Back before everyone was connected to everything by a simple tap of the finger, “social media” was found in face-to-face marketing. In fact, trade shows date back to bazaars in 7th century Persia, where people met to create and share information and ideas. Social media serves the same function, but lives in the virtual space.
Understanding the importance of face-to-face marketing is key to optimal trade show ROI. Social media is here to stay and should be part of your marketing strategy. However, no amount of online posts can match the value of face-to-face interaction.
The Value of Socializing
If your goals on the trade show floor are only focused on your company, it’s time to strategize. Never underestimate the value of a trade show’s social aspects. You’re surrounded by other exhibitors, and it’s worth taking interest in them.
Your fellow exhibitors who aren’t direct competitors can amplify your trade show success. When you form these relationships, everyone benefits. If you direct potential prospects their way, they’ll return the favor by helping you with leads.
Create a Social Network
At the end of a long day on the exhibit floor, it’s tempting to retreat to your hotel and call for room service. Socializing with other exhibitors, suppliers or market influencers attending the show could open doors to new opportunities. They may have a network of acquaintances or customers who fall into your target audience.
Keep Track of New Relationships
Don’t let face-to-face marketing be the beginning and end of these relationships. Keep track of new contacts and leads so you can follow up after the show and nurture those relationships with the proper internal parties. Capture contact information on your phone then immediately connect on social media.
Get Real-Time Feedback
Interpreting tone in written communication can be tricky. Waiting on email replies can take days. When you interact face-to-face on the trade show floor, peers and prospects give you real-time feedback on your products and services. This is one of the best ways to connect with and understand the specific needs of customers and sales prospects.
Showcase Your Brand Identity
Face-to-face marketing builds your brand’s credibility and demonstrates its unique personality. Your brand’s identity is more than logos, graphics, and websites. Your staff on the floor exemplify your company’s message and values. Be sure to require pre-show training for everyone that will working in your booth to maximize the effectiveness of your brand on the show floor.
Connect Back to Social Media
Capture your in-person interactions and showcase them on your social media platforms. More than anything, prospects are looking for brands that provide great experiences. Online sharing amplifies your marketing message and allows a wider network the opportunity to connect with your brand. Posting pictures and videos from trade show events means more people will experience what your company is about.
The Results Division at Exhibitus merges smart exhibit design with powerful measurement strategy. We can help you communicate the value of your face-to-face marketing program, and demonstrate a measurable trade show ROI. Learn more about our services by contacting Exhibitus or calling 800-770-4392.