Conferences are a powerful marketing tool that allow businesses to network with each other and demonstrate their products to customers in an open and social environment. As digital technology evolves, innovative new products are becoming available that make conferences even more engaging, exciting and profitable.
Say goodbye to the business card
A vital part of conferences is the way that they facilitate meeting and interacting with new and existing business contacts. Maintaining these connections after the conference is also key. Instead of relying on paper business cards, which can get lost in conference clutter, many non-traditional methods are using technology to give savvy marketers the edge at conferences. Internet registration allows for speed, cost effectiveness and instant booking confirmation. The registration details can then be linked to a near-field communication (radio frequency or NFC) chip, barcode or QR code to allow the visitor to be identified throughout the conference. Using and combining these technologies correctly also allows other attendees to scan and instantly add information to their contacts, direct them to websites, add them to an emailing list and more. Following this tech trend eliminates the possibility of lost cards, notes and pamphlets.
Track and interact with customers
Handing out near field communication tags can have a lot of benefits for conference organisers and exhibitors. NFC is the ideal tech trend for events due to its low-cost nature and the paperless system it allows. Track attendee demographics and count how many people attended each stand. Use tag readers for automated access control to VIP areas. Scan NFC tags when handing out gift bags or samples for inventory control. Reward attendees with electronic vouchers that can be redeemed using the NFC tag, or use the technology to run competitions or even scavenger hunts, on a similar system. The possibilities are endless and make engaging with consumers effortless and fun.
For a customer-centric approach, link info gained from NFC tags and internet registration to a database and then display tailored content on video walls. Content can even change based on who walks passed, if the walls are interactive and have an NFC scanner! Another tech trend to take note of is the use of video walls as a powerful and eye-catching tool to broadcast digital branded content, the location and times of meetings, and the location of stands, food halls and other areas of interest. For the all-important social media touch, use high-impact video walls and digital signage software to broadcast social media feeds including footage, photos or comments on events as they happen, competitions, giveaways and conference-related hashtags for an up-to-date and relevant running commentary on conference proceedings.
Turn to virtual conferences for quick and convenient meet ups
Web conferencing and digital events such as webinars have also grown in leaps and bounds over the last few years. It enables groups of registered members to interact with each other from their offices or a boardroom and allows for contact between clients, colleagues and suppliers while reducing travel time and costs, as well as cutting out the cost of attending a conference and manning a physical stand. This is an interesting alternative to traditional conference events.