Where do trade shows fit in the era of information overload.
SPOILER ALERT: Trade shows belong at the front of your marketing strategy. Top of the list. But maybe I’m a little biased, so let’s dig into the data.
We are actively living in an era of information overload! According to a recent study, the average American is exposed to between 4,000 and 10,000 advertisements per day. We find ourselves constantly connected to the depths of the internet with social media, Siri, Google, pop-ups and then there’s television, radio, print ads, and more. The list of our ‘connectedness’ is never-ending!
In today’s digital age, it’s easy for marketers to rely on the internet to reach and engage with consumers. With the proliferation of social media and other digital channels, it’s never been easier to reach large audiences with just a few clicks (and a sizeable budget!). While digital marketing has its benefits, it’s also important to remember the value of face-to-face marketing.
The most important reason that face-to-face marketing, specifically trade shows, should be at the forefront of your marketing strategy is that by attending the show you’ve already broken through the clutter of the world wide web. You have a human invested in your industry in some way right in front of you. Trade shows allow you to get noticed by a very targeted audience! Attendees are a self-selected audience—they raised their hand and chose to be there—and they have invested time, money and other resources to be at the event. Chatting with a show attendee is not a cold call, it’s an already lukewarm lead!
Being face-to-face allows for a deep level of personalization and connection with consumers. When you meet with someone in-person at a trade show, you can have a real conversation, listen to their needs and concerns, and address any questions they may have. This level of personal interaction can be difficult to achieve through digital channels, where communication is often more impersonal and one-sided. The trade show approach allows for a more thorough, tailored follow-up.
Another benefit of face-to-face marketing is that it can help you build trust and credibility with your audience. When consumers meet you in person, they see and interact with you in a much different way than online or over the phone. Trust is more natural when face-to-face as consumers are more likely to believe what they see and hear rather than rely on digital messaging.
Lastly, face-to-face marketing allows you to utilize the power of body language and nonverbal communication. Research shows that a significant portion of communication is nonverbal, and being able to read and interpret these cues can help you better understand and connect with your audience. This is especially important when trying to persuade or motivate someone to act (demo a product, make a sale, sign a contract, etc.), as nonverbal cues can often convey just as much or more meaning than words alone.
Of course, face-to-face marketing is not without its challenges. It can be more time-consuming and costly to execute than digital marketing. However, by carefully planning and targeting your efforts, face-to-face marketing can be an incredibly effective way to cut through the advertising clutter and connect with your audience.
According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research’s (CEIR) study, The Role and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction:
Exhibitions offer exhibitors a chance to engage with many existing and prospective customers in one location over a short time period. The return on investment (ROI) is compelling for events that deliver this ROI opportunity, a less expensive option over putting a sales force on the road or hosting a private event, where a company takes on all the costs and labor to produce and market the event.
It’s important to remember the value of face-to-face marketing in an era of information overload. Whether you’re meeting with customers, conducting sales presentations, or attending industry events, taking the time to connect with your audience in person can help you in the long run. By incorporating face-to-face marketing into your overall strategy, you can differentiate yourself from the competition and make a lasting, more personal, impact on your audience.