers perspective, on the exhibitors who created an experience at Pack Expo, Chicago 2018.

Audiovisuals & Virtual Reality Cause a Scene

Booths that displayed big, flat-screen TVs seemed to get more foot traffic than others. Most booths had some form of visual content, but the popular exhibitors placed an extremely large, inescapable HD screen on each corner space of their booth. As a video production professional, I thoroughly enjoyed this approach. Audiovisuals are attention-grabbing and interactive.

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Before you get the conversation started with the exhibitor, you are able to learn, on your own, what their product does, how it works, all by seeing a video on display. This experience was incredible for an inbound marketer & millennial, as I like to learn what I can before asking questions.

One exhibitor stood out with their virtual reality headset, allowing attendees to step inside their food processing oven. Marlen International created an experience for those stepping into their booth, all by providing technology that’s captivating, interesting, intriguing, and very satisfying.

With the help of audiovisuals, exhibitors were able to put together a setting, a tone, an atmosphere that would allow attendees to soak in the true essence of their brand and the products they represent.

Gimmicks & Entertainment Start the Party

Attendees like myself have what we call “shiny object syndrome” which means bells, whistles, glitter, anything that shines or sings make my eyes grow big, and I’m instantly motivated with curiosity.

Some exhibitors shared food, bevs, and great conversation, while others offered games, photo booths, and manufacturing “swag.” Each booth had a unique approach for their gimmick, but an exhibitor that stood out to me specifically was Domino Printing.

These savvy professionals hired a game show host to play a jeopardy-type game with the Pack Expo attendees. Although the Domino sales team was initially skeptical of the idea, they realized how big of a success the game was, after-all. Without a doubt, they were one of the most popular exhibitors, drawing a huge influx of Pack Expo attendees. So take that, Pack Expo: The Domino Effect.

Personality & Human Connection Helps Grow Business

As I mentioned before, this was my first time attending the Pack Expo conference, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. In the past, I haven’t had many challenges with building relationships, but at varying points during the show I couldn’t help but get the feeling, there was some sort of secret pack I wasn’t a part of . . . maybe I looked like a sales guy?

However, there were exhibitors that went out of their way to answer any questions I had on their product or service and served as the kings of kindness. The friendly exhibitors who made a conscious effort to reach out to those around their booth had better luck with forming relationships, and not just with me, but with all attendees.

I don’t know if you realize this or not exhibitors, but when you communicate with those around you, you’re forming an influence for the outsiders, which can either be good or bad, depending upon what your communication looks like. If I see someone having a great time at your booth, I’m going to join out of curiosity. It’s a chain reaction. It’s #science.

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Therefore, most successful exhibitors created this friendly, easy going, non-salesly experience which is something a lead will not forget if they’re looking for a partner to do business with.

Pack Expo Chicago, we cannot wait to come back next year and see the improved technology, entertainment for hours, and relationships in the manufacturing industry for days.

The purpose of exhibiting can vary depending on where your goals might be. Maybe you want to generate more leads or possibly get your brand name out there so it’s recognized across industries. Whatever the reason might be for exhibiting at a conference, the strategy should be defined and put into place before the show begins.

If you need help, just ask. We are here for you and want to make sure that you're providing a frictionless, simple, and memorable experience for your trade show attendees. Discover how one of our clients took their trade show to the next level

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Originally published October 23, 2018 at 9:00 AM

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