Trade shows and events have long been a key weapon in the B2B marketer?s arsenal. From lead generation to maintaining existing relationships to sealing deals to hunting new partners; trade shows perform a whole host of functions in the life of the average business.
Digital marketing has seen an astounding rise in adoption over the period of the last ten to fifteen years. It has eclipsed all other offline marketing channels and it is safe to say that offline marketing is losing importance day by day. However, trade shows are still of great importance to B2B businesses and take up a major part of their budgets.
While it?s great to allocate budgets towards a platform that is tried and tested, it?s even better if you utilize your budget allocations to the fullest extent possible. Here are a few thoughts on how your business can turn trade shows into the star marketing tool that they are capable of being.
Build a reputation as a thought leader.
A trade event typically has people both from the demand side and the supply side of your industry gathered together under one roof. This is the kind of audience most businesses would kill for. By signing up as a speaker at a trade event, you put your business at center stage, where all concerned parties can notice it.
More importantly, you subtly convey the message that you?re someone who knows the business inside and out, a real thought leader who can be trusted with their business if they needed your services. Public speaking can be terrifying for the best of us, but buckle down and attempt this at least once. The difference you?ll see will encourage you to repeat the process over and over again. Here?s a great resource on preparing for that stage and bidding adieu to those cold feet.
Make the most of having the important people from your industry in a single location by setting up your own stall/kiosk where potential customers can walk up and get information. Build a strong funnel of qualified leads by scheduling face-to-face meetings with key prospects at the event.
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