Trade shows and exhibitions are usually considered one of the more challenging marketing tactics because they cost so much time and money. However, a well-executed trade show venture can generate leads and increase engagement with your brand. If you want to network within your industry and promote brand awareness, trade shows are an effective, non-digital marketing technique to reach your target market.
The Benefits of Marketing Offline
One of the biggest benefits of trade show marketing is that it allows you to take advantage of the booming experience-economy. Researchers found that 74 percent of Americans value experiences over things. This revelation has shocked much of the business world, which for decades depended on American materialism for profit.
The upside of this shift is that trade shows offer a unique opportunity to appeal to your target market through experiential aspects. If your brand would benefit from customers testing out your product, then consider a product demonstration at your booth. Demos give you the chance to interact face to face with consumers and to receive immediate feedback. An interactive experience like this will leave a longer lasting impression than a passive print or digital advertisement.
Trade shows also give you the chance to create a 360-degree branding experience through the booth itself. Your brand identity should determine every aspect of your booth, so that when potential clients enter, they have a clear sense of what you’re about. Think in terms of color, aesthetics, and sensory details. Should you represent your brand with a techy, artsy design? Or does a natural, minimalist layout suit your brand identity better? However you choose to modify the space, make it experiential and memorable.
Don’t underestimate the power of non-digital marketing. Generation Z and Millennial audiences value transparency and want to meet the storytellers behind brands, so give young entrepreneurs a chance to engage authentically with your brand. Older generations, as well, are more trusting of a brand if they’ve seen or experienced an offer in person. Hands on experience is a priceless marketing tool that for many brands can’t be achieved digitally.
Perks of the Trade Show Network
There are a few marketing perks that are unique to the trade show scene. First off, by promoting your brand through a trade show, you automatically integrate yourself into a larger marketing scheme. Shows need to promote themselves, as well. They’ll advertise through posters and flyers that feature the brands attending, so your name and logo will be circulated alongside other brand logos of the industry.
Speaking of other brands, trade shows are often industry specific. For you, this means a direct appeal to your target market and an opportunity to make room for your brand name in that industry. Trade shows are also a way to network with other industry members and stay up to date on industry current events.
A third benefit to trade show networking is the ability to generate leads who may not have been exposed to your brand or marketing campaign otherwise. Set aside a place in your booth or a time in your sales pitch for visitors to sign up for your newsletter or follow you on social media. Then follow up with them through email or otherwise after the trade show. Believe it or not, many brands forget to do this, so you can stand out to potential clients with this small act of customer service.
Finally trade shows give you a chance to stand out in your industry. Most attendees go to trade shows to see what’s new and innovative in the market. Differentiate your brand from others in the market, and give visitors something to remember you by. Literally. Promotional giveaways go a long way in reminding potential clients about their experience with your brand at the trade show. It doesn’t have to be flashy or expensive either. It can be as simple as screen cleaning cloth or another useful digital accessory with your logo on it.
It may seem like the world has gone completely digital, but human interaction is still irreplaceable—even when it comes to marketing and networking. People prefer experiences, and trade shows provide interactive engagement with your brand that can rarely be achieved through passive print and screen ads. The result is memorable impressions and lasting connections to help your brand stand out in the industry.