There are several expectations attendees have of the individuals and corporations behind the trade events they attend. These wants and needs are evolving over time, based on the efficient and effective practices these individuals have come to observe in other segments of their professional lives. If something is effective in the office, they will expect that capability to be present at a trade show. If it is not, interest may waver or they may consider the organizer old fashioned.
The App Economy
Consultant Corbin Ball used a recent blog post to explain that the event trends coming to the fore in 2015 include branded apps for conventions. This is a huge opportunity to combine ubiquitous phone usage in business with attendees' desire to stay informed. Ball explained an application can fill the role of several physical products, including notes or guidebooks that would have to be printed. He also noted that announcements can be made on these platforms, putting this vital info in a place where modern workers will look.
In addition to apps, Ball pointed out that each event should have WiFi coverage. He called the technology "expected and ubiquitous," meaning that a conference without a wireless network may end up confusing or frustrating its attendees. Ball pointed out that at the moment, connectivity can be a sore spot – many users logging onto a venue's network can wreak havoc on its capacity. He expects this to improve over time.
Ball isn't the only expert to make the connection between these tech trends and the convention circuit. According to TSNN blogger Rob Cartagine, organizers should think of what the WiFi situation is in the budgeting stage of event planning. Sometimes, the venue will be properly equipped for the type of show at hand. If the gathering is small, a single hot spot may be the only requirement. For a multi-day conference with an open show floor, more robust infrastructure may be non-negotiable.