Think Outside the Booth

Attending tradeshows can be exciting. You get to meet a lot of interesting people, learn new things and uncover opportunities. But with a menagerie of booths, keynotes and meetings, it can be hard to capture the attention of prospective clients.

Companies that have interactive and entertaining demonstrations will be more successful in drawing attendees into their booth. The demonstration will also be more memorable after the event.

AT&T created two new interactive demos this year using telepresence. At the National Association of Broadcasters show in April, attendees in the AT&T booth were treated to an intimate concert with Jewel. Jewel performed via telepresence from a studio in California and interacted with the NAB audience in Las Vegas as well as a dozen other telepresence locations in North America.  In addition to enjoying the performance, attendees were able to experience what can be done with telepresence technology.

At the Oracle OpenWorld show more recently, attendees participated in a virtual wine tasting. No, the wine was not virtual! The Moscone Center catering staff helped open and pour the wine at the AT&T booth in San Francisco. The sommelier provided instructions and commentary from a telepresence location in New York. Attendees crowded the booth to hear the content being delivered. And while having dinner, an AT&T employee overheard patrons at the next table discussing the wine tasting they had attended via telepresence!

The ability to bring in an expert via telepresence not only enhanced the conversation, but delivered  an outstanding experience that may not have been achieved otherwise due to budgetary, time constraints or other factors.

In addition to driving traffic to the booth during the tradeshows, these demos also serve to highlight what can be done with telepresence using today’s technology. As video conferencing technology becomes more pervasive, other companies will likely invest in the technology at/for tradeshows as well to…

  • Create a more interactive, memorable experience for attendees
  • Deliver key speakers or other entertainment
  • Offer content to participants that couldn’t attend in person

In addition, there are many other benefits for a business using telepresence technology. The cost savings are obvious (travel savings) yet an even greater advantage can be the ability to tap into a variety of people in diverse locations during a business meeting. This way you get input from key thought leaders regardless of geography. Other benefits include reduced carbon emissions.

As you develop your 2012 marketing plans for trade shows and other events, consider the use of telepresence technology to achieve not only cost savings (where needed) but also the added benefits of bringing in experts to “be there” as part of the event. And don’t limit it to just one expert. With today’s technology you can tap into two, three or more experts either simultaneously or in succession to add a powerful educational component to your event. In a tight economy, this added value at very low cost can be appealing to many businesses.

What types of demonstrations have grabbed your attention at tradeshows? Have you experienced or utilized telepresence in a tradeshow environment? Let us know what has worked for you. Also, let us know what you’re thinking about. We look forward to your comments.
The Networking Exchange Blog Team About NEB Team