In these times of rapidly evolving technology, we often get the question “Are trade shows, trade fairs, and in-person events still relevant in today’s marketplace?”
With the growth of online marketing and global remote services companies, it’s a fair question. Here’s our answer.
Particularly in the B2B and B2G (business to government) space, the vast majority of marketing dollars are spent with the hope of someday getting face-to-face with a target prospect.
At MEET, we define target prospects as those with a NEED, the RESOURCES to fulfill that need, and URGENCY for a solution. Think NEED, MONEY, NOW!
One of the unique things that *carefully selected* events, trade shows and trade fairs offer is a large number of target prospects within arm’s reach. With the right strategy, these attendees can be filtered so they’ll be easy to find — they’ll even self-identify.
*For more on how we recommend selecting trade shows and forming an annual trade show strategy plan, check out our Special Report: How to Maximize ROI with a Trade Show Strategy Plan.
The goal of any marketing strategy is to build trust
The number of meetings with prospects created is the first metric of success in B2B marketing. In order for a prospect to get the point where they feel comfortable agreeing to a meeting, they must go through several stages to build trust.
The first of these stages is the awareness stage — your prospect needs to know you exist. Once they have become aware, the second stage is to build a level of intimacy.
Building intimacy can be achieved by simply helping your prospect understand the link between the problem they are aiming to solve and your skill and capacity to solve that problem. In other words, helping prospects make a connection between your company’s services and their needs.
At MEET, we recommend devising an offer that speaks directly to the needs of your buyer persona. Similar to selecting the precise bait for the species of fish you are aiming to catch, this offer should match perfectly with the needs and desires of your target prospect.
Looking for ideas of how to devise the right offer to reel in more high-quality prospects? Contact us today.
Ultimately, the goal of all these marketing activities is to facilitate enough intimacy for prospects to trust that a meeting is worth their time.
How trade shows accomplish this
Trade shows and in-person events are a high-effective way of moving prospects through the marketing funnel stages:
In terms of building awareness, trade shows provide the best mode for publicly displaying your company to a variety of mass targets. The beauty of building this awareness in person as opposed to electronically is that it allows companies to easily transition from the awareness phase to the intimacy-building phase through targeted offers and face-to-face interactions with transaction professionals in the booth and the rest of the team at the various other social and professional development sub-events.
Seeing your company in-person, knowing that you are real and invested in solving their urgent problem will generally progress the prospect relationship further down the marketing funnel more quickly. Utilizing targeted offers to attract these prospects will help to guarantee that those who are entering your marketing funnel are in fact high-quality prospects.
Despite our rapidly evolving technological world, the power of relationships in securing new business transactions reigns supreme. And in the B2B and B2G world, trade shows and in-person events offer the most effective way to build trust and establish these relationships.
Are trade shows, trade fairs, and in-person events still relevant in today’s marketplace?
The answer is yes, now more than ever.
For more tips and resources on MEET’s approach to effectively entering the U.S. market, check out our latest webinar: SCALE NOW: Entering the U.S. Market through Trade Shows and In-Person Events.
MEET (meetroi.com) helps international B2B growth companies soft land and scale in the U.S. through trade shows and in-person events. MEET’s processes help its clients ramp-up sales quickly and maintain a steady stream of high-quality prospects going forward. Contact Bill Kenney for a no obligation conversation: firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 (860) 573–4821.