The Dummies’ Guide to Using Digital Trade Show Displays

Guide to Using Digital Trade Show Displays: Maximize Engagement and ROI

In the world of trade shows, capturing the eye and interest of attendees is paramount. Digital trade show displays have become a staple in this environment, offering vibrant visuals and interactive options that traditional static displays can't match. They provide a platform to showcase products and services dynamically, telling a compelling story that can visually engage potential customers and partners.

Digital displays leverage cutting-edge technology to offer versatility and flexibility in presentation. They enable exhibitors to incorporate a wide range of multimedia content, from video to live social media feeds, bringing their booth to life. Moreover, the strategic use of digital displays can significantly enhance the interactivity of a booth, encouraging more profound engagement from passersby. Pivotally, the ease of updating and adapting the display content in real-time allows for a responsive and customizable exhibit that parallels the pace and variability of modern business.

Key Takeaways

  • Digital displays at trade shows enhance visibility and engagement through dynamic content.
  • Technology selection and strategic content incorporation are crucial in maximizing a display's impact.
  • Real-time content updates and interactivity play a pivotal role in a successful digital display strategy.

The Evolution of Trade Show Displays

Trade show displays have undergone significant transformation, transitioning from static exhibits to highly interactive, digital environments that enhance brand awareness and visitor engagement.

From Static to Dynamic: The Digital Revolution

Historically, trade show exhibits predominantly consisted of static elements like posters, banners, and product samples. However, the integration of technology has led to a shift towards digital trade show displays. These innovative solutions range from simple digital signage to intricate, interactive installations. The incorporation of touchscreens and multimedia content plays a pivotal role in creating a dynamic and captivating experience, moving away from conventional practices where physical or touch screen only was a primary form of interaction.

The Impact of Digital Displays on Trade Shows

Digital displays at trade shows have revolutionized the way companies create brand awareness. They offer versatile platforms for presentations, product demonstrations, and advertisements, leading to increased attendee engagement. Trade shows now often feature everything from high-definition video walls to interactive kiosks and virtual reality experiences. These digital solutions are not only more engaging but also provide measurable data on visitor interactions, enabling exhibitors to tailor their approach and maximize their impact at each show.

Designing Your Digital Display Strategy

Creating an effective digital display strategy for a trade show requires careful planning and alignment with brand goals. It is a multi-faceted effort that involves establishing objectives, syncing with the broader marketing agenda, and developing content that captures attention and communicates the brand's message effectively.

Establishing Clear Objectives

The first step in designing a digital display trade show strategy is to define what the business hopes to achieve. This may range from brand awareness, lead generation, to product education. Objectives need to be specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). For instance, rather than simply aiming to attract attendees, they might set a goal to capture 250 new leads over the course of the trade show.

Integrating With Overall Marketing Plan

A digital display strategy should complement and enhance the existing marketing plan. Consistent branding across digital displays and other marketing materials reinforces the message and promotes recognition. One should consider how digital signage can work alongside social media, email campaigns, and other promotional activities to create a cohesive experience for the trade show audience.

Content is King: Crafting Compelling Messaging

For digital trade show displays, content is the linchpin. It not only attracts attention but also engages and inspires potential customers. High-quality, professional videos can showcase products effectively, while interactive elements like touch-panel displays encourage direct engagement and can provide a memorable brand experience. Messaging should be clear and tailored to the target audience, focusing on their needs and how the brand can fulfill them.

Choosing the Right Digital Display Technology

Selecting the most appropriate digital display technology is imperative for enhancing engagement at trade shows. Exhibitors should focus on the display types, key factors such as brightness and resolution, and the potential of interactive technologies.

Understanding Different Display Types

Digital displays come in various forms, from simple flat panels to complex multi-panel video walls. Small tablets are suitable for personal interactions, while mid-sized TV screens work for small group presentations. For a more impactful display, multi-panel digital walls provide a seamless large-format viewing experience. Modern displays and video wall often feature thin bezels, the frame around the screen, for an unobtrusive and professional look.

Factors to Consider: Brightness, Resolution, Size

When assessing digital displays, three critical factors are brightness, resolution, and size. Brightness, measured in lumens, should be high enough to stand out in well-lit trade show environments. Resolution determines the clarity and sharpness of the displayed content, where full HD or 4K might be considered. Size of the display affects visibility and engagement range; larger screens capture attention from a distance, whereas smaller ones are better for close-up interactions.

Interactive Technologies: Touchscreens and Kiosks

Interactive technologies offer engaging experiences for attendees. Touchscreens allow users to control applications, view content at their own pace, and could lead to higher retention of information displayed. Kiosks, on the other hand, combine both display and interactive elements, often used for product demos or information stations, where visitors can engage with the brand on a deeper level. These solutions should be intuitive and responsive to ensure a positive user experience.

Incorporating Engaging Content and Visuals

In today's fast-paced digital landscape, trade show displays thrive on captivating content and visuals. This guarantees a memorable brand experience and fosters visitor engagement.

Utilizing Videos and Animation

Videos and animation serve as powerful tools for storytelling and product demonstration. They can explain complex concepts quickly and attractively, often leading to increased booth traffic. Trade show exhibitors should consider showcasing virtual reality show tours and product demos through video displays to entice and educate attendees.

Graphics and Branding: Creating a Visual Identity

Strong graphics and consistent branding are crucial for creating a visual identity that resonates with the audience. Exhibitors should ensure that their trade show graphics are coherent with their brand's messaging, using high-quality images and a color scheme that aligns with their corporate identity.

Sound and Narration: Enhancing the Experience

Sound and narration, when used judiciously, can significantly enhance the trade show experience. These auditory elements should complement the visuals, not overpower them. For instance, a well-scripted voiceover can serve as a guide through the digital content, making the message more accessible and engaging.

Boosting Interactivity and Engagement

Enhancing attendee engagement at trade shows is paramount, and the strategic use of digital displays is a proven and cost effective method to achieve this. Through embracing interactive technology, exhibitors can create an immersive environment that fosters active participation and collects valuable insights.

Trade Show Booth Interactivity

Trade show booths that incorporate digital signage are known to significantly increase attendee engagement. By providing interactive experiences such as virtual tours, product demonstrations, and engaging games, exhibitors encourage trade show visitors to become active participants. The result is not only increased time spent at the booth but also a deeper connection to the brand. The integration of interactive games enhances this connection further, turning passive viewers into active users.

Interactive Kiosks and Tablets

Utilizing interactive kiosks and tablets within a trade show setup extends the functionality of booth space beyond conventional displays. These devices can serve multiple purposes:

  • Provide detailed product information
  • Showcase multimedia presentations
  • Act as lead capture tools

Their ability to be updated in real-time ensures that the content remains relevant which is key to maintaining engagement levels. Furthermore, when strategically placed, digital kiosks can guide the visitor's journey through the whole exhibit space, creating a seamless narrative flow.

Collecting Data and Feedback Through Digital Means

The integration of digital tools in trade show booths facilitates data collection and feedback. Interactive displays, specifically tailored to capture visitor information and preferences, provide actionable insights to the exhibitor. This real-time feedback allows for immediate adjustments to strategy and content, improving the overall effectiveness of the trade show presence. By incorporating devices that solicit feedback, a brand can gather critical data points to refine their approach, both during and after the event. It's these data collection capabilities that turn a static display into a dynamic, intelligence-gathering asset.

Using digital displays for enhanced interactivity and engagement is a dynamic approach to trade show participation. Each interaction is an opportunity to connect with potential clients and collect data, making digital technologies an invaluable asset for any exhibitor.

Leveraging Multimedia and Social Media

Digital trade show displays have revolutionized the way exhibitors interact with their audience. They not only attract attendees but offer an array of possibilities for engagement, notably through social media and multimedia content.

Integrating Social Media into Your Display

Exhibitors can amplify their message by incorporating social media feeds directly into their digital displays. Platforms like Instagram can be used to showcase a brand's latest posts or user-generated content, creating a dynamic and interactive experience. Real-time social media integrations encourage attendees to follow and participate in online conversations, merging the physical and digital realms of the trade show.

User-Generated Content and Testimonials

Using testimonials and user-generated content within a digital trade show display instills trust and validates the brand's value proposition. Exhibitors should encourage satisfied customers to post their experiences and tag the brand, creating a feed of authentic endorsements. Highlighting positive testimonials on-screen can effectively further brand image, persuade potential clients and generate leads.

Real-Time Engagement via Hashtags and Feeds

Creating a unique event-specific hashtag encourages attendees to share their experiences in real-time. As these hashtags gain traction, they become a powerful tool for organic promotion. Exhibitors can display a live feed of posts and tweets using the hashtag, fostering a sense of community and encouraging others to join the conversation.

Logistics and Setup of Digital Displays

Effective logistics and setup are paramount for the seamless operation of digital displays at trade shows. Ensuring safe transportation, accurate installation, and reliable on-site support are foundational steps to optimize digital signage performance.

Transportation and Installation

Transportation of digital display hardware necessitates careful planning to prevent damage. Secure, cushioned packaging should be a top priority, especially for delicate LED screens and interactive kiosks. Upon arrival at the venue, methodical installation procedures ensure that displays are not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing and well-positioned to attract attendees.

  • Checklist for Safe Transport:
    • Cushioned packaging materials
    • Climate-controlled shipping if necessary
    • Insurance for high-value components
  • Installation Steps:
    1. Inspect all hardware components upon unboxing
    2. Follow manufacturer guidelines for assembly
    3. Connect to necessary power sources and test before the event starts

Technical Concerns and Troubleshooting

When addressing technical concerns, it’s vital to understand the digital signage software configuration, compatibility with various media formats, and network requirements for interactive elements. Comprehensive troubleshooting guides should be on hand to mitigate technical hiccups, ranging from connectivity issues to software glitches.

  • Preventative Measures:
    • Confirm software updates are completed prior to the event
    • Test all interactive elements and multimedia content
    • Establish a protocol for rapid response to technical issues

On-Site Support and Maintenance

Provisioning for on-site support can significantly reduce downtime if technical difficulties arise. Support personnel should be knowledgeable about the hardware and software specifics of the digital displays. Routine maintenance ensures that displays remain operational throughout the duration of the trade show, maintaining an engaging presence for potential clients and partners.

  • Support Strategies:
    • Assign tech support staff to be readily available during show hours
    • Schedule regular maintenance checks during low-traffic periods
    • Keep a stock of essential spare parts for immediate repairs

Measuring Success and ROI

Determining the success of digital trade show displays involves a careful examination of specific performance indicators and detailed analysis. Implementing a methodical approach to measuring return on investment (ROI) is crucial not only for immediate assessment but also for driving long-term improvements.

Key Performance Indicators for Digital Displays

When it comes to digital trade show displays, several key performance indicators (KPIs) are essential in measuring exhibiting success. Metrics such as the number of interactions with interactive kiosks, engagement times during product demos, and the level of interest in new products must be tracked rigorously. Quantifiable data like lead capture rate directly correlates with exhibit impact and potential sales conversions.

  • Engagement Metrics:
    • Number of interactions with digital displays
    • Time spent by attendees at each kiosk
    • Engagement level with product demos
  • Lead Generation:

Gathering Metrics and Evaluating Engagement

Evaluating engagement is central to understanding the ROI of digital displays. Specific tools and strategies, such as digital analytics platforms, can be used to gather real-time data on user interaction with the displays. This data includes lead captures, dwell times, and attendees’ responses to new products showcased through the digital displays.

  • Data Collection Tools:
    • Badge scanners for lead capture
    • Analytics from interactive displays
    • Polls and surveys for immediate attendee feedback
  • Metrics to Consider:
    • Number of leads captured
    • Time attendees spend interacting with displays and demos
    • Attendee feedback on new products and displays

Post-Show Analysis and Continuous Improvement

The final step is post-show analysis, where the collected data is converted into actionable insights. This stage is crucial for companies to assess the performance of their trade show participation and marketing efforts. Companies must evaluate if the investment in high-tech displays and interactive kiosks yielded a lucrative return on investment. They should also identify areas for future development, setting the stage for continuous improvement in their exhibition strategies.

  • ROI Calculation:
    • Compare costs against leads and potential sales generated
    • Factor in indirect benefits like brand awareness and networking
  • Continuous Improvement Factors:
    • Insights on most and least effective aspects of the display
    • Changes in audience engagement patterns
    • Lessons learned for enhancing future trade show strategies

Frequently Asked Questions

Digital displays have revolutionized trade show exhibits, providing immersive and more interactive experiences and opportunities for engaging with attendees. This FAQ section provides insights into optimizing your digital displays for maximum impact at your next trade show.

What are the best practices for integrating digital displays into a trade show exhibit?

Integrating digital displays into trade show exhibits calls for strategic branding and consistent messaging. Displays should feature branding at key points throughout a presentation to maintain brand recognition. Utilizing dynamic video content that aligns with the brand's messaging can keep the audience engaged.

How can touchscreen kiosks enhance the visitor experience at trade shows?

Touchscreen kiosks can greatly improve visitor engagement by offering interactive content, such as product demonstrations, games, and lead capture forms. These kiosks provide a hands-on experience, making information accessible and enhancing the visitor's autonomy during the event.

What factors should be considered when selecting portable display walls for trade exhibitions?

When selecting portable display walls for trade exhibitions, consider their size, visual appeal, ease of setup, and compatibility with digital technology. The display of portable trade walls should also be versatile and adjustable to different booth layouts and exhibit spaces.

How to design a trade show booth that effectively utilizes rear-projection displays?

Designing a trade show booth with rear-projection video displays also involves ensuring there is enough space behind the screen for the projection equipment. The content should be tailored to be clear and visible, taking into account the ambient lighting and positioning to avoid washout and ensure the best viewer experience.

What are the advantages of custom trade show booth designs with digital elements?

Custom trade show booth designs with digital elements offer a marketing budget and the advantage of a cohesive brand experience, allowing for seamless integration of multimedia content, social media walls, and real-time updates. These designs stand out on the trade show floor and can be adapted to different themes or campaigns.

How can digital kiosk displays be used to improve product visibility at trade shows?

Digital kiosk displays are effective tools for improving product visibility at trade shows, as they can showcase products in high-resolution detail, provide interactive demonstrations, and share comprehensive product information engagingly and memorably.

A trade show booth is almost always going to be "multimedia" at heart.  When you have such a great opportunity to put your wares on display, you're going to want to use as many techniques as possible for getting people to visit. We created this guide to using digital trade show displays to help our clients optimize the ways they use digital displays to boost trade show sales.

Video is, of course, probably the single most popular digital medium for communicating with people today.  It's rare to find a trade show display that doesn't incorporate video in some form.  However, this automatically begs the question:  how effective are those videos and to best optimize the presentation?

Well, obviously, this all depends on implementation!  So today we wanted to focus on the use of digital media presentations in your trade show displays, and how to get the most out of them!

Build Leads and Make Sales With Great Trade Show Videos

1.  Don't rely on sound.

This is a "newbie mistake,” but it's one we see amazingly often:  Companies bringing in promotional videos that are heavy on narration, dialogue, interviews, or other auditory components.

The problem here is akin to putting too many words on your banner stands and trade show graphics – no one is going to read it all. Or in modern internet slang, tl;dr.

There are plenty of places in your promotional campaigns for in-depth specifications and information, but trade show graphics, and trade shows in general, are usually not one of them. It's virtually assured nobody will listen to the entire presentation – and in the deafening hubbub of the trade show, it’s unlikely they can hear it very well anyway.Instead, as a few alternatives:

  • Visually-strong videos which convey useful information via graphics
  • Video "wallpaper" displaying images of your products without much messaging
  • Videos with a loud musical soundtrack will "punch through" the din better than voices (check with booth neighbors and show management for allowable sound levels)
  • Private showing rooms that reduce outside noise and visual distractions

 2.  Don't forget your branding.

While this is a good tip to remember in all digital media productions, it's doubly important when you're showing videos at trade shows.

At the very least, always include your brand at the top and bottom of a video, as well as somewhere in the middle.  The "bookending" brand positioning is especially critical, since the beginning and ending of videos are usually the most dramatic, and therefore the most eye-catching.

Generally speaking, the best product placement and branding in videos is also contextual and relevant. As a simple example:  Rather than shots of the product by itself, include shots of the product in use.  Make the branding feel as organic as possible.

3.  Don't simply re-purpose videos.

This is another common mistake we see too often:  Companies bringing in promotional materials intended for other (much quieter) venues and running them in their trade show booths.

Honestly, these days, absolutely anyone can do basic video editing on their PC or mobile tablet.  It's worth taking time to produce new videos that are shorter, snappier, and more focused on visuals.  Sure, re-purposing your videos is a bit cheaper, but what's the point if they won't be watched?

Again, to reinforce the point: Your trade show videos really should be tailored for use in your trade show booth specifically.

3.  Don't overstay your welcome.

This one is going to be something of a judgment call, based on your read of the guests at a given trade show.  However, broadly speaking, a shorter video is almost always more effective.People at trade shows are, at the best of times, distracted and extremely attention-deficit.  Depending on just how loud and busy the trade show is, they may be bordering on shell-shock.  And they're almost always in a rush, trying to see everything they can in a limited amount of time.

Bottom line, most people are simply not going to hang around a single trade show display watching a twenty-minute film.

As a rule of thumb, we'd suggest keeping your trade show videos to five minutes or less.  You'll attract more visitors with a shorter video loop, and have more chance of them sticking around for the whole thing.

Going back to the above point, we'd suggest trying to reedit your materials into a series of shorter videos.  If you had a loop of six five-minute videos, rather than a single half-hour disc, you'll ultimately communicate your messages more effectively.

4.  Don't use a small screen.

When it comes to video screens, size does matter.  In the flashing and shouting of a trade show, small screens are likely to be overlooked entirely.

When it comes to digital trade show displays, SIZE does Matter! Click To Tweet

We sometimes see ambitious trade show exhibitors trying to run several different videos on several smaller screens, but the end result seems to be about the same:  Few people notice, and no one enjoys crowding around a tiny TV screen.

Big digital signage and displays, preferably with high resolutions, are what grab people's eyes at trade shows.  While such displays are sometimes expensive, the good news is that the best digital trade show displays can be put to use throughout your organization when they're not at your trade show appearance.

5.  Don't neglect your tech-savvy viewers.

With mobile devices ubiquitous, and cloud storage so cheap, you should be trying to send visitors home with copies of your videos on their mobile devices.

QR codes and other interactive gimmicks can quickly send visitors to a cloud server that downloads your videos straight to their phone or tablets.  This, in many ways, creates a "best of both worlds" scenario.  The in-booth interaction makes you more memorable, and then your visitor can enjoy the video -including sound- at their leisure.

They can also be made available for online visitors just as easily.

If this sounds a bit too high-tech for your own operations, try giving away pre-loaded branded USB thumb drives instead.  Thumb drives are one of our favorite trade show freebies because people always find a use for them.   And, of course, a well-used promo item is an effective promo item.

It's a convenient way of storing all your videos, even in high resolutions, while giving the visitor an honestly useful bit of branded swag.

One Caveat: Branded thumb drives are offered to lots of people nowadays; don't make the mistake of picking cheap ones that don't hold much data, or it will simply get tossed away.

6.  Don't rely on data in your videos.

We recommend videos that focus more on emotional appeal than on pure data and statistics.  Again, it's a matter of choosing the right material for the medium.

While the occasional infographic is fine for a trade show video, chart-heavy videos are plain boring for most visitors.  Don't overload them with graphics.

This should be especially useful advice at the moment, since 2020's trends in advertising seem to be trending strongly towards evocative visuals and emotional appeal in general.  As we see every SuperBowl, ads right now are focusing on personal stories, emotional appeal and, well, cuteness.

7. Towards the future:  More interaction.

Finally, a last thought to consider.  Interaction is quickly becoming the wave of the future, and static non-interactive videos may soon be seen as antiquated.  The proliferation of "smart" devices, like TVs with Xbox Kinect-style motion sensing, can quickly lead to interactive video displays.

A group of people all waving their arms in front of your giant video screens will quickly attract attention.

So, even if it's not on the menu for your next digital trade show display, start looking into the possibilities offered by interactive media.  If you can find ways to get people actually participating with your video displays, they'll be far more memorable to visitors.

Digital Trade Show Display Best Practices

Ready for even more tips and helpful information to make your next trade show event a success? Read on for some of the best practices when it comes to digital trade show displays.

Provide Specific Information

When you provide specific information about the products or services you offer, it needs to be easy to read, well-written, and scannable. People don't have time to stand there, squinting to read a wall of text. They will instead move on to the next booth. However, if it is easy to read, people interested in your products or services will stop at the booth, take in the information you provided, and convert to leads.

Product Demonstrations

Since we are already creating a more visual display booth to attract our target audience, why not take it a step further and include some product demonstrations? Including short demo clips in your digital display showing people how to use your product is a good way to get them to visualize actually using the product in real life. It also catches their eye and piques their interest. 

Trade show floors are noisy, so you can even do without distracting audio. The visual appeal is still going to be there. You can even have backlit displays and a touch screen to make the digital display and exhibit booth an even more engaging and interactive experience for attendees.

Testimonials and Reviews

Your digital display also gives you the perfect opportunity to display customer testimonials and reviews for attendees to look at. Social proof is always good because people will see their peers have used the product or service and are happy with the results. Short and Intriguing soundbites that aren't too distracting can be used here, or you can opt to display rotating reviews. 

Navigation Assistance

Digital displays can also be used to help navigate and direct trade show attendees to your booth. A digital and portable display can be placed outside the booth to guide them in, and then another one placed inside the booth to keep them there. When doing this, make sure to incorporate your brand's message and colors in your digital signage. This is an easy way to boost booth traffic and advertise to more potential booth visitors.

Social Media Updates

Social media is used by businesses to gain awareness for their brand, lead generation, and getting to know their target audience. It can also be used and put on full digital display at the next trade show event that is physical or virtual. Social media is also a good way to collect information and market your booth. Real-time updates can show what people are currently saying about your brand, which will keep people interested.

Use Some Forethought In Planning Trade Show Digital Displays

In virtually any circumstance, the most effective videos will be those created specifically for a given forum or audience.  Creating digital presentations aimed specifically at trade show attendees will pay off with better leads, and more sales down the line.

Available digital display technology keeps changing. We currently have two types of digital banner stands, as well as displays that use animated LED strings to create eye-catching graphics. Perhaps the least expensive way to get started in digital displays is with counters and tables with cell phone chargers built in - these are always convenient and popular hangouts at trade shows.

There are a lot of options in trade show promotion.  For more tips on effective outreach, just Contact Us or phone us: 1(800) 676-3976!

LED_VK-5193 with optional video wall

LED_VK-5193 with optional video wall

Animated Light Boxes

Animated Light Boxes

Charging table with rotating ipad mounted

Charging table with rotating ipad 

Monitor stand with added ipad mount

Monitor stand with added ipad mount

10ft Igniter Backlit Hybrid Display
Waveline Tower Monitor Stand
Gravitee island display with multiple monitors
Animated Wall Display 41w X 82h

Animated LED Wall Graphics

042920 LED Wall Fixture Maze Game

LED Trade Show Game Wall

042920 LED Wall Fixture and interactive kiosk

Interactive Kiosk and LED backwall

3D hologram of car tire as sales example for trade shows

3D Holographic Product Displays

Hype digital banner

Hype Digital Banner

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: