Technological 21st Century Trade Shows trends to look out for

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1 – Beacon Technology

So firstly – what are Beacons?
Answer: (simply) A small object which can be attached to a wall which uses Bluetooth technology to transmit information to compatible smart devices within a certain vicinity.

…and how can this technology benefit the trade show?

Marketing strategies for trade shows are becoming more and more comprehensive and innovative exhibitors are embracing new technology to seduce, engage & monitor their visitors. Exhibition organisers particularly are finding great success with Beacon technology, allowing them to geo-locate attendees and track their movements. No guess work needed – real time data can now show exactly where the hotspots are at any given time and where most pedestrian traffic flows throughout the exhibition hall. They are also using it as a directional device guiding attendees to restrooms, food areas, presentations and demonstrations.

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2 – Artificial Intelligence

OK – so I’m not talking about the human-like-robot-slave-at-your-beck-and-call kind of AI, I’m talking about Artificially Intelligent computer apps which can be used to analyse and process information much quicker and more precisely than humans.  I refer to the kind of ‘AI’ we can program to recognise a certain type of behaviour or pattern , then process the information and learn from the results, adapting accordingly and finally outputting highly refined data.

AI is already being used all around us. (Cars are probably the most obvious adaptation with new models being released, all with varying degrees of AI built in such as cruise control which automatically adjusts to slower cars ahead.) We are all aware, if not already using, facial and voice recognition in some form or another.

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3 – Projection Mapping

For Sydney siders, probably the most visible and obvious use of ‘Projection Mapping’ that we would all have seen, would be the lighting and visual effects thrown onto prominent buildings around the city during the Vivid festival in May/June each year.

In short – ‘Projection Mapping’ is a projection technique using specific software and other technologies to warp and blend projected images so they fit perfectly on irregularly-shaped “screens” – which can be anything from buildings & interior spaces to objects or even natural landscapes. It uses everyday video projectors mapping light onto any surface, turning common objects of any 3D shape into interactive displays.

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4 – Virtual and Augmented Realities

The fastest moving trend in the trade show and exhibiting world is the use of the latest technology to attract and engage attendees. The further advanced the technology is and the more encompassing the experience for the user, the more successful it will be. We are seeing, and indeed have been asked to incorporate*, augmented and virtual reality ‘experiences’ as part of the exhibition space.

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5 – Holograms

New technology is constantly changing the landscape of live events and to follow on with what seems to have become a bit of a theme in these articles ie: technology and technological ‘gimmicks’ to attract visitors at trade shows, here’s another feature which can produce a huge “WOW” factor … and we predict we will be seeing a lot more of within the live event and experiential advertising platforms over the next couple of years; Holograms.

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