Technology Is the Key to Creating Unique Visitor Experiences

By now you’ve heard the news: this year, we supported three(!) different clients at IPW 2019, the USA’s leading international inbound travel trade show. For Great Outdoors, craftsmanship helped make a big first impression. And one of our newest clients, New Jersey Division of Travel & Tourism, unveiled a new look thanks to custom fabrication that elevated their brand.

For our seventh year representing Brand USA, we integrated some fun technological components into their booth design to enhance the visitor experience. (You can read more here about our work supporting Brand USA at last year’s IPW.)

Novak Birch offers a full spectrum of innovative and interactive capabilities—here are a few ways to start integrating technology into your exhibit space:

Use a Photo Booth for Data Capture

A photo booth can draw in visitors for photo ops while encouraging social media sharing via a branded hashtag and wall with a live social media feed. This year, Brand USA used a classic Volkswagen bus with branded print wrap to offer a photo booth experience to visitors. At previous IPW shows, we’ve featured a 360-degree photo booth with props.

One of the best parts of photo booths (other than the fun pics, of course) is that they can include a data capture device. Ideally, we recommend incorporating technology that will deepen the data capture, speeding up response time and follow-up, and giving senior management access to live performance status and data.

Branded photo booth with guests

Try using a photo booth that encourages visitors to enter a log-in and email address to then share their photos with their followers on social media, spreading the news of your engaging booth and products or services to even more people. Our AV show team also featured live photos every hour to show the entire exhibit hall the excitement happening at the Brand USA booth.

Interactive Installations Can Increase Awareness and Retention

In Brand USA’s viewing area, we used an app called GoUSA TV to educate international visitors on American tourism, ultimately expanding the activation and doubling as a data collection tool. What’s it really like to visit the USA? Connected tablets allowed visitors to take control of their experience and explore different areas of the country through a multitude of interconnected videos. From where to walk, to what to eat or the best way to explore a region (jump off this cliff!), this interactive program allowed visitors to take control of their experience.

GoUSA TV station

What’s more, as a public app, people could take the show on the road. By downloading the app and signing up, people could enter a drawing to win a prize—a great way to drive traffic to the booth when news of the opportunity spread. It’s really a win-win: a chance for the visitor to win a sweet prize, while also offering another chance for data capture, so Brand USA can stay connected with engaged visitors.

The interactive video experience is a great way to drive traffic to your booth and keep your brand top of mind, even after the event is over. Plus, people genuinely have a lot of fun!

A Voting Program Helps Get Visitors Involved

Visitors of the Brand USA booth at IPW could watch a movie preview before casting their vote on the best new name for an upcoming film. Which of these three film titles do you prefer?

Film name voting station

Like we’ve shared above, we welcome every opportunity for data capture, with visitors signing in to choose their favorites. A live screening of the chosen title was devised, produced, and integrated live at the show, later featured on the big screen.

It’s always a great idea to find a way for visitors to feel engaged in the experience. Sure, we could have just had a simple film showing or preview, but what about letting visitors contribute to a big decision to spark interest and encourage loyalty? Even better.

Take Advantage of a Large Screen

If you’re going to incorporate a large screen into your exhibit design, then you better use it to its fullest advantage! At NB, we evolved the use of the large screen with a rebranding of the full content for Brand USA’s booth. From video design and motion graphics production, to complete management of the screen install and on-site show management, we take care of the full process of content management and real-time support to ensure successful integration of this technology.

Digital screens positioned throughout the Brand USA booth

Again this year, Brand USA partnered with the IPW show organizer for the big prize drawing for all trade show participants. By using Brand USA’s large screen, everyone in the exhibit hall could follow along with the countdown and the big announcement of the winner. The inclusion of a pre-planned webcam gave everyone a view of the live action to really build up the excitement.

If your booth has access to innovative technology that could enhance an entire trade show’s efforts to engage the whole exhibit hall, try connecting with the event planners to find a unique way to collaborate. What a simple way to support the event or conference, while also drawing even more attention to your booth.

This year, we were also able to adapt our digital displays with a live component like never before. These digital walls ran slow, scrolling images from a range of locations to make sure our clients weren’t limited by a single print. We reorganized video production content on the spot, slowed the speed down, and even selected the exact photo to freeze on to act as visual backdrops perfect for the professional media and video crews. Controlling video displays live on-site helps to take full advantage of the technology to optimize the experience for everyone, and we offer live show management that can adapt to on-the-spot needs to enhance the overall experience.

What’s Next for Trade Shows?

Here’s what we see in the future of trade shows: live, immediate data without the need to wait for manual list capture. It’s all about enhancing the visitor experience.

In the coming years, we’re excited to continue evolving our custom booth designs as technology continues to advance. Integrating live CRM systems, for instance, will help our clients improve on capturing, managing, and responding quickly to visitors who are interested in continuing to engage with a brand even after the trade show comes to an end.

How can we design interactive experiences and use gamification to further engage visitors with a brand’s products and services? Only time will tell. (Let’s just say we have some pretty savvy tricks up our sleeves.)

At Novak Birch, we’re always learning about new ways for easier coordination and more effective data management. We strive to be one step ahead, adapting quickly and thinking strategically about integrating technology to create unique visitor experiences.


Looking to take your exhibit to the next level by incorporating innovative, responsive technology to enhance your visitors’ experiences?

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