Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe another year has passed and exhibitors are already knee-deep in planning for 2024 events and activations. Today we’ll cover some things you need to know to prepare for a successful 2024 show year. We will cover the top trends, what to expect on the show floor, how you can navigate a world of increased costs, and we’ll also include a helpful planning guide to get you started on the path to a year full of successful shows, increased ROI, and a restored faith in the unmatched benefits of face-to-face marketing.
What to expect in 2024
Several things are certain for 2024. There will be increased pressure on Event professionals to justify participation, more closely measure ROI, and be able to budget for the changing event marketing landscape. Budgeting for the period ahead means planning effectively and re-checking your budgets more frequently to see how things are streaming. Remember, the same budget you had in 2023 will yield lesser return. This is a fact. While there are some pressures to be dealt with, the event landscape is still one of the best bangs for your buck in return. 2024 will present some new considerations:
- Event Technology will grow and evolve rapidly. VR/AR industry growth is predicted to exceed 20% (https://marketinginsidergroup.com/event-marketing/biggest-event-trends/)
- Engagement, Engagement, Engagement. Attendees need to feel engaged and welcomed into your space. Traditional methods may not work on the newest generation of attendees. Inspiration and ideas, as well as memorable interactions with your staff will be what gets remembered.
- Generative AI will influence all channels and quickly. Generative AI technologies will be used to create personalized event agendas based on an attendee’s interests and preferences. Attendees will be receiving real-time recommendations on sessions and activities to attend, networking opportunities, which will ensure that they have made the most of their time at the event. Personalized recommendations can also be used to suggest relevant targeted exhibitors to visit.
Tighter budgets may force exhibitors to be more strategic in their approach to events.
- We’re already working with clients to help them make events more cost-effective. We’re suggesting a few subtle changes to clients’ programs to help stave off increased costs.
- Minimize shipping and Material Handling costs by reducing weight.
- Not shipping collateral (studies by Exhibitor Magazine still show that 80% of it never leaves the show city, yet companies still spend thousands on printing and shipping costs).
- Sourcing exhibit rentals regionally. We have strategically located inventories in many show venue cites (such as Orlando and Las Vegas) to help reduce excessive transportation costs. Read further here on whether rentals make sense for you.
- Consider setting aside a “Contingency fund” for unplanned or over-budget expenditures
Maximizing your ROI
- Strategic Sponsorships: Explore how partnering with relevant brands or companies can offset costs and increase outreach.
- Engaging Content: It is hugely important to create engaging, shareable content to boost visibility and attendee engagement.
- Leveraging Technology: Use technology to your advantage. There are event apps and social media channels that can enhance attendee experience and gather valuable data.
- Networking Opportunities: Providing networking opportunities, a key value proposition for attendees is crucial. They want an experience, not a typical meeting.
- Follow-Up Strategy: Outline a follow-up strategy post-event to maintain engagement and measure success. Consistently following up with attendees is crucial to measuring your event success.
Check out our planning e-book
Our 2024 Trade Show planning Guide will help you plan and execute a successful event schedule next year and beyond. Get it here.