The optimal customer experience for your trade fair event

User-centric development as the foundation for a successful customer trade fair experience

The traditional planning of your own trade fair appearance actually always happens around the current product highlights. Of course, the innovations or the easy-to-sell ‘cash-cows’ of the current assortment are the stars at the trade fair stand and in trade fair communication. Ideally, they are also in a comprehensible context with the main theme of the fair.

However, in order to design an optimal customer trade fair experience for potential customers, the customer and his needs must be placed in the centre of conception of your trade fair activities. The perspective has to be changed. Only those who follow the entire visit to the fair from the customer's point of view will develop a good sense of when and where a meaningful dialogue can be opened that also offers real added value for the customer. This can successfully establish a sustainable differentiation of all other information offered by competitors.

The ‘visitor journey’ developed in this way, including its touch points and the associated requirements, is the guideline for the design of all digital offers in conjunction with the personal customer approach on site, which still remains the strength of the fair offer.

High relevance through temporal and textual content control

In simplified terms, a trade fair visit consists of three phases: the preparation, the visit itself and the follow-up. Each of these phases has its own character in core motivation, information gathering and processing.

For example, the preparation firstly consists of focused information gathering for travel planning - usually done on the desktop. Here, it is essential to deliver elementary services and basic information for a quick set-up. Secondly, content-based inspiration is especially important in preparation. Visually and editorially appealing content (possibly also in the context of the trade fair's main theme) generates particular interest, as the event gets closer. Skilful storytelling entices interested parties to surf thematically and set content anchors that will later be of importance for the visit to the trade fair itself.

The phase of the trade fair visit, however, is quite different. Now the motivation lies in the content-related and local navigation, the selection of individually relevant information from the oversupply. The focus now is clearly on mobile usage. Quickly ascertainable and assessable information gains in significance. Live reports and programme services provide efficient orientation. If a contact with the customer has already been achieved in the preparation phase, intelligent lead management now develops its full potential through individualisation of the content.

Dynamic content in multi-channel communication

Just as the requirements of the trade fair visitor changes, the content offered must also change in order to continue to offer real added value.
It is obvious that the phase-dependent user needs with their different motivational positions and their different device usage, cannot be optimally approached by a static content in only one channel. There are numerous ways to make content more dynamic and more individual. A beginning would be to formulate additional, temporally controlled information offers, which supplement the usual corporate appearance, by implementing a modular structure of the own website.

Ideal would be trade fair-specific microsites that experience a particularly intensive activation at trade fair times. Here, content can be edited on a phase-dependent basis and continuously optimised through intensive usage analysis. An independent functionality enables optimal navigation and filtering of content by time, location and device. This focused usage also supports the SEO achievements during the fair.

Correspondingly content-driven campaigns in paid and owned media as well as CRM measures ensure sufficient traffic on the website. Climax of the digital campaigns should be shortly before and during the fair.

In the time between the fairs the microsites remain online as thematic landing pages. True to the motto: after the fair is before the fair. Even though trade fair organisers are increasingly recognizing the importance of such thematic portals and using them for their trade fair brands, the alternative offer of a market leader can become an important operative tool of a leading trade fair due to clearly noticeable quality differences and greater dynamics.

Social media as range pusher

An authentic and carefully selected social media offer can significantly influence the success of the trade fair. Facebook can make a good contribution to thematic navigation, especially in the planning phase. Also in the follow-up phase it can positively influence the objective assessment of the performance offered. With the help of updating platforms such as Twitter or Snapchat (more dependent on the target audience of the trade fair), a planned and spontaneous stand utilisation can be optimised by actively pushing highlights via live reports or offering a free snack during slack lunchtime. Video platforms such as YouTube offer the opportunity to extent high-quality moving image services especially produced for the fair, even to the target group potentials that have not previously been reached.

Target-oriented use of innovations

Especially a trade fair has particular requirements for the interaction of personal address and digital communication. The on-site digital offer should enable an optimal information offer to the customer in the autonomous use, as well as support the discussion between the customer and sales/marketing as target-oriented as possible.

One example: With its visual and linguistic information that supplements reality, augmented reality is ideally suited for communicating complex, mechanical processes or just otherwise hidden features. That would be a useful addition particularly in the personnel-based conversation. But again, user-centric development is the key to success. Only if the conception of the application has taken into consideration the requirements of sales, i.e. the interviewer, the innovation will become a successfully used tool and not just degenerate into a gimmick.

The shortcut chance for opportunity management

Ideally, successfully conducted lead management has led to the visit of your potential customer. Then, the conversation could be prepared on site and is well on its way to successfully passing through the sales funnel. However, personal contact at the trade fair stand is usually the first personified contact at all. Now it is possible to make a shortcut and go through several phases in the sales funnel in one single conversation. An app-supported call management offers an as natural as possible documentation of the conversational progress and the security of a systematic recording of contact data and information status as well as the probability of completion. Transfer times previously defined in lead routing ensure an efficient and targeted conversation process, which, through clever opportunity management, may even lead to the actual preparation of an offer during the trade fair. All other contacts are recorded by the real-time-fed CRM database at a correspondingly high quality level for lead scoring. These contacts receive individualised approach during the trade fair visit through the continuous marketing automation.

From provider to trade fair partner

This is how the trade fair experience of your customer gains quality. He feels perceived with his interests, looked after and professionally cared for. Your brand differentiates itself substantially from the competition and becomes the preferred trade fair partner. Consistently continued user-centric development makes your trade appearance the benchmark of a whole category over time.

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