What You Need to Know About Trade Shows in 2015

Social media, blogging, email marketing and YouTube clips present so many opportunities for businesses to grow, and it might seem like the best investment when it comes to generating leads. In fact, all of this falls under ‘content marketing’ and it really works. But in the rubric of face-to-face communications, nothing beats marketing your business at conferences, trade shows and business events.

A Winning Formula2015 trade shows

Conferences, events and trade shows remain a tried and true part of the B2B sales funnel. According to a recent survey from marketing systems resource Software Advice, events and trade shows contribute to business by providing both the most leads and the highest quality leads. Of 200 marketers surveyed, here’s what they found:

  • 77% stated that events and trade shows generate a “very high” or a “somewhat high” quantity of leads.
  • 82% of the marketers surveyed said that events and trade shows generate leads of “good” or “excellent” quality.

These numbers likely reflect customers’ preferences to have personal interactions with specific people at companies, as well as the opportunity to talk business with others in their field in a stimulating, compact environment.

Planning Wins the Game

The high-tech skeptics might wonder why to pursue the costs and planning involved with an on-site trade show marketing strategy. They think about the costs associated with preparing materials, shipping booths and signage, booth staffing requirements and figuring out how to capture leads. It must make sense to avoid the headache altogether, right?

But when trade show planning comes together with social media execution, it can be B2B marketing gold. The success of your business trade show marketing largely depends on how well you plan ahead and how thoroughly you’ve thought it through. To get the most out of your event, you should plan a detailed strategy that clearly outlines what you wish to accomplish. Of course, it’s important to invest in the proper materials and training so you can put on the best event, conference, or trade show and attract more quality leads to your business, too.

When planning the best strategy for generating a lot of high quality leads, ask the following:

  • What are my goals for the trade show?
  • What is my target audience?
  • What is the best way to engage leads?
  • Do I have a lead-nurturing strategy in place?

Answering these questions well before your event will greatly impact your performance, and more importantly, how many high quality leads you generate. For instance, will you start by targeting new leads, or by trying to get in touch with current prospects?

Going after current customers is one of the most effective ways to get business, according to Jenny Vance, President of LeadJen. She offers some helpful advice in this article for marketers wishing to get the most out of events:

  • Use trade shows to connect with current customers and active opportunities. That, says Vance, is one of the most effective ways to get business.
  • Leverage the urgency of the conference to effectively communicate and receive responses from your leads.
  • Thoroughly follow up with prospects before and after the event is over.

These pieces of advice will help you think more critically about your approach for generating leads. It’s important to have the right mindset and strategy before, during, and after any event.

If you’re still unsure whether you should set aside more time and money for the annual trade show, webinar, or other event, Software Advice has some more numbers that might influence your decision:

  • 45% of marketers say live demos generate “excellent” quality leads.
  • 42% of marketers say live demos generate “good” quality leads.
  • 92% of marketers use some form of video content for lead generation.
  • Videos are commonly cited as producing very high lead volumes.
  • Print magazines heavily influence the purchasing decisions of leads.
  • Of the 200 marketers surveyed, 63% held a director-level title or above.

When trade show display visitors have an excellent real-time experience with your company at a trade conference, they are more likely to follow-up partner with you on their business. There’s no better way to accomplish this than setting yourself up for success with the appropriate resources.

When you’ve carefully crafted your strategy for success, come to Northwest Creative Imaging Displays for all your display needs. Made in the USA, our banner stands, pop-up displays, event tents, and much more will help you grab attention and attract more business during your event. We accommodate booths of all sizes, so whatever your requirements may be, Northwest Creative Imaging Displays will make sure you get the most out of your trade show investment.

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