Skip to Main Content

How Trade Show Marketing Varies Between B2B and B2C

Making Headlines

How Trade Show Marketing Varies Between B2B and B2C

All trade shows are not created equally. Knowing the difference between a business-to-business (B2B) trade show and a business-to-consumer (B2C) show, is key to marketing to the right targets and creating the appropriate messaging for that audience. Regardless of the type of show, efficient marketing strategies at B2B and B2C trade show events can result in a successful experience that reaches the intended audience in all the right ways. Creating unique experiences through a custom exhibit design catches the target audience’s attention, leading to interactions that can boost the value of face-to-face marketing activities.

Consumer Shows

Consumer-focused shows typically have higher foot traffic than B2B exhibitions. Most consumer attendees are there to have fun and see what is new and unique in the market, as well as to make a purchase if the product is compelling.

Success at B2C shows is all about how a consumer feels when visiting a booth.  Therefore, marketing should be directed towards creating a lasting experience and positive brand view for everyone who visits the custom trade show exhibit.

This particular audience is drawn to hands-on demonstrations and meaningful interactions. Make it easy for attendees to love your brand and spread the word of its value long after they leave the show floor. Some ways to achieve this includes photo booths, drawings, giveaways, or partnering with local artists.  Social media integration can help boost the brand and entice influencers to magnify the opportunity with their impact. If the goal of a consumer show is to increase revenue immediately, the quickness and efficiency of the sales process in the booth is of utmost importance.

Trade Shows

B2B attendees are surrounded by like-minded professionals searching for the latest trends or newest products in respective industries.  The goal is to network with the target audience and ultimately build lasting relationships with business partners.

Specific and intentional interactions with the target audience are necessary to achieve this goal. Catching the eye of attendees as they walk the aisles is critical to B2B trade show success. Today’s exhibitors rely on technology, such as LED walls, projection mapping and holographics, to create interactive experiences that not only are eye-catching, but also demonstrate the value of a company’s products.

Once in an exhibit, attendees are looking for information to share with others involved in the decision-making process.  Often, this includes a conversation with a sales director or a C-Suite executive who inspires confidence that a productive partnership will be possible.

To ensure informed decisions, B2B marketing strategies also should consider live product demonstrations and presentations that highlight success stories.  Make sure your booth staff is informed with answers to product questions and knows how to steer a decision maker to the appropriate team member if needed.

Just because more information is required doesn’t mean it has to be boring.  Present information in interesting and engaging ways to educate potential clients in an appealing manner. For many decision makers, having a conversation with key members of your company will inspire confidence that a productive partnership is possible.

The Difference Between B2B and B2C Marketing Strategies

When considering B2B and B2C events, the biggest difference is the profile of the target audience.

B2B shows are designed to market to businesses that provide goods or services to other businesses.  For example, companies that provide technology software and hardware or consulting services for businesses are prime examples of the B2B model.

Selling to other businesses usually requires working with multiple people, which in turn, takes more time for final decisions to be made.  Because of this, exhibitors need to focus on building interpersonal relationships.

Conversely, B2C events deal directly with consumers who are more likely to be able to make quick purchasing decisions if specific products or services appeal to them.  Because there are hundreds or thousands of consumers at B2C events, it can be harder to develop personal relationships with everyone. This means each interaction is  important in order to make the sale.

Keep in mind that although there are many differences to address, the goal of both B2B and B2C events is to have creative, unique and visually appealing exhibits. Ultimately, booths should positively promote brands and raise awareness of products to increase customers and sales.  For more information about how to achieve these goals, contact Exhibitus today.