Whether it's an update about the weather, a news story or even a text message, push notifications have become commonplace in our daily lives.
In the trade show industry, event apps are now ubiquitous. This begs the question—is it time to incorporate push notifications at your next trade show?
Every trade show organizer's goal is to provide value to both attendees and exhibitors. Push notifications serve as an added reminder to visit a certain area of the venue or take part in an event. They can be incredibly powerful when used correctly, as they can truly dictate traffic patterns.
A notification can't go live without an application to push it through, though. Now that these are more commonly used, it's time to take advantage of the current technological trend and start providing more value to both parties.
The most simple way push notifications can be used is to cast a light on a certain booth or part of the event, like a presentation. This works like a slight nudge to tell the attendee, "Check this booth out."
In return for shepherding traffic in one direction, Trade Show News Network reported organizers should charge for their service. This is an excellent way to create a new stream of revenue for the event. Give exhibitors different options and packages. The lowest tier could be just a simple message, but the highest priced tier could contain marketing collateral or a coupon for their products.
Some larger events are spread out over the course of a weekend, meaning it's jam-packed with booth displays, luncheons and dinners, guest speaker presentations, networking opportunities and extracurricular activities. That's a lot to keep in mind for the average attendee.
If you feel as though certain parts of your trade show are seeing low turnouts, push notifications can be used to drum up interest. A simple message sent out to attendees 15 minutes prior to a speaking engagement could fill the empty seats and show them there's more to the event than the booths and wares on display.
"Push notifications can facilitate networking opportunities."
We're not talking about love here. Networking plays a large role in determining how successful a trade show is for people on both sides of the booth. While you may have multiple networking sessions and other events lined up to encourage people to trade business cards, there's nothing better than linking them up yourself.
Your event app should capture pertinent data about every user—their industry, role and what they're looking for at the trade show. You can then utilize this to facilitate discussions between two people who are likely to find a professional relationship beneficial. It's important to make sure you have a chat room capability within your event app so these professionals can talk before meeting.
Don't abuse the power
No one wants to walk away from an event with 100-plus push notifications on their phone. This type of power is incredibly easy to abuse, and Event Manager Blog reported that organizers will need to learn how to pace themselves. This isn't an insight you can gain after one day of use, though.
Talk with attendees after your event to see how the push notifications worked in their favor, and what could be improved. You may find people wanted a greater volume of messages sent their way, or even that they wish it alerted them of every single event.
Aggregate the responses and implement them into your next trade show strategy. Push notifications aren't just a trend, and they'll have value as long as event apps are installed on attendees' phones.