Exhibition Marketing Trends For 2015

Category: Event Marketing

Reports from the International Association of Exhibitions and Events always provide some interesting reading, and their latest, Future Trends Impacting the Exhibitions and Events Industry, offers a wealth of information for exhibitors. The 2014 edition of the report includes a number of trends that the organisation expects will have a significant impact on the exhibition services industry over the next few years.

Economic Outlook

Exhibition Stand Design

While exhibitors are somewhat cautious when it comes to investing in events, it's expected that as local and global economies stabilise and grow, organisations will allocate more funds for exhibitions. Another expectation is that international exhibition markets will continue to grow, with increasing numbers of international attendees at events throughout the world.

Digital Facilities, Data Capture, and Analysis

Big data describes the wealth of digital data that's available to organisations for collection and analysis, and the ability of computer software to discern useful information from this data. The use of big data in the events industry is in the early stages but it's expected to become more prominent. One possibility is the use of data capture technology at events and its use in the analysis of exhibitor performances.

Another aspect of this is the increasing demand for quality wi-fi and digital infrastructure at event venues, and the difficulty that some venues are having in meeting the costs of installation and maintenance, due in part to the huge amount of bandwidth required to meet demand.

Mobile Computing

Exhibition Design

The ubiquity of mobile devices is expected to have a significant impact on the industry; mobile devices offer exhibitors unique opportunities to communicate with attendees, who are themselves often engaging with online audiences during events.

Social Media Marketing and the 24/7 Event

Social media has become an important marketing tool, with many B2B organisations adopting one or more social media platforms as integral to their marketing processes. As social media marketing becomes more creative and more competitive, companies will continue to allocate more resources to this aspect of marketing, with the expectation that it will become an integral part of events themselves.

The current structure of the industry is considered to be “episodic,” in that an event takes place during a specific and finite time period. With the increasing integration of social media into marketing and events, the potential is there for those discrete episodes to become longer periods of time, in which the build-up to an exhibition and the post-exhibition analysis is a community event just as much as the exhibition itself.

Increasingly Sophisticated Exhibits and Exhibitors

Even as exhibition stand design evolves to more fully integrated advanced multimedia platforms and social media tools, and as marketers invest ever more heavily in digital marketing, there's a need for exhibitors to also demonstrate that digital and face-to-face marketing are two synergistic sides of the same coin. While exhibition stands are increasingly technologically complex, exhibitors themselves are becoming more sophisticated too.

Engagement

Event Design

Engagement is something of a buzzword in marketing and business in general, but while it's a term that's relatively new to many people, it's no less important for that. What constitutes engagement, how to measure engagement, and how engagement can be leveraged into increasing the success of an individual exhibit or an entire event, are questions that will be investigated more fully in the coming years.


Posted 15th July, 2015

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