Using exhibitions effectively in your marketing strategy

Exhibitions can still demand a valid place in your annual marketing strategy if executed correctly. Long gone are the days of where being seen at an exhibition was a prerequisite to demonstrating your competitiveness. However, demonstrations, lead generation, awareness are just some of the attributes you can realise of being at a successful expo.

Here’s a personal experience. In January, I attended a prominent motorsport exhibition at the NEC. Two stands stood out for differing reasons. The image below is of a business that really hasn’t put its heart and soul into this. You have to ask, what’s the point? Their name has been protected to save any embarrassment.

The second surrounds a firm I was liaising with prior to the expo. The contact prior was excellent, insightful & informative and I was ready to make a purchase after I’d viewed the equipment I was interested. I went along to the stand and had a chat, left my details with their representative and looked forward to contacting (there was a show offer). And I waited. And I waited. Yes, I could have got in touch, but why should I chase when I’ve gone to their stand and made the effort?

Fast forward to last week – two months after the exhibition. The initial contact got back in touch, just to check I had purchased, I said: “No, because no one followed up my interest.” After a bit of back and forth, this firm’s Sales Director (name of firm withheld to save embarrassment) got in touch. His last line was “I hope our poor service hasn’t dimmed your view of our brand”.

Of course, it has. Oh dear.

Make sure you have a strategy for following each and every lead. Who is managing the process? You never know where the opportunity might lead. Ultimately, you'll want to demonstrate ROI for your attendance; surely that's the whole point of going?

#exhibitions #effectiveness #sales #leads #customerservice #customerexperience #marketing #strategy #people #relationships #ROI