Inflation has returned. Whether the increased costs in goods and services throughout our economy is a result of the recent pandemic or extreme lags in the supply chain, or both, your company’s bottom line most likely will be negatively impacted as expenses increase.
Your trade show team is working to ensure that the company’s revenues grow with a steady stream of sales lead, but have you considered additional, value-add ways to leverage the effort and dollars already committed to your program?
Here are suggestions that could help save money and reduce the impact of the current economic environment at your next experiential marketing events.
Set Up Meetings at Industry Events
At an industry event, hundreds (if not thousands) of people who are a part of your business eco-system could meet with you without your company having to contribute to their travel expenses, or flying your sales representatives for face-to-face meetings. Although video calls are more common today, nothing replaces a one-on-one conversation when a purchaser is committing large dollar amounts.
Marketing and sales must work together to identify who is going to be at the event and who from the company (executives, product managers, sales reps) needs to attend to shepherd these meetings. By setting up meetings in the weeks leading up to the show, the company’s reps can research and prepare for a successful interaction.
For example, at a large show in the past, one of our clients hosted over 1,000 such meetings. They reported appointments with customers, channel partners, strategic alliances, technical experts from vendors they use, standard body members, investors, trade media and industry analysts at their largest trade show. Each of these meetings eliminated time and travel expense that would have been associated with traveling to a future meeting. This client reported a savings estimate of more than $1 million, representing enough return to justify the trade show budget even without the eventual sales boost.
Reduce Sales Calls in the Field
Reducing the number of sales calls and the associated costs presents another opportunity for savings. A well-executed event plan would accomplish the same relationship-building objectives with targeted prospects that typically occur in the first few sales calls out in the field. Typically, these calls could cost a company from $400 to $1,000, or more, per visit.
Set Up Interviews
Some companies leverage HR opportunities and reduce recruitment costs by using marketing events to engage with suitable candidates or to arrange a number of interviews between a diverse group of company representatives and a prospective employee. This approach is also true when it comes to adding resources, such as suppliers and channel partners, to the company’s eco-system.
Capture Customer Testimonials
The profile of today’s marketing activities includes a heavy dose of social media. Videos have become key to grabbing attention on these channels. Using your exhibit as background for a quick interview with a satisfied customer captures a great endorsement, shares the excitement of your experiential environment, and reduces costs associated with capturing video when customers are geographically dispersed.
Again, sales and marketing needs to determine which customers will be at the trade show and prepare the appropriate interview topic for each. Alert the customer before hand that you would like a few minutes of their time and stick to the schedule. Their time is valuable and you want them relaxed and enthusiastic during the time they spend with your team.
Keep Eyes on the Cost
The activities at your next event should be aimed not only at the income side of the profit equation, but the cost side as well. To accomplish this, as the event manager, dialogue with internal managers to take advantage of the opportunity for external meetings at your event. These managers can also help you estimate the value associated with doing multiple things at an event, instead of doing them as one-off activities, at a different time and with added expense.
Once you have a consolidated estimate of savings and/or cost avoidance to your event’s measurement report, you will gain credibility and financial justification for your investment beyond the primary goal of increasing sales. Contact us and join the Exhibitus Results Division as we share ways to leverage resources and improve the bottom line for your experiential marketing events.