As predicted, 2016 became the year of the mobile device. We saw site traffic continue to swing to mobile. Most websites are seeing over 50% of their traffic come from mobile devices. The latest Google algorithm updates delivered consequences for sites that weren’t responsive to mobile. It’s become common place to test emails for mobile devices.
There is all this focus to accommodate mobile in just about every aspect of business, with the exception of events at the booth level. Businesses are still printing their materials (which just ends up in the trash) and they are still waiting on post email following up (which just gets lost in the inbox) rather than during the show on mobile devices. For whatever reason, booth marketing at events has not progressed with everything else. Here are 3 ways you can optimize your booth experience for mobile users.
1. Make all of your content digitally friendly. So many times we spend so much money on our pretty brochures and slicks, but we fail to make them available online for download. Put a link up on your social sites for the duration of the show that leads them to a page where your booth materials can be downloaded. This also virtually extends your booth reach.
2. Offer something redeemable through text messaging. Are you giving something away at your booth? In order to get it, make them give you their cell number and tell them the winner will be notified via text. Why? Because of texting duh! Now you can text them. You can text them and tell them they didn’t win, but you still have something for them at your booth. This increases their chances of coming back, this will certainly make you more memorable and you are going to get their attention. After all, who doesn’t read texts?
3. Embrace social. Find a way to encourage social media use at your booth. Attendees don’t have computers, so they will use their phone for social media. Find a way to capitalize on that. Once you have established a social connection, your chances of continued conversation increase exponentially. After the show tweet at them or message them on Linkedin. How do you get them to be social at your booth? I could write a whole post just on this, but here just a few quick ideas.
Selfies! love or hate ’em, they are here to stay. Give them a reason to take a selfie. Whether it be costumes, a dress up or contest. Find that line between fun and hokey and go with it.
Hashtag Contests. Give away something, and in order to enter, they have to use a hashtag of your choosing. Now you have an easy reference point to further communication.
There is a tool out there that can do all of this for you called Hub IQ. They will create a mobile hub for you where you can digitally store all of your booth collateral, add social links and offer other pertinent info and calls to action. Then they make it easy to access for booth visitors by way of text code. It enables you to deliver info to their phone and capture their cell number to text throughout the show and afterwards. Try it yourself, text “explore” to 95577.
Many of us have attended events both as attendees and exhibitors. We know how it feels to be on both sides. Yet, for some reason as soon as we cross over the line into exhibitor mode, we completely forget how much we hate being approached, getting our badges scanned and carrying around a bunch of papers that end up in the trash anyway.
One particular event in Vegas I went to as an attendee typifies why many people hate event marketing. My experience here was indicative of most of the events I have attended.
Let’s look at the event experience from each side of the spectrum.
My View as the Attendee:
First I was handed a map of the expo. I briefly looked at it and made some mental notes, but it was crowded and the place was huge, so standing there trying to make sense of an expo map seemed like such a hindrance. I navigated to the section I wanted to be in and folded up the map and stuck it in my pocket. I don’t think I looked at it again.
Then as I began walking down one of the isles I was bombarded by aggressive salesmen, flyrs and slicks getting shoved into my hands. I would stick them in the bag where they likely would never be looked at. By the time I had walked to the end of the third isle, my feet hurt, my bag was full of papers and I was hungry. I ended up not even seeing 90% of the rest of the conference. It was too big and I was agitated and tired.
I packed some of the flyers to take home, but then I never looked at them again. I arrived back to work to a barrage of emails and calls from places that had scanned my badge in exchange for a free key chain or flash light. I unsubscribed from all of them.
My View as the Exhibitor:
It’s all about the numbers. The more people I can scan, the more leads I can create, the more sales I might have. So I wait for someone to meander by my booth, glancing, trying not to let me know he is glancing and then I move in for the kill. I manage to get the guy to sign up for our free iPad giveaway in exchange for a badge scan and I hand him a flyer or catalog. My goal is to reach my quota for the event.
Then I go back home and back to work. I send an email to the list of badge scans I got from the event. I get 7% open rate, a .2% CTR and a whole lotta unsubscribes. Then my CFO is complaining asking me why did we spend a couple thousand to exhibit if none of these leads turn into SQLs.
Ok, I am being a bit dramatic, it’s not always that bad on either side, but I think we can all agree that we call can relate to these experiences in some way.
There is a Better Way:
Hub IQ not only solves these problems, but enhances the entire exhibitor and attendee experience. Instead of handing out a stack of promotional flyers, slicks and brochures that just get thrown away, we make it all mobile and accessible on a mobile phone that is accessed via text messaging. Once your attendees trigger a text at your booth, they will get all of your collateral and CTA’s and you will capture their contact info so you can text them later. Now you can cut down on your printing expenses, increase engagement, follow-up via text rather just depend on fighting for attention in a cluttered inbox.
See how it works for yourself:
Text Explore to 95577, or click HERE.
Gamification is a buzzword in the world of trade shows and events right now, and with good reason. As an exhibitor or event organizer, it’s very important for you to engage attendees before, during and after the show. Hub IQ provides an effective way for you to engage show attendees on their mobile phones through gamification. Below are just a few ideas to help you use our product to further engage attendees. You can also apply these same games using other methods, however for the sake of this post we will look at these games through the use of Hub IQ.
1. Where is Waldo?
Game: Have someone from your booth walk the show floor with a distinguishing factor to their appearance (i.e. tshirt with your logo or something even more fun). The first person to find them gets a prize in exchange for a form fill on your Mobile Hub.
Implementation: To start the game, you will send out a text to all the attendees you have been gathering info from using Hub I. This text will explain the rules of the game. You can describe the person they must find in the text or lead them then back to your Mobile Hub where you have posted a picture of your “Waldo” (this is a preferred method as they will have to visit your Hub with all your content on it yet again).
2. Come Out Come Out Wherever You Are!
Game: The first person to come to your booth an recite the magic phrase, wins a prize.
Implementation: As people come by the booth encourage them to access your hub (Which automatically captures their phone number) and tell them at some point in the show you will send out a text that will have a phrase that they have to come to your booth and say to get the prize. You can limit the number of winners, but we suggest you have at least something for everyone that responds. In order for them to enter your contest, they will have had to already submit some information to you. This way you will be exposing attendees to your booth and hub for at least a second time.
3. Booth Jeapordy!
Game: Put a Quiz on your Mobile Hub about your product or service or industry. If they pass the quiz they get a prize. Simple way to educate and collect info. You can also do tiered prizes based on their score.
Implementation: Create a mobile friendly quiz with your Hub IQ Success Team and stick on your hub where they can take it with their Mobile Hub. You can either send a text asking them to take the quiz and return to show you the results, or you can just require them to take it on the spot. We like the first option best as it is a little more fun.
4. Mobile Easter Egg Hunt
Game: In an effort to get your booth visitors to look at your content, put an “easter egg” somewhere in your content, whether it be a picture or keyword, when they find it, they can either come tell you what they found, or they can fill a form where the answer is a required field and they must submit more contact info and the right answer to get their prize.
Implementation: You will need to prepare the ester egg in advance and hide it somewhere on a piece of content. Then you will host the content on your Mobile Hub. If you want to get really into it, you can have different levels of easter eggs that get different prizes. Then at some point in the show send out a text announcing the contest and then direct them to your Mobile Hub.
Game: This one is simple, they simply have to text your keyword to your Mobile Hub and fill out a form that enters them into your drawing. This also exposes them to the content on your Mobile Hub. At some point in the show text everyone to come find out who the winner is at your booth, or better yet text everyone and tell them the winner is announced on the Mobile Hub so they have to get back on your hub to find out who won.
Implementation: Create a Q-link on your hub where they can enter into the contest. Then send out a text at some point in the show announcing the contest and the rules with a link to your Mobile Hub.
These are just a few of the many engagement style games you can implement into your show strategy. These games have have had huge successes at each of our shows. Whether you use Hub IQ or not, we hope they at least get your creative juices flowing.