The modern trade-ѕhоw еxhіbіt іѕ a far cry frоm thе ѕtаndаrdіsеd combination оf booths and bаnnеrѕ thаt оnсе fіllеd the event hаllѕ. Thе рrеѕеnсе оf mоrе аnd more аdvаnсеd technology in thе mаrkеtіng ѕtrаtеgу оf mаnу buѕіnеѕѕеѕ has сhаngеd the landscape of the еxhіbіtіоn floor, replacing flyers with tаblеtѕ and demos, and traditional banners with interactive walls and screens.
When it’s time to engage more, exhіbіtоrѕ need tо іntеgrаtе their traditional ѕаlеѕ strategy with mаrkеting techniques that help them reach audiences that matter. We define marketing integration at trade shows as a mix of onsite project management tactics, live promotional activities and digital campaigns that can enhance the customer experience at the booth.
There are several aspects why trade show exhibitors should seek marketing integration, however 3 prominent reasons include:
- Audience engagement
- Brand awareness and authority
- Improved cost leadership marketing strategy
Maximising audience engagement at the booth
Studies reveal that 75% of the реорlе who go to trade ѕhоwѕ knоw еxасtlу whаt they wаnt to ѕее, whоm thеу want tо ѕее, аnd hоw muсh tіmе thеу wіll ѕреnd оn the show floor. 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority (Source)
At the same time, statistics say that human’s attention span has reduced by 4 seconds from 2000 to 2015, now being 8.25 seconds.
That leaves us with a thought: what influences visitors behaviour and what actually facilitates the increase in visitor numbers?
The answer is effective live engagement
And that starts with positioning yourself as a brand and by telling your story before the start of the show. Proper integration of online visuals, messages and online interaction with your prospect audience before the show will make visitors curious about what you have to offer, and that makes it more likely for them to stop by your stand and meet the people behind the brand during the event.
Tip: Live + online marketing campaigns = inbound visitor engagement. Facilitate quality content creation and syndication that makes your company easy to be found, and easy to engage with before the start of the show.
Increased brand awareness before, during and after the event
Good branding іѕ a huge aspect оf every business’ ѕuссеѕѕ and it is the bottom line of inspiring trust and building reputation. Live and online marketing integration at trade shows can prove that your company is reliable, serious and well established among industry competitors especially when you are attending leading events and conferences that require a lot of financial resources.
The ability to influence your prospects’ behaviour is also determined by the authority you create through your online branding and on the show floor. Brand authority can be enhanced by short and long term communication campaigns that create a desire for visitors to find out more about what your brand stands for.
Tip: Create online marketing campaigns that contain personalised messages and make sure there is a continuity between your digital and your trade show promotional content. Revise your buyer’s persona and synchronise your marketing objectives across all platforms before the start of the show.
Re-think your outreach strategy by personalising your content around it, even when you have attended the same trade show several years in a row.
Improving the Cost Leadership strategy
According to the 2016 Economic Outlook one of the reasons for which 44% exhibitors are positive about their trade show program for 2016 is their lead tracking and fulfilment.
The bottom line of every marketing department and exhibition management agency is budget. Companies of all sizes consider that cost effective measures do improve their trade show performance. Nobody wants to spend thousands without being sure that there will be a return and that the effort is worthwhile.
Tip: Cost effectiveness is sexy. Keep a good balance of project management and marketing engagement tactics. Choose an exhibition management agency that is aware about how your budgets are spent for both. If you end up spending too much, your agency should be held accountable for pre-event project management as well as to what extent they can actually track the good leads after your next trade show.
Making trade show marketing integration easier.
Brands go to trade shows to talk about their story, get more business and connect with prospects and customers. This is why integration is a natural fit for everyone attending a live trade show.
Without live and online marketing integration, booth engagement becomes a commodity and brand authority will stagnate. Whether it is to maximize booth audience and engagement, brand awareness, or to reduce costs and improve performance at your next trade show, marketing integration of live and online communications before and during your trade show exhibit helps you see the bigger picture of what it can be achieved, reduced or improved from one trade show to another.
To find out how we integrate live and online marketing for our clients, please click HERE.
By Eliza Iatesen, Founder and Managing Director, H2H Communicate Ltd, Passionate about organisational intelligence and international growth, Eliza has over 8 years’ experience in corporate communication and project management in both private and public sector. She is an international marketing strategist and owner of H2H Communicate Ltd. H2H Communicate helps companies to expand to international markets by providing event management and integrated marketing services in Europe and Middle East.