KNOWLEDGE

Trade Show Technology and the Internet of Things (IoT)

Category: Ideas, Trends

One of the most influential trade show technology trends to emerge in recent years is undoubtedly the Internet of Things, or “IoT” for short. For people in-the-know about trade show technology, IoT is already such an important part of our daily lives that it’s hardly a “trend” anymore at all. For those who aren’t as familiar with the term, IoT refers to the idea of a network of devices (including everyday objects) that are not only connected to the Internet, but also sending and receiving data among each other.

Forbes describes this common trade show technology concept as “any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cellphones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of.” For example, the IoT might allow us to adjust our thermostats remotely or, in an industrial setting, enable complex machinery to communicate real-time information about repairs.

For those of us immersed in the world of trade show technology, this amazing capability is a big deal. Let’s explore some of its wide-ranging implications and learn what the Internet of Things means for the future.

 

The Internet of Things Means More Connectivity than Ever

Trade show technology has included mobile devices for the last few years. Still, the key to grasping the full impact of the Internet of Things comes down to understanding the fact that we are all about to become more connected than ever before.

For better or worse, the majority of people now walk around with smart watches or other connected devices. With interconnectivity advancing to higher levels every year, trade show attendees no longer have to perform a series of actions— logging onto their computer, checking their email, scrolling through Twitter— in order to find your messages. They are ready to receive them at all times.

What exactly do we mean when we talk about the IoT and its role in trade show technology? The possibilities are endless, but one example worth mentioning is beacon technology.

Proximity-based beacons allow marketers to push information to attendees as they walk by. They can even help people find your exhibit! When connected beacons are affixed to different points, you can push a notification to anyone that walks by it with an Internet-connected device, even if the associated app (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) is closed.

Connected devices allow you to track attendees’ paths through the trade show, discovering patterns, seeing what exhibits they spend the most time in, and gaining valuable insights that were otherwise not discoverable. Sending questions though connected devices also gives you the opportunity to collect valuable data faster than ever before.

Thanks to the Internet of Things, every attendee is a potential target at any given moment. It might sound like a dystopian future to some, but to trade show marketers it’s a dream come true— that is, if you’re ready for it.

 

New Trade Show Technology Like IoT Means Immediate Access to More Data

As trade show technology advances, marketers are being inundated with more data than ever before. And as the game changes, so too should our practices and procedures. Consider this, by 2020, we expect to have 1.7 megabytes of new information created for every living person on earth. To trade show technology professionals and other sophisticated marketers, this is a double-edged sword.

Yes, you’re going to know more about attendees than you have in the past, but the challenge will soon lie in making sense of that data as quickly as possible. Scoring leads and other information will no longer be a task for after the show. Soon, you’ll need to be able to do this in real-time, all the time, no exceptions.

Since insights collected on the spot are much less valuable once your prospect has walked away, digital marketers need to learn how to process data as it’s collected. How? That’s a challenge that has been plaguing the industry for years. The best way to begin is by investing in analytical solutions that help you process huge volumes of data in real time.

Targeting an ad to someone after they’ve navigated away from your site is one thing, but being able to accomplish the same thing right after they’ve walked away from your exhibit is a lot more powerful. This pioneering marketing technique is going to change the way we think about trade show technology. Thanks to the the Internet of Things, you can now target more people, with better information, at just the right time.

Need help modernizing your next exhibition or finding the right analytical solutions to process incoming data? Our experts can help you make a plan that utilizes the most relevant trade show technology in a way that adds value to your business. Let's talk!

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Caroline Meyers
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