With canceled trade shows come lost opportunities. For many businesses, trade shows are one of their main sources of revenue. According to Jobs In Marketing, “Trade shows are the second-largest source of B2B revenue in the US,” which goes to reiterate the profound impact that canceled trade shows are having on businesses all over the country.
If your business has had a canceled trade show, you may be in the same boat as many who are struggling to find ways to make up for those marketing efforts using other channels.
Here are a few ways for you to redirect your marketing endeavors to ensure that your marketing dollars are able to bridge this gap until trade shows are back in action:
Virtual Trade ShowsThis is a strategy that we won’t spend too much time on, as it’s an approach that many businesses have already been starting to include. You can find some great tips to create an engaging virtual event here, and learn about why virtual trade shows are a good substitution for in-person trade shows for the time being here and here. Overall, you can’t go wrong by pivoting to continue making your network a top priority and staying interactive with them.
Incorporate videos on your website, social and virtual events.In a digital world, buyers appreciate having the chance to experience products up-close and personal. With trade shows being canceled, videos are a suitable runner-up for these types of product experiences. Although videos won’t allow your prospects to touch and use your product firsthand for the full effect, they’ll be much more engaged with a video than they will with an image and written description of a product.
Videos are also an engaging technique to help your audience get to know your brand a little better. Since trade shows are an amazing tool for growing brand recognition, continuing these efforts of growing awareness around your brand through videos is a great option right now. Many businesses are finding ways to incorporate fun and entertaining videos in their social media content.
Ensure you are creating quality videos that hook viewers in from the moment they start. Allow for detailed previews of your products in action, share relevant and on-brand content, and provide video testimonials from happy customers if possible. These videos can be added to your website, shared on your social media, and even potentially included in any virtual exhibiting you do!
Don’t be afraid to create evergreen content (content that won’t get outdated regardless of the season or recent news topics) that works for you on multiple platforms.
Use 3D product technology on your website.If applicable to your business, 3D product models can also be advantageous to utilize in your digital marketing efforts. When it comes down to deciding between your products and another company’s, prospects may go with whoever has the most information they can obtain without ever having to reach out directly to a single salesperson. Having an abundance of valuable information for prospects will make their online search for the perfect solution much easier when they aren’t searching high and low for answers to their questions.
When your product is completely laid out on the table, it shows transparency and helps potential buyers understand exactly what they’re getting if they choose your product/service.
Provide as many ways as possible for people to get in touch and find answers.If you haven’t already, optimize your website for your prospective buyers by making it extremely simple to get in touch with someone should they have any questions. Make your business’s phone number and email easy to see on each page. You can also create contact forms that prospects can easily fill out with their information and question(s) – just be sure that someone is reaching out to answer their questions quickly when you receive these types of inquiries. If you have a separate customer service line, be sure that’s clearly called out. Also – if you have the resources, consider incorporating live chat options to instantly “chat” with prospects right on your website.
It’s important to make it easy for interested buyers to get in touch with someone from your company within seconds of forming their question, or you run the risk of losing them to a competitor. Easy access to communication is a great way to ensure that you’re engaging with prospects as you would at a trade show when you’re able to speak with them one-on-one. Be sure that whoever has the responsibility of answering calls, emails or live chats is extremely personable and experienced in customer service as this will play a key role in driving the likeability and trust of your brand.
Making a FAQ page is another great way to make sure that prospects are getting their questions answered. If you’ve exhibited in the past, compile a list of the common questions that you recall receiving about your products/services at past trade shows and ensure you answer them thoroughly on your FAQ page. Chances are if you have heard the question asked more than once, others will have the same question as well. If prospects can find it on your FAQ page without even having to reach out, you are one step ahead of your competition!
Find ways to continue investing in marketing your business.If you’re like the average company in the US that spends around 32% of its marketing budget on exhibits and events, then you’re likely wondering how to compensate for the loss of your canceled trade show with those marketing dollars.
Our best answer? It’s worth investing it into the things that make the most sense for your company’s goals. If virtual trade shows are a tactic that you believe can continue spreading awareness of your company as you did through your past trade shows, then make sure you are continuing to make a presence at trade show virtually!
If you believe that your website traffic reflects well on your completed sales and you think you could be doing a better job of converting potential buyers, then put more focus into your website right now! Videos and 3D product technology are always something that can be outsourced if your business doesn’t have the right tools internally.
Just remember that investing in these small things, for the time being, will most likely keep you far under your initial marketing budget when you had planned to execute an exhibit marketing plan. Continuing to invest in digital marketing is the best way to keep showing up for your audience until in-person trade shows can resume.