Businesses compete on different aspects to connect with their customers, and this lets marketers go through every touch point it takes to converse, interact, and develop trust with their prospects. Though having an online presence is crucial, nothing overdoes the effect of a face-to-face meet up at business events or B2B trade shows.
B2B marketing events consume about 24 percent of total annual budgets, which makes it easy to understand why marketing events are so effective. Since the internet offers limited control of human connection compared to in-person interactions, trade fairs give people an open opportunity to explore new services, products, and solutions. Since events are expensive, giving it a digital makeover can boost your gains.
1. PRE-EVENT MARKETING
Before hosting any businesses conference or trade fair, it is vital to schedule it and add it into your business marketing plan. It will help you make the event more than just a one-day interaction as well as stimulates engagement with those who may not attend it in-person. So, planning pre-event marketing ensures you get enough time and resources to make the most of each event.
The engagement you build before the event is essential to attract relevant leads to your event, and to your booth eventually. This is the most important step to expand your pre-event reach, instead of just having a big crowd passing by your booth or seeing your existing database of clients. Everyone you contact may not be attending the event, but it offers a great way to showcase the interactive strategies you have developed for the show to a broader audience by providing a source of connection even outside the event.
2. USE EVENT TECHNOLOGY BEFOREHAND
As a part of marketing your event in advance, offer attendees an app or online management tool where they can register for the event or just click the interested button to show that they will come. It will help you gather their information and customize your strategy according to their interests to convert them in loyal leads.
If you have gathered information through a social media platform like Facebook events or Twitter, make sure you recognize as many people as you can in the event to create a comfortable vibe for the attendees. It may sound creepy a little, but for business, people love when someone remembers them through social platforms. When the business event is over, don’t forget to contact them using the information you have collected to enable sales and build valuable relationships.
3. INVEST IN PEOPLE
Understaffing is probably the worst mistake you can make for a B2B trade show. You will see how fast you lose engagement simply because you have not employed enough workforce to manage the booth, facilitate conversations, and answer the questions, and so on. To do so, consider the size of the event.
It is not about just hiring as many people as your even marketing budget can afford; it’s about hiring the right people. Invest in trained short-term promotional staff with a related background as your product or service to get effective results in the form of conversion, leads and sales.
4. SHARE EXPERIENCES TO BOOST ENGAGEMENT
In trade fairs or business conferences, issue online surveys to encourage real-time feedback on your presentation so your attendees can actually feel engaged with the event. Gather the data using management tools on social media and showcase it in one dashboard, share results of live-polling on a screen, display online interactions, and use this information to target and reach new prospects and market your upcoming fairs.
5. GET YOUR SUCCESS METRICS RIGHT
It is bizarre to measure every aspect of event marketing in sales. Take this opportunity to test new products, do competitive analysis, and build good relationships with customers. Sales are important by the end of the day, but only relying on your sales metric may not be enough.
Focus on what else you can do or invest in to build more engagement in the event to cross-sell and upsell the opportunities.
6. INCORPORATE PROMOTIONAL PROPS
Add promotion materials in your event marketing strategy to attract maximum attendees. Promotional stuff doesn’t have to be something expensive; you can go with USB cables, water bottles, refreshments, t-shirts with your logo, fidget spinners, shopping bags made out of sturdy fabric, or anything you can get creative with, especially if you know the age group of your target audience. It is essential to create a balance, so neither go too cheap nor too large.
7. POST EVENT MARKETING
When the trade fair has passed, and you have achieved a higher engagement rate, follow up with any leads you have collected in the event. A simple approach can be sharing your articles or press release about the event via email or make a phone call for feedback. You can also track your prospects down on social media as a simple and effective approach for sparking a conversation. Finally, keep up with any follow-ups that show progress and induce further insight into your B2B trade show ROI and lead conversion.
B2B trade shows are all about connecting with people, learning new things, and spreading brand awareness, but eventually, all of it is directed towards generating revenue for your business.