Does exhibiting 365 days a year, 24 hours a day sound like a dream scenario? No? Oh, well, what a surprise…
In our experience, you can divide trade show staffers into 3 VERY broad categories:
- Those who think it’s the best gig in the world
- Those who were sent there, but don’t quite know which levers to pull and buttons to push
- Those who loathe every minute of it
No matter which category you’re in, 365 days probably sound like a bit too much. The crux of the matter is that this is NOT what we mean by 365/24.
Rethink the Trade Show
Considering the resources we spend before, during, and after the trade show, we’re convinced that we can profitably rethink the activity. A typical trade show lasts 1-5 days. This is indubitably not a lot of time! What if we could supplement the actual trade show activities with availability on a digital platform? What if we could rethink our story-telling components to make them just as relevant in the virtual environment as they are at the actual trade show?
What would this require from your sales and marketing functions?
Death to Silos
Let me give you an example. In order to understand how to rethink the trade show and make it a sales tool 365/24, we must look at the activity’s individual components. The vast majority of the components, for example in the preparation stage, can be incorporated into further and greater contexts:
- The booth’s communication concept recurs in sales campaigns and other supporting materials.
- Social media communication and marketing can be linked to the follow-up on collected leads, which again is in step with the CRM flow.
- All or part of the trade show booth is used in the company’s showroom or reception area instead of being placed in a dark corner of the basement where it serves no purpose.
- The web applications for iPads or other tablets which are used to communicate messages in the booth become the sales reps’ new company book.
Do you see that this makes 365/24 more than the actual trade show? It’s a way of incorporating the assets and mentality of face-to-face marketing into your company’s overall marketing efforts. The bonus emerges because your company makes itself available to the customers – yes, how did you guess? – 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.
Is this a worthwhile idea?
We think so – because we are increasingly being measured. On dollars and cents as well as on our ability to communicate in a manner which is involving, insisting, and relevant. This commands respect, and the underlying concept – which of course revolves around the customer and the customer’s behavior – is thought out and executed to perfection. This signals competence, attention to detail, and frankly that your business model is one step ahead of the competition’s. In our view, what we’re dealing with here is a higher level of differentiation.
All that’s required is your time, desire and opportunity to do as our motto here in Faust Dyrbye says: Rethink everything you do. Luckily this is quite a lot easier than it sounds!
What’s Working In Exhibiting reveals strategies that are designed to assist exhibitors with their overall event marketing approach.
About the Author: Jakob Dyrbye is owner and creative director at Faust Dyrbye in Denmark and has over 20 years of experience in the exhibition industry. Jakob is a frequent public speaker, introducing thought-provoking ideas in order for us to change our mindset and our habits as he is a true believer in shifting our industry's focus from logistics to value creation and measurement. As Jakob says, "We need to understand that mastering Face to Face Marketing means that besides building the stage on which our clients shine, we must understand our clients' business, their needs, their clients' needs, and especially what's going on during their show, not just before and after."