Many of our trade experiences today are fully automated, online, self-service, mass produced or virtual. Live events offer marketers something that one way communications like print, radio, television, or digital media do not have…physical human interaction.
The people behind business and consumer products add value in the mind of consumers. According to research in a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, human contact increases the perception of the value of experiences and products. In addition to in-person contact, the article goes on to say that the human factor behind products is also important.
Exhibition industry research confirms that the primary reason men and women attend trade shows and corporate events is to look for new ideas, new solutions, and learn about products through hands-on experiences.
A full 50% of buying decisions are driven by emotion. So how can we, as exhibitors, capitalize on this need for the human element in our face-to-face marketing events?
Extend a personalized invitation to prospects and customers to visit you at the event. Offer to meet before, during or after exhibit hall hours. Pre-scheduling meetings makes prospects and customers feel special. Dedicating time enables you to develop new, or continue building on existing, relationships.
Visitors to your exhibit should feel welcome. Remind your team about appropriate booth staff etiquette. No gum chewing, eating or drinking, huddling with co-workers or focusing attention on cell phones. They should maintain a casual, open stance and be prepared to greet passersby. Staff should make eye contact, smile, offer a warm hand shake and introduce themselves. Human touch triggers the release of the hormone Oxytocin which promotes feel-good sensations and well-being.
Listen to your customer’s challenges and note their non-verbal cues such as facial expressions. Engage them in the process of investigating your solution by sharing the rich, human interest story behind your product. Authenticity creates value. The Journal of Business Research found that consumers see three dimensions to brand authenticity: heritage, sincerity and commitment to quality. What human factors make your product authentic? For example, is it artisanal, patented, hand-selected, custom crafted, based on an original formula, or family-owned and operated?
Consumers also value products based on the perceived human effort exerted to produce them. An Inc Magazine article suggests using storytelling to build the narrative around how your product or service is designed. Does your presentation describe the human aspects of how your product is made? Personally conducting a product demonstration enables customers learn about your product through individual interaction while you continue the dialogue.
We know that people buy from people they like. Your personal attention before, during and following up after the trade show or marketing event is the human component consumers are missing from other trade experiences. Contact your Account Executive at Ion Exhibits to learn more about trade show marketing strategies.