With digital marketing on the rise, many people believe that B2B trade shows will soon go the way of the typewriter, the rotary phone and, let’s take a huge jump back in time, the dinosaurs (R.I.P. Littlefoot). But nothing could be further from the truth.
In a world of mobile apps, social media, and chatbots, trade shows still remain a viable option for reaching your target audience. In fact, 99% of marketers said they found unique value from trade shows — value that no other marketing medium offered.
Trade shows aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, but sometimes it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. To help you get the most out of your B2B trade show promotion, we’re putting these 4 myths to rest. Finally.
Myth #1: B2B trade shows are a waste of time.
False. B2B trade shows are a great opportunity to meet your prospects face-to-face and make a connection.
Most trade show attendees are there looking for a solution to their challenges. According to a Center for Exhibition Industry Research report, 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority. Trade shows are your chance to get your product or solution in front of the right person.
No gatekeeper screening. No back and forth trying to set up a call. And no “I’m sorry, Lisa is in a meeting. Can I take a message for you?” You meet the decision-maker in person.
Myth #2: The more trade shows you sign up for, the better.
Yes, the more trade shows you attend, the more exposure your brand gets. But your audience won’t be at every show. And, if you’re preparing for too many trade shows, you may stretch your budget too thin.
Increase the effectiveness of your B2B trade show marketing by only participating in the shows that are relevant to your industry. Do your research and find out which shows your competitors and customers attend. There are a few ways you can do this:
- Monitor social media to see what shows competitors are attending.
- Send out customer surveys or ask customers directly.
- Contact show management to ask for attendee and exhibitor data.
Once you’re confident the show is a good fit for your company, that’s when you can start preparing your booth display, trade show messaging, and marketing strategy.
Myth #3: If you show up, traffic will come.
It’s the day of the trade show. You set up your booth, fan out your business cards, bring out the freebies and wait for the traffic to start flooding in.
For a successful trade show, you and your marketing team or B2B marketing agency need to start planning your strategy at least a year in advance. That gives you plenty of time to work out all the details, create your booth display, and connect with potential customers.
Roughly 70% of attendees make a list of booths they want to visit before they even enter the exhibit hall.
Let your target audience know you’re attending the trade show and why they should stop by your booth. Give them a preview of what you’re exhibiting ahead of time. Are you sharing exclusive industry insights? Unveiling a new product? Offering a show discount?
Give them a good reason to come see you, and you’re sure to increase your booth traffic and, in turn, your sales!
Myth #4: It doesn’t take an expert to plan B2B trade show promotion.
A successful trade show takes more than setting up your booth, handing out business cards and giving out freebies. If you want to market your business effectively, you need a strategic campaign that covers all marketing before, during and after the trade show.
Social media, emails, PR, blogs, website banners, e-newsletters…there are so many ways to announce your presence and drive traffic to your booth. Not to mention all the hard work that goes into planning your booth display and B2B messaging.
With so many moving pieces to keep track of, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Schubert b2b can help you reach potential customers before the show and draw them to your booth during the show.
We’ve helped B2B companies in all industries plan, develop and execute a solid trade show marketing strategy. Our team of marketing experts knows exactly what it takes to achieve success at a B2B trade show. Give us a call today to discuss how you can leave a lasting impression at your next event.
In B2B tech marketing, tactics should be thought of as part of a larger whole, rather than separate pieces. By strategically integrating new and traditional marketing tactics, your marketing program become more effective and cost efficient. To learn more about how you can increase your lead generation and overall marketing, download our free eBook: Modern Integrated Digital Marketing—A Better Path for B2B Technology Marketers.
Courtney Gursky is a Digital Content Specialist at Schubert b2b. She graduated from Lafayette College with a B.A. in English. When she's not working, you can find her reading Harry Potter for the millionth time or taking way too many photos of her 4 cats and 3 dogs.