One of the best parts of my job is that I get to work across a full spectrum of diverse clients who show up in diverse ways to reach the people who matter most to them. Especially for my B2B clients, tradeshows (much to industry analysts’ chagrin) continue to be an important place to meet with existing prospects and customers and, yes, also to generate net new leads that can drive business.
And while the business of tradeshows can seem like a rather tactical trade full of pipe, drape and drowsy mornings on the show floor, it is also fertile ground for innovation. As such, I was excited to join about 5,000 tradeshow professionals in Las Vegas for the 2015 ExhibitorLIVE! conference and tradeshow about tradeshows (admittedly very meta). There, I was invited to give three different sessions and host three peer-to-peer roundtables on a plethora of the top topics we talk to clients about when it comes to tradeshow programs. Here are the highlights:
How To Make Your Events Digital & Data-Driven
By 2020, it is expected that organizations will require oversight of over 50 times the amount of data we have today. But due to the offline nature of tradeshow programs, many marketers miss the link between in-person engagements and digitized data. In this session, we focused on a range of ways that tradeshow marketers can synchronize their efforts with their digital marketing teams in order to maximize returns. Beginning with a digital touchpoint audit of the role of technology pre, during and post-events can reveal opportunities ranging from digital pre-marketing, to on-site engagement through mobile devices to progressive profiling that fuels sales leads after an in-person interaction.
Coping With Cross-Screen Consumption
Today, 90% of media consumption is screen based. The impact of that fact on tradeshows has been staggering – attendees crawl tradeshow floors and attend conference session with at least once device in hand and their attention focused away from their surroundings. Given the persistent presence of a second screen, tradeshows must now consider how to plan for and, in some cases, against that screen in order to capture the attention and engagement of tradeshow attendees.
Mastering Measurement, Reporting & ROI
Only 11% of marketer’s decisions are made based on data. But organizations that do put data at the center of their decision-making generate 15-20% more ROI than their gut-decision making counterparts. Given the increased pressure tradeshow marketers are under to show that value of what they do and the event portfolios they maintain, this session’s focus on preparing reports that demonstrate the information their organizations need to see and allowing managers to optimize tradeshow performance landed well.
For more detail on any of these topics, see the presentation link or feel free to reach out.