We headed over to the first day of the Ecommerce Expo 2019 yesterday and quite frankly left very impressed. With over 250 exhibitors, 300 speakers and 15,000 visitors in attendance there’s a lot to see and a lot to do.
We’ve been heading out to a number of events across industries over the Summer period to see first-hand best practice event strategy, and of course, lead capture incentives and systems.
A few sectors we’ve looked at so far include cybersecurity, fashion and food and beverage and across the board the big take away is that data capture usually appears to be an afterthought for exhibitors, with most relying on event-supplied data capture.
However, at this year’s Ecommerce Expo exhibitors had really kicked it up a notch with interactivity, gamification and personalisation to create a really engaging event.
Bustling B2B Opportunities
Upon entering Kensington Olympia for the umpteenth time this year among the sea of attendees, we noticed this was definitely one of the busiest events we’ve been to at Olympia. Ecommerce is booming and optimising eCommerce strategy in this busy market with the best tech and hardware is big business.
Incentives to draw footfall over to stands ranged from the usual candy, beer and pens to the fun and different like arcade games and unique personalised gifts.
The more successful and impressive tactics we witnessed saw a level of personalisation and customisation to draw visitors and engage with stands.
The winners? Stalls that provided a unique experience
Something different will always attract footfall over to stands, and when you offer something people haven’t seen before, leads will willingly share their data to partake in the experience.
One brand we saw really thinking about how to engage passers-by was Selligent. Selligent were attracting customers over by offering a personalised tote bag. This is an offer we had seen before at tradeshows but a watered-down version offering 3 designs to choose from. Here Selligent offered a full customisation experience allowing passers-by to pick their own image and combine this with some of Selligent’s branded messaging in several designs. These finished part yours – part branded designs were then printed before your eyes!
This strategy not only created a buzz around the stand, but it was also a means through which to capture customer data, which you needed to share in order to get your custom tote. Furthermore, giving your leads a half branded, half uniquely their's item gives your promotional merch a much better chance of being used, turning your leads into brand advocates promoting your brand with their use of your product.
With the inventiveness of the design process and the final product you get for free, it seems like a fair trade-off and a lot of people seemed to agree. If Selligent combined this with some timely follow up they could be on to a very successful event!
With the queue being pretty sizable all-day round and with the process having so much customisation people understandably took their time. But it didn’t seem to deter people from queuing for ten plus minutes, a very effective form of enticing people to your stand.
Creativity blended with technology
This year we saw some very impressive integration with modern tech, such as Webeo’s, Candy Mechanics cart, which 3D printed faces onto a chocolate lollipop and brushed with gold. Making you look like your own little bafta face. This was not only incredibly unique but in the context of a trade show, it was a stand-out attraction and extremely interesting to watch the process.
Now to be able to take part in this you required a token which could only be acquired by talking with one of the sales staff sand sitting through a demo of their product. This was hugely effective as the sales staff were versed in the product and the product was interesting in itself.
As part of the demo, you were required to share your contact details, a small price to pay to get such a personalised and fun experience.
Going the extra mile really helped with stand attendance and sparked a lot of conversation around it as visitors would watch the 3D printing process and laugh and discuss at the results. Because the demo was a necessary step in the process, it ensured customers left with more than just a chocolate keepsake but an understanding of the product. With a next day follow up email this was an extremely effective strategy.
Follow in the footsteps of giants
Now we saw some truly impressive examples of data capture and stand incentives. But again, the large majority of exhibitors are relying on event supplied data capture. Leaving them restricted data and a restricted time frame in when they receive said data. Limiting the chance for crucial follow-up contacting of prospects and overall decreasing brands ROI for attending.
The brands that we did see taking data capture into their own hands were then ones that really stood out. Offering something more for the customer experience than just asking “Am I alright to scan your barcode?”.
For you to get the most out of your events seeking out external data capture methods that fit your brand, your CRM and your sales and marketing strategy, is the number one thing brands can do to ensure they fill their databases with accurate, reliable data. Ecommerce has certainly been a pleasant surprise and showing us that the B2B events industry is taking steps in the right direction to actionable data.
If you’re thinking of exhibiting at an event this season or next get in touch below and see how we can maximise your ROI giving you the confidence to know you’ve done everything you could to have a successful showing.
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