Hump Day Wednesday

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The entry of big data and the Internet of things (IoT) into the exhibition and trade show industry.


Firstly, explaining what these concepts are will give us a base to start on while we explore how these can then be translated and implemented into the exhibition and trade show industry.

Big data is a term for data sets that are so large or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate to deal with them. It also refers to the use of predictive analytics, user behaviour analytics or certain other data analytics methods that extract value from data.

The internet of things or IoT is the inter-networking of computing devices such as mechanical and digital devices, buildings, objects, animals or people. These are then fitted or have embedded electronics, software, sensors or unique identifiers that enable these objects to collect and exchange data without requiring human to human or human to computer interaction.

Now big data and the IoT work in conjunction. By the year 2020 experts estimate that there will be over 50 million devices connected to the internet using the IoT theory. With the population set to be 7.6 billion that is 6.5 devices per person, which means a massive potential to reach all sorts of demographics. These devices will then be used create and share all manner of data including locations, buying behaviour, media, essentially everything that we do on a day to day basis can be collected and shared. This will then fit into the big data aspect whereby these huge amounts of data that are being gathered from these devices is then being processed and converted to a variety of analytics that companies can use as valuable business intelligence.

Now how can this be used in the events, exhibition and trade shows industries. Visitors to trade shows and exhibitions will all be owning one of these inter-networked devices and therefore companies will be able to gather strategic information from them while they visit booths and stalls of all the exhibitors. This information can be consumer information such email addresses and phones numbers, buyer preferences, analytics of demographics. It also allows them to track movements of visitors at the trade show therefore tabulating which stands where the most or least successful.

This data allows booth holder’s sales and marketing teams to not ‘beat around the bush’ as much and make the whole interaction between the visitor and the booth staff more effective and efficient because all the demographics and consumer information will have been gathered and could mean more direct, tailored pitches and materials for the consumer.

Stand designs could be altered to the information provide by the data. Looking at which stands are drawing the most attention and visitors then moulding a design after that or having key features to mimic the successful stands. It will also mean that stands will start to need an internet connection to facilitate these devices.

There are many implementations for big data with the boom in the internet of things on the cards, also with the analysis of data getting better and faster having all this data available will mean that exhibitors can gain meaningful business intelligence and streamline their displays and interactions with consumers to the next level.


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