When marketers are planning the channels that they will use to promote their businesses and products, events are regularly the largest portion of the overall budget. Why? Because there is no substitute for conducting marketing activities face-to-face with a customer or prospect. Advertising can’t deliver the power of physicality, and while digital is great for targets to gather information, even online chat and other interactives often aren’t enough to push a final purchasing decision. Only events and tradeshows offer the opportunity to add the human element such as:
Create brand trust: Buyers want to do business with organizations and people they trust. It is especially true in B2B, where they rely on quality suppliers to ensure their own successful businesses. Trade shows allow buyers to see the product they want to buy, participate in a demo or try it out, then talk to representatives that will be responsible for delivering it. Exhibitors who make the most of that opportunity to build brand trust will find it much easier to complete the sale. The value of that interaction should not be understated – for either the exhibitor or attendee – in creating a human connection that fosters and intensifies brand trust.
Demonstrate brand personality: Every brand has a personality that reflects the values and culture of the company. Some are fun and whimsical, some serious, some inspiring and uplifting. Tradeshows provide the perfect vehicle to show off that personality through every element: the environment, the experience, the staff, pre- and post-show marketing, and any ancillary events. By demonstrating brand personality, exhibitors project confidence that attendees will buy into and appreciate their key differentiators and further drive brand trust.
Bring the brand to life: Nothing is more important than providing an attendee a brand experience that will stay with them and increase the likelihood that they will buy and remain a loyal customer. From the moment they step into the exhibit, the attendee should be surrounded by a sense of place, including sounds and even smells – often overlooked senses that can stimulate brand connection. Attendees take cues from the encounter, such as how they are greeted, whether their personal interaction is a positive one, and whether they were able to get their questions answered without being sold (as to how they are, or will be, treated as a customer). When they walk away, they should be inspired to become an ambassador for the brand.
There is a power in the physicality of the trade show, so be sure to use that power for your customer experience.