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How Proximity Marketing Get You the Right Attention at Trade Shows

How Proximity Marketing Get You the Right Attention at Trade Shows

How Proximity Marketing Get You the Right Attention at Trade Shows

Do you feel like you have to up your game with every single trade show? It seems like just yesterday that all you needed was a strong product, and you had attendees lining up at your exhibit booth!

Companies have since moved on to stunning customized booths with cutting-edge displays to increase footfall at events. Proximity marketing is the next step in this journey.

Read on to understand what proximity marketing is and the three ways in which it will get you the increased attention you deserve.


Marketing PracticesWhy is Proximity Marketing the Need of the Hour?


As your customers get smarter and more techno-savvy, they are right to expect tradeshow exhibit companies to evolve their marketing strategies, too. Traditional digital marketing ideas that were around for decades are now fast falling into disrepute.


Spam filters

Your target audience does not want to be bombarded with emails or text messages. Excellent filters on email apps ensure that most spam emails go completely unread. Similarly, repeatedly texting your customers will only get you blocked on people’s phones.


Irrelevant digital advertisements

When people are attending trade show events, they usually keep their data switched off. Targeting them through digital advertisements is impossible.

The need of the hour is to provide them with relevant localized ads that will pique their interest. This is similar to a team distributing flyers for an educational program outside a school. Chances are that their target audience would respond faster.



Customers now want to feel special. Imagine that you are at Best Buy, looking for a smartphone you have spent days researching online.

Just then, you get a message that the phone is available at a discounted rate at exactly the store that you are in. Wouldn’t it encourage you to make the purchase immediately?


What is Proximity Marketing?Proximity Marketing


Very simply, proximity marketing or hyperlocal marketing utilizes a location-based approach to attract customers. The marketing techniques use the proximity of the customer to a particular location, for example, your exhibit rental, thus enticing them to make a decision immediately.

Immediacy is critical to this approach since the same advertisement may or may not have worked if the customer was miles away and was simply receiving it as an alert via their email or as a text message.

While smartphones seem like the most obvious tool for the distribution of your content, proximity marketing also works on modern laptops that are GPS enabled. Let us cover some of the popular technologies that come into play here.


Proximity Technologies


NFC (Near Field Communications)


This system enables two electronic devices, one fixed and the other portable, to communicate when they are brought within 4 centimeters of each other.

This technology is already used by Apple Pay and other contactless payment systems. The advantage here is that since it is the customer who will initiate the conversation, it is a very useful tool to gather important information at your exhibit booths.





Mobile connections are always managed between two towers. Geofencing accesses a specific location, for example, the area where the trade show exhibits are being held.

Then, it allows you to send text messages to only those phones that are within that specific region. While this technology has its drawbacks, it works to a large extent to market to an immediate target audience.




A very popular technology now, it allows you to communicate and push messages to phones or laptops in the immediate vicinity while not requiring access to any internet connection at all. This took some time to catch on, primarily because users did not have their Bluetooth on at all times.

But with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), issues related to instant discharging of smartphones are now a thing of the past! And given a range of over 30 feet, it helps you to access attendees that are within the direct vicinity of your booth rental!


Wi-Fi Hotspot


You see these everywhere now – at airport lounges, corporate offices, trade show exhibits, and even at your local Starbucks! The range of your hotspot allows you to push marketing content directly to the user via their browsers.


LTE (Long Term Evolution) Direct


The hottest technology around, it breaks many taboos around proximity marketing by having the customer initiate the marketing engagement themselves!

Imagine an attendee standing outside your exhibit rental and sending a message on exactly what he or she is looking for. The opportunities for direct engagement increase dramatically.


Identifying3 Ways Proximity Marketing Can Help You


If you are at a new-age trade show event, chances are the event organizers are already using proximity marketing technologies to make things easier for attendees.

It starts right at check-in, where attendees have already downloaded an app that automatically registers them as they walk through the doors, completely doing away with lengthy registration lines.

Attendees are redirected to appropriate floors at relevant times so that they don’t miss out on important happenings. For example, event organizers send notifications to attendees about competitions or seminars at the correct time to ensure they do not miss anything.

They also increase attendee involvement through gaming. Notifications alert attendees about games like scavenger hunts that can encourage them to cover all trade show floors and not miss out on any opportunity.


So, what does this mean for you? Proximity technologies and the organizers have already helped you gain an engaged, enthusiastic, and passionate audience at your show.

Now you need to build on that. As a tradeshow exhibit company, the advantages here are many, but we have classified them into the three categories that are especially relevant for you.


Reach your target audience instantlyKnow Your Audience


This, of course, is the most obvious use of proximity marketing. Send quick alerts to people who are adjacent to your booth rental on your trade show floor and get instant results.

You can share something as simple as directions to your booth, maybe a link to your website, your social media pages, or even a commercial of your offerings. Discounts or special offers can be made to sweeten the deal.


Network and connect


As a fledgling business owner, you may also wish to find other vendors at the event who complement your product. Let’s say that while you are hoping to sell night-time goggles, there’s another vendor who is hoping to attract customers to his camping equipment.

Here is where proximity marketing can provide an unbelievable advantage. You make connections as you attract the same kind of customer, forging long-term bonds in the process.


Feedback Get up-to-date feedback


Gone are the days of providing online surveys or feedback questionnaires to your audience. Not only are they tedious, but they are also highly unreliable and dependent on the customer’s involvement at that point in time.

Proximity technologies, on the other hand, tap into the attendees’ reactions in real-time, based on their search history, social media posts, or other indications provided voluntarily by them.

You can reach out to an unhappy customer and take corrective steps immediately.


Are There Any Precautions to Take?


Yes, as with any new strategy, there could be hiccups along the way for the uninitiated amongst us. Here are some important points to consider before you make your decision.



Since these technologies are largely new, you will need to hire a consultant to help you put the process in place.

There is also the investment in the actual technology itself, which could be prohibitive if your margins are not yet significant.


Privacy complaints:

One of the major drawbacks of this strategy could be that some of your customers may view your messages to them as a sign of intrusion.

Your message may flash on their screen while they are finishing an important task on their phones or laptops. While newer proximity technologies require the attendee to initiate the communication, this is still a potential grey area that requires you to tread with much care.


Analyse and Learn Reliability of analytics:

All proximity technologies have some kind of analytical information on the messages being sent out. So, for example, you will know how many messages were sent out and how many people received your message.

But this does not directly translate to meaningful information on how many people viewed your message or took action based on the message.

A similar problem can appear around marketing apps, too. While people may download your app, it is more important for you to know how many are actively using it.


Final Thoughts


Proximity marketing is probably the missing connection that you have been looking for in your exhibiting experience.

With newly improved and highly targeted audience engagement, the opportunity to network with other like-minded startups, and get instant, reliable feedback, there’s little room for failure.

Speak to an expert who will get you started on this journey and ensure that you are focusing on the right methods and result-oriented tools that can provide a boost to your investment.


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