Industry conferences and trade shows are great for meeting leaders, peers, learning new business practices that help to improve sales, company culture, operating systems, you name it. While there's something special about face-to-face engagement, you can still reach your trade show goals by creating a solid digital communications outreach plan.
Here are six ways to reallocate trade show investments to reach your business goals:
- Create Compelling Messaging to Connect
Start with your trade show goals, audience needs and create compelling messages to meet potential customers trade where they are in the sales process. You can start by asking your team questions like: "Does our audience need to be informed, inspired, rethink the old "way" of doing business?" Using those answers, approach communications from the audience's point of view. This will always lead to solid messaging that connects, instead of a bombarding your audience with a litany of product features and benefits.
- Reimagine the Conference Experience and Engage with Top Prospects
Are conferences are a primary source for lead generation and team connection? Then create an engaging digital experience to match. Reimagine the conference experience and create a microsite to dynamically bring the expo floor and experience to life. Work with conference organizers to obtain registration lists and if possible (through opt-in guidelines), reach out to attendees through digital channels like an online portal for vendors and send attendees virtual registration bags with giveaways.
- Recreate Content & Publish Online
Tradeshows and conferences are filled to the brim with content and networking opportunities. However, there are so many ways to consume content digitally. If your event was planning on having certain tracks, breakout sessions, keynote speakers, etc. you can still deliver that content! Think about launching a podcast, asking your speakers to record their presentations and share it as a webinar for your paid attendees, conduct video interviews with your speakers, repurpose that content into blog posts, and use quotes in advertising campaigns. There are so many opportunities to recreate this valuable content on a digital platform to still be consumed by your audiences.
- Share Your Expertise Via Video Conferencing
Valuable trade shows provide though leadership and fresh thinking. Deliver compelling content from the comfort of attendee homes. From live Ted-Talk-esk presentations to interactive sessions, leave attendees with encouragement, inspiration and valuable takeaways. Small touches go a long way so send top prospects a book or thoughtful business-related gifts for a personal touchpoint.
- Create Interactive Online Group Forums
Hearing from potential customers first-hand helps identify future product improvements and needed tweaks to current customer service hiccups. Host virtual listening sessions and happy through your event microsite to create a group experience. Or, invite prospects to sign-up for a one-on-one demo during a time that works well for their schedule.
- Gather Testimonials
Endorsements and customer testimonials are the best way to let potential buyers know that your product is solid and you care about people (as we all should)! If you don't have a robust library of content from happy customers, now is the time to ask and gather videos, quotes, record podcasts (the list goes on!) and promote these on your microsite.
We hope these suggestions help your business and spark new thinking. If you need help creating digital destinations or crafting the perfect story and outreach plan to reach customers, we're here to help!
Founder & CEO
Kiley Peters is the Founder and CEO of Brainchild Studios, a boutique audience research, content strategy, and website creation agency primarily serving brands targeting Millennial Moms or business owners. She is also the Founder of the Work From Home Playbook, a series of online courses guiding aspiring entrepreneurial moms through the steps of starting a virtual business. She also launched the Brainchild Fund, a nonprofit initiative to support women and girls in business and entrepreneurship Follow her on Instagram.more posts by Kiley →