For most marketing and sales directors, KPIs are king. If you’re not improving them it’s incredibly hard to prove your value. Ouch. This is why we sometimes hear people say, “Why exhibit at an expo?” If there’s no guaranteed ROI, there’s no point… right? Not so fast, friends.
While it’s true there’s no guaranteed ROI since there’s great variability from show to show, the benefits of trade shows and trade show exhibiting are proven. Here are three of the reasons why trade shows are important in your marketing strategy this year and how to take advantage of them.
Handpicked audience (almost)
So you’ve dedicated budget to Google ads, social media ads, direct mail campaigns, and a solid referral program. You can point to the ROI of each, and this makes you feel comfortable. But does it make you feel alive? Or perhaps a better question is whether these tactics are really connecting you directly to the folks you want to reach? Odds are good the answer is a big fat no.
Trade show exhibiting is one of the only forms of marketing that puts you squarely in the path of the people you want to meet (literally, they may trip over you and your booth if they’re too busy texting). And since you decide which trade shows you invest in, you can choose the ones that will be attended by your dream customers. Instead of trying to reach them digitally, you can reach out and shake their hands. The power (and, yes, ROI) of that can’t be underestimated.
Loads of face time
The benefits of trade shows aren’t merely in breathing the same air as your potential customers. The fact that these people will be in the same space as you means you can do a whole lot more. One of the best uses of trade show time is to set meetings between your salespeople and most promising prospects. Invite them to your booth, show them your products in-person and start a real, face-to-face conversation.
Many decision-makers attend trade shows with the goal of finding new solutions, so a lot of the people you talk to will be open-minded. You really can’t ask for more than that from a marketing perspective. And what’s more, you might also find some vendors who could save you money or improve your processes. Don’t rule that aspect out either.
If we’re being honest, digital marketing sometimes stifles the beating drum of creativity within us – does it not? We’re limited to two-dimensional, pixelated graphics and catchy copy. But weren’t we made for more? We sure think so. Trade show exhibiting allows you to think bigger. No more playing it small; you can create whatever you can dream up.
The best trade show displays and booths offer visitors an experience. Use audio, video and technology to stand out. Don’t forget the power of smell and touch, and incorporate both into your booths. Invest in top-notch graphics and displays that will make an impression, and get your company noticed. Trade shows can provide the opportunity to appeal to your customers as holistic human beings; so be dynamic and make the most of it.
If you’re interested in making trade show exhibiting a part of your 2020 marketing plan, we’d love to help you turn your vision into reality. Give us a call, and let’s get you the ROI you envision.