Trade show and event managers deliver the marketing message and branding for their company in a unique environment. There is no substitute for face-to-face selling at an exhibition. The information gathered will increase the ROI (Return on Investment) by measuring the quality of leads that become sales but also listening to attendees is invaluable. Video presentations, live demonstrations, graphics are sending the message outward, but it is more important to listen.
Trade show and event managers are using technology outside the exhibit as well as in the booth. Mobile apps are now incorporated into the marketing plan to increase booth traffic, engage attendees before, during and after the show. Interactive technology is not just to be considered in the exhibit design. Utilizing event apps can be part of the overall trade show plan.
Executive leaders may ask or question, what is the power of trade shows in the marketing program? Exhibitions are a unique selling environment and there is no substitute for face-to-face marketing. New products, services and branding, are presented to existing and new customers that generate immediate feedback that isn’t possible with an advertisement or on the internet.
Technology and social media impact trade show and marketing programs both in the U.S. and at international events as well. It isn’t just about Twitter, Facebook and hashtags, trade show managers need to be sure the company website is “mobile friendly” too. The latest search engine algorithm change for mobile devices could leave your website off searches if it is not formatted for tablets and smart phones. Exhibit graphics and messaging incorporate social media and QR codes to engage the audience so mobile access should be incorporated as well.
Trade show displays are no longer just a 3-dimensional tool to deliver an exhibiting company’s marketing message. Including social media in exhibit planning objectives is another way to increase customer awareness and market share. Exhibitions are an opportunity for face-to-face interaction with customers. Social media can engage customers before, during and after the show.