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Posted on 30 April 2024 by Ceris Burns

Thriving Amidst Change: Resilience of Trade Shows

The trade show landscape is experiencing notable transformations. These shifts stem from a range of factors including technological advancements, global hurdles, budgetary pressures,  and evolving customer preferences. Yet, amidst these changes, trade events remain invaluable platforms for companies to forge personal connections with customers, prospects,  and potential partners, spotlight their offerings, and stay attuned to the latest trends.

If you’re contemplating showcasing your brand at an event, it’s important to tailor your marketing tactics to meet evolving expectations. Here are several key factors to consider:

Enhanced Personalisation

People are becoming more selective in the events they attend and are now expecting a more tailored approach. Humanise your brand by telling a clear, authentic story and provide consultation offerings that will attract them to attend an in-person event. Create memorable experiences for attendees such as offering demonstrations, hosting contests or giveaways. Consider incorporating new technologies, such as virtual or augmented reality and AI, to enhance the experience further.

Smaller, more bespoke events

 A more personalised marketing approach, alongside the rapid expansion of AI tools, is resulting in a greater trend of smaller, niche vertical market exhibitions and micro-events. We’re noticing companies, including those within the cleaning sector, are doing more of their own custom, regional events within the last year, such as The BCHS Innov8 Regional Events.

Hosting a customised event offers numerous advantages, including having direct, quality access to your desired audience and maintaining control over messaging, conference content, venue choice, catering decisions, and sustainability benefits too. Additionally, it can assist in cost reduction efforts.

The cumulative effect

On the other hand, large trade shows like Interclean are rebuilding momentum, following challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, with people starting to network again.

The cumulative effects of maintaining a consistent presence in trade media and event participation shouldn’t be underestimated. There are substantial opportunities for broadening audience reach by participating in a significant international show of this kind.

It can be challenging to pinpoint which elements of the marketing strategy are most effective. Businesses need to make informed decisions about whether participating in large events aligns with their overall business objectives or whether exploring alternative marketing channels may match better with strategic goals.

Increased emphasis on technology including AI

The integration of AR and VR technologies has gained momentum, providing the potential to deliver immersive experiences at trade shows, from virtual product demonstrations to interactive stands. AI is also reshaping every aspect of trade shows, from the planning and organization stages to the actual event experiences and post-event analysis using data analytics tools.

How to maximise return on investment

 Measuring the success of your participation at trade shows requires strategic planning and execution. Set specific, measurable goals for your messaging, generating leads, relationship building, increasing brand visibility, and launching new products and services.

Your pre-show promotion should include social media, email marketing, and press relations to help generate a buzz before the event.

At the show, take advantage of networking opportunities to build relationships with industry peers, potential partners, and influencers. Attend event receptions, seminars, and after-hours gatherings. Are there opportunities for your company to make a keynote presentation or join expert panel discussions? Organise your own hands-on workshops and product demonstrations at your stand.

Develop a follow-up plan to nurture leads after the event. Send personalised emails, make follow-up calls, and connect with leads on social media to keep the conversation going and convert prospects into customers. Use feedback, show insights, and industry trends to identify areas for your company’s continuous improvement and for enhancements at your next event.

Embrace the trade shows of the future

Trade shows will continue to be key platforms for networking, learning, and highlighting innovative products and services. By embracing the latest trends at these events, you can ensure the success of individual events, your business, and the growth of the industry.

If you’d like our support with maximising your involvement in trade shows please get in touch. You can also meet us in person at Interclean Amsterdam to start a conversation.

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