Even in the age of digitalization and social media, trade shows and events marketing continues to grow strong. And there are statistics to prove it.
92% of event attendees go to events to find out a new product. 77% of decision-makers found at least one new supplier at the last event they attended. Clearly, there is potential and a lot of opportunities.
We talked about some of these facts in a previous blog post. The point is, are you ready to take advantage of it?
Businesses now need to differentiate themselves in this era of cut-throat competition. They are constantly on the move to find an edge.
And events can provide you with that edge – helping you to build your brand image and awareness.
Here’s a precise statistic displaying the simple cost advantage of events: the cost of a face-to-face meeting a prospect at an event is $142; it’s $259 when the meeting is at their office.
Here are the top five reasons why events are essential in your B2B marketing:
1. Lead generation
During an event, things can get hectic and fast-paced. A lot of prospective leads that will be visiting your booth. You have to impress them within a limited time, get their contact details, and also provide a brief overview of your product.
Leveraging technology to help you can go a long way in doing this right. For instance, with the use of business card scanning apps, you don’t have to manually enter contacts details from business cards into an Excel spreadsheets anymore. You can simply snap photos of business cards and save the data on your phone’s address book, export all your leads as a CSV file and much more. All this means more leads to target.
ScanBizCards, one of the most popular business card scanning apps, can capture B2B leads in real-time with accurate business card and conference badge scanning. It allows direct CRM export, email introductions, contact capture from email signature blocks and much more. It helps streamline lead generation at a trade show booth or at an event, so that you can concentrate on meeting new prospects, making demos and maximizing the number of potential leads to target.
2. Making a personal connection with some face time
There are a lot of businesses and a lot of clients, and people may get confused as to where to look for what they want. Events are a great way to get face time with the prospective leads and showcase your products.
Your prospective buyers can get to know your offerings first hand, and decide how it might add value to their business. It may be just the exact thing they need. They may develop an intimate business relationship with you, which may be mutually beneficial in the long run.
Relationships at personal physical levels are something that email marketing or social media, unfortunately, cannot provide.
3. Getting feedback
Real-time feedback is something unique that will give you precious insights other methods may never provide. Customer feedback helps you identify how your product benefited the client, in what ways it added value, what are its drawbacks and shortcomings, and what improvements can benefit the customer.
It makes you rethink your strategy and reassess your position from the point of view of the market. It helps you favorably position yourself against your competition in the market. And ultimately, it only helps you get better and better at what you do.
Face-to-face feedback is one of the advantages of attending events.
4. Improving brand visibility
With businesses across industries spending millions on marketing, brand leaders are constantly looking at new ways to stand out and build a lasting brand impression. . Every business is advertising on social media these days. There are too many messages to notice.
So what can you do to increase your brand visibility and stand out?
Physically attend events and get into one-on-one conversations. Furthermore, make sure to engage with your leads and have a chat. Understand their business challenges and try to add value to their businesses.
As Maya Angelou said, “At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did: they will remember how you made them feel.” One could easily apply this to brand experiences.
And events are a great platform for an engaging conversation with your customers or prospects.
5. Understanding competition
An event provides you a platform to get out of your office and rub shoulders with the best in your industry.
You get to explore their employee-management skills, customer engagement tactics, advertising initiatives, lead generation schemes, and product displays first-hand.
Moreover, you get a chance to educate yourself on how they make their sales pitch, and what makes them successful. On top of that, you can uncover their brand promise and mantra, and at the same time discover new things that they are doing and things they are doing differently. All of this can also help you get better at what you’re doing, and help you prepare for your next event.
Events give you a great opportunity to watch and learn.
Events have certain advantages that are extremely hard to replicate online, e.g., via email or social media. Undoubtedly, social media and online marketing can help you reach out to a vast number of customers. But events can provide you with that physical and interpersonal bonding opportunity that may result in long-term, profitable partnerships.