Will New Technologies Take Your Trade Show Displays Outdoors?
Looking at reports from this week’s Mobile World Congress 2013, most of the focus is on the gadgets themselves. The MWC is one of the most important trade shows for mobile connectivity, although it tends to be focused almost solely on Android and other open source or open platform solutions.
Outdoor exhibiting has seemingly fallen out of vogue in the last couple decades, reserved mostly for State Fairs and outdoorsman shows. Part of this is almost undoubtedly environmental: tech-integrated shows require a lot of power, and it’s certainly easier to have power -and controlled climates- indoors.
That’s what makes the MWC’s embrace of outdoor exhibiting so interesting. After all, isn’t the entire point of mobile devices to be mobile? Aren’t we supposed to be able to use our gadgets outdoors, where ever we go?
So, let’s talk a little about this approach, and the benefits it could hold for exhibitors looking to literally move outside the box, and into the big open world instead.
Why Trade Show Displays With Outdoor Elements Can Make Sense
First, let’s talk a little bit about the name: The Networking Gardens. On one hand, you’re talking about a “wired” exposition dedicated to networking and other information technologies.
On the other, it’s also perfect for networking of the face-to-face sort. It gets people away from the noise and bustle and endless distractions of the main show floor, and gives them a quieter place to reflect and, well, network.
Plus, gardens specifically are places for relaxation and reflection. If you take a look at this excellent high-resolution 360 panorama of one of the gardens, you can see it was laid out with care. There are clusters of tables and chairs, of varying sizes, scattered throughout with the attention to detail of a Zen gardener. There’s plenty of room to stand as well, and you can see people throughout using it to connect in various ways.
The garden is multi-purpose. Those who want quiet space to read documents or watch videos have a chance to do so, while couples and groups can discuss business or purchases.
Why Set Up Your Trade Show Display In An Outdoor-Friendly Venue
- It’s the perfect area to meet with VIPs you think you can pitch to immediately.
- Encourage technology-focused guests to watch your promotional videos in the garden, and Tweet their comments at you.
- Utilize a location-based social media service like FourSquare to give a special offer to guests who “check in” in the garden or other outdoor area.
- Organize games or scavenger hunts! One of the gardens at MWC2013 had a little minigolf course. Or start a friendly feud with a rival booth with some healthy attention-getting playtime.
Plus there is an underlying element of it just plain being fun to get outdoors for awhile. It helps make for happier visitors, and happy visitors write happy blogs. Word of mouth via the Internet is coming to be more important in swaying public perception, so fundamentally, things that make guests happy reflect well on your trade show booths.
So, finally going outdoors again would look very appealing to visitors for a lot of ways. That gives exhibitors a lot of reasons to think about moving their trade show displays in that direction.