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    How Technology and Greening goes hand-in-hand - Independent or entwined

    Exhibitions by their very nature are not the most eco-friendly of marketing activities, surrounded by the reputation for being wasteful. But the global surge in the use of smartphones and tablets has created a wealth of opportunities for exhibitors to promote their products while going green. We all know that venues and organisers are savvy with their recycling policies and their use of LED lights on the greening front. But adding technology to the exhibition experience not only helps save the planet but will also get people engaged and excited about what you are offering. And how green you really are!

    Here are some ideas on how you can marry face-to-face exhibiting with technology and ensure that your stand is effectively green as well.

    Before the show

    You need not wait until the show organiser starts to integrate technology into your exhibition stand. Create a buzz, an ongoing conversation about the upcoming event through social media like Facebook and twitter, use email lists linked to online details and direct mail. You could even create a once-off website for the upcoming event, or a Facebook page, where you can talk to prospective clients about what they expect and want from the show.

    The IMEX Group and QuickMobile’s 2014 mobile event technology research study revealed that 75% of respondents want to use event apps to start conversations before an event and 78% would like to keep those conversations going after the event. Social media can also be a powerful marketing tool which allows organisers to talk directly to a specific market interested in their show.

    Give out press kits with a digital edge

    Many companies like to give out gifts and freebies at exhibitions, but one must not overlook the press. They can potentially reach more people with one blog post or article about your products and services than you would collectively see at your stand during a show. A good press kit will include quotes, promotional material, a video and photos pre-loaded to a disk or saved onto a flash drive (USB). These are both easy to carry around and pass onto other people to share. Similarly, there’s no need to wait when it comes to offering follow-up materials. You can also give out DVD’s and flash drives with brochures, product specifics, videos, and application or order forms already loaded and ready to use. Saving printed collateral and being thoroughly green. Technology can help give your company the edge with new ways of connecting with prospective customers. Furthermore, it can create a sense of excitement and make your exhibition stand memorable while minimizing your environmental impact.

    Use eco apps to go green

    Mobile Technology can also be used to streamline your stand’s ordering process, eliminating paper forms and receipts. You will also be able to write orders anywhere with a mobile sales app that doubles up as a product catalogue. You can also add products directly to their order as they browse, and seal the deal with email confirmation. Making sales a much faster and easier process for both your customers and staff.

    IMEX Group and QuickMobile’s study also revealed that 63% of meeting planners say visitors expect a mobile app at an event, while 60% of event planners have used an app for at least one of their events over the past two years. The survey further reveals that the top three reasons for the use of event apps include organiser-to-visitor communications, visitor-to-visitor communications and the elimination of paper waste. However, it is important to remember to put time aside before the show to upload images and product specs to an app like this. Staff may also need to practice using the app. Take note that some apps may need to be purchased or require an internet connection to work, these expenses will therefore need to be budgeted for but are well worth the time and paper saved at shows.

    Online - is always available

    Most printed materials are great resources of information outside of shows, but unless someone stops by your stand at a show, they won’t get the information. If you publish your news and info on your website or through social media, prospective clients can find it and share it before, during and even after the show. By keeping the basics of marketing in mind and choosing the right tool for the job companies can ensure that they keep their carbon footprint smaller whilst at the same time reaching a larger clientele. A win-win for everyone.

    The world of exhibitions is changing at a rapid pace – and technology is moving really fast – and is oh-so green too! But remember – face-to-face marketing is here to stay.

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