I went to the car show in San Diego this past weekend and was impressed with how little paper was floating around. In the past you would have seen stacks of brochures and people lugging home tons of paper booklets, flyers and handouts (most of which I’m sure went straight into the recycle bin). There was much less emphasis on pushing brochures, and much more on making a connection with the customer (how cool is that?). I’m liking this trend, and would like to see more vendors create a lasting customer experience.
Some of the vendors where using iPads to collect information so that they could email or mail you later (I did enter my contact information at a chance to win $45,000 toward any Chrysler car – I’m hoping for a jeep!). I think most vendors could be going a bit further with the technology to further engage their audience.
Jeep had the coolest customer engagement at the show. They had an obstacle course that included a 30° vertical ramp. They took customers for a ride in a jeep over boulders, fallen logs, and an angled ramp that made you wonder what was holding the tires to the ground (the driver answers questions and points out features as you ride the course). It was very thrilling and I’m still talking about it! But they asked survey questions before the ride that they should have asked after the experience (for example: “How likely am I to recommend Jeep to a friend?” – this was my first ride!).
I just saw a cool new app that I think has some great potential to help in my personal quest to cut down on waste (paper and time), and still keep good sales and design in my customers marketing efforts. EXHIB-IT and Marketing to Go are promoting an app called Media on Demand that runs on your iPad that will let you demo your products, display PDFs, and send electronic content to your customers. It also tracks the actions of attendees who received data, tracks sales that result, and can create a report with metrics. This new app is the ideal tool for sales staff on-the-go who need targeted marketing and sales materials at their fingertips. It also improves the attendee trade show experience by literally lightening their load.
Over seventy percent of materials distributed at tradeshows are thrown away. Convention goers generate about 600,000 tons of trash every year, making the tradeshow industry one of the most paper intensive industries. Media On Demand’s instant digital downloads support businesses “go green” efforts by reducing the historical environmental impact of exhibiting, and may increase an exhibitor’s revenue by reducing design and production costs.
I’ll be on the lookout for other tools like this one to share with my clients. Let me know what you are doing to save time, money and resources! One more tip to share – you can talk to the people at EXHIB-IT and Marketing to Go and get more tips on having a successful tradeshow at a series of webinars slated for 2014 called, How to Make Tradeshows Work for You (click here to learn more on their registration page) . The first webinar titled, “Why Tradeshow Marketing? Because Innovation is a Contact Sport” will take place on January 21, 2014. Full disclosure – Laura Furumoto is both a client and vendor of mine. She helped me pull together my new branding. I love her work and I think you will too!
If you are interested in making stronger marketing statements with your promotional handouts please see our article How to Use Premiums to Promote Your Business here.