Companies that go to a lot of trade shows are always looking for ways to make their booths more engaging and interactive. When vying for visitors’ attention on the vast trade show floor, anything that can catch an eye and keep people entertained can be helpful.
Delta Electronics EMEA Region goes to a lot of trade shows and has been refining their booth setup. Social walls have been a part of that for a while now, but Delta saw quite a change in engagement when they started using Walls.io’s new Direct Posts feature at Hannover Messe in 2022.
To find out more about the effect Direct Posts have had on the Delta trade show experience, we talked to Denise Futterer, the Social Media & Digital Marketing Project Manager at Delta Electronics EMEA Region.
Social Media & Digital Marketing Project Manager, Delta Electronics EMEA Region
As someone who doesn’t know your industry at all, I have to ask: what does Delta do?
Delta operates in the electronics industry, leading in fans and power electronics in the industrial sector. We’re a global company based in Taiwan, with our European headquarters in the Netherlands in Amsterdam and 80,000 employees worldwide.
We have about ten different areas we are working in, one of them being the electronic vehicle charging sector, so we work on electronic vehicle charging solutions. But we also create transformers for photovoltaic systems on rooftops and large ground-mounted ones. We also have some sub-brands, such as Vivitek for display solutions and VIVOTEK for surveillance systems. We’re also in the building automation systems market. So, we’re doing pretty much everything you can think of when it comes to electronics.
Our social wall at the tradeshow was part of an ad campaign we had already established called The Efficiency League. We want to be a thought leader in the industry, and efficiency is key for all our products, no matter which sector. So, we invited our visitors to our booth at the trade show in Hannover to join the Efficiency League and become “efficiency officers”. They could join the Efficiency League by taking a picture with their mobile phone and posting it on our social wall.
We had also set up a photo activity to combine with the wall. It was an online photo booth where you could select a frame, like the Delta logo or the Hannover Messe logo, and use virtual props such as glasses. And then, you could upload the photo to the wall.
But it turned out that the social wall alone would have been enough because of the new feature that lets people post directly to the wall. I have to say I really like that feature. Our younger audience on site heavily interacted with us through Direct Posts. And people didn’t really use the photo activity.
So, you saw a difference in engagement because of the Direct Posts?
Yeah, totally. I have to say, that feature is a complete game changer for me, and it makes it easier to negotiate for our Walls.io subscription internally as well. Because this time, people were hanging out at our booth, putting through their content, putting their faces onto the wall. That never happened in the past when we used a social wall; it was always more as if we had hung up a picture.
Admittedly, the people at these trade shows are not super into social media. So things can be a little bit stiff. And some people just don’t want to post a photo from a trade show on their social media accounts. In the past, people always said, “No, I don’t want to post this to my social media.”
But they were fine with posting it directly to the wall this time and enjoyed that they could see the picture appearing on the wall while they were standing there. Perhaps our Efficiency League campaign also helped because we had a way to encourage them to engage with us.
Overall, the interaction with the wall was the biggest we’ve seen since we started using social walls, and I think this was the third or fourth time we used Walls.io. The trade show went on for four days, and we got about 15 to 20 uploads a day.
The main goal was to make it all a bit more authentic so that it wouldn’t just be our content on the wall. It was more about giving people a way to show they had visited our booth and had a great time in Hannover and to convey that spirit to our audience.
We tried to collect content via social media, but with all these privacy settings, it’s not that easy anymore. I would say Twitter is the only source you can still use. I didn’t even care about Facebook and Instagram anymore and removed them from our sources entirely.
I honestly wasn’t bothered about people uploading to their social media this time because we had the direct upload option. That gave us a good enough variety of posts on the wall. We also used the Direct Posts feature to upload pictures from the press conference and the booth itself to the wall, allowing me to create the wall the way I wanted it to appear.
So how did you display the wall at the booth?
We used a big, touchable TV screen from one of our sub-brands.
Does that mean people could scroll through the wall on the screen?
Technically, yes. People didn’t really try to touch it, but we did so sometimes to show them other posts to encourage them to participate.
We also embedded the wall on our landing page. We had an Efficiency League landing page with Hannover Messe as a subtopic, where the wall was implemented, and people could watch our live streams.
Did you do anything else to promote the wall and the Direct Post feature?
As our “efficiency officers,” the people who participated received these little trees in a cup so each of them could plant a little tree.
I’m already planning to reuse the social wall for future events, skipping the photo activity thing altogether and just using the wall by itself. I like that I can combine content as I need to: I can pull all our posts and add whatever content is relevant to the activity we are doing at the time. I also think having the wall on a bigger screen would make sense and help to make it more prominent.
We have two bigger trade shows coming up, where we will have live streams, so we will already have a screen at the booth. And in my opinion, the investment for the wall is reasonable. So we could easily get a social wall to put on the screens as well.
Perhaps the focus will not be on the wall as much as it was at Hannover Messe, and it will be more of a gap filler with the wall showing whenever we don’t have a movie or live-stream running. But in my opinion, it’s a good chance to show some of our social networks and other related content.
I do hope we will have a wall up on screens in our buildings at some point. This is, of course, an investment, as somebody needs to take care of these monitors and moderate the wall a bit.
Some industries have embraced social media use more than others. At tech conferences, for example, social media is ubiquitous, and a social wall will not be an unusual sight. It just comes with the territory.
Direct Posts to the rescue
Apparently, on the hardware side of electronics, people are less willing to use their private social media accounts for work-related stuff, not even to post a photo on a social wall at an event.
Luckily, the Walls.io Direct Posts feature offers a way to circumvent that and make people more comfortable. They don’t have to log in anywhere, not to their social media accounts or the social wall itself. All they have to do to post to the wall is scan the QR code displayed on the wall, upload a photo and add a message. They can even choose to add just a first name for total anonymity. If push comes to shove, you can even post pics for them if they’d rather not use their phones at all.
This Delta showcase really proves how much of a difference that can make. The addition of Direct Posts seriously pushed engagement for Delta in comparison to past uses of the social wall when they didn’t have Direct Posts yet.
Of course, you can also use Direct Posts to quickly post pictures on the social wall without being logged in to the official brand or your personal social media accounts. So that’s a nice side effect for a busy trade show booth.
Touchscreens bring a chance for more engagement
I think the touchscreen TV that Delta used at the trade show booth is actually a fantastic idea that I hope to see more customers use in the future. Having a social wall up on a big screen in public is great, but it obviously means that it turns the wall into a passive experience.
People could use the QR code to post but would still have to open the wall on their own devices if they wanted to interact with it more directly, such as scrolling or opening posts. But with a touchscreen, visitors at trade show booths or any other event can get up close and interact with the wall. For example, they can scroll to see other posts, open posts to read more, show someone their own post from earlier in the day, etc.
I reckon people hold back a bit with a public touch screen, but a bit of encouragement would surely make this an awesome feature for a real-life physical social wall.
If you ever use a social wall on a touch screen at an event or trade show booth, please let us know! We’d love to hear how people are interacting with it.
And if you haven’t used social walls yet at all, what are you waiting for? There are so many ways to use a social wall.