As we start a new year, businesses are looking at how best to spend their hard-earned marketing budgets. While clever tools like AI and augmented reality are on the wish-list of many, what’s set to deliver in 2018 is something that’s been around for quite a bit longer. In fact, according to a report, live events will be one of the most important marketing trends over the next 12 months.
Of course, the power of face-to-face marketing doesn’t come as a surprise to us. But just in case you need a little convincing, here are five compelling reasons why your business must have a trade show marketing presence in 2018.
1. Live events are the most effective marketing channel for most organisations
When it comes to generating new business and ROI, this tried and tested marketing channel can help you to achieve your objectives. And stay ahead of the competition. In fact, over-performing organisations are putting the most investment into live events and receiving the greatest return from them.
But this doesn’t mean that you don’t need to move with the times. While in the past companies exhibited because they always had done - or because their competitors were attending – today, such status-quo planning is no longer an option. Event teams must measure the success of every exhibition, each and every year.
2. Exhibitions are witnessing a new lease of life, supported by a new generation of event technologies
The world of tradeshows and exhibition stand design is changing thanks to the latest, readily available tech. Rather than simply just showing up with a good looking stand and expecting the sales to roll in, in today’s experience economy displays have to grab attention and start sales conversations. You have to do more if you want to capitalise on a captive and targeted audience.
When it comes to distinguishing your business from the crowd, integrating technology into your next exhibition stand can help to attract, astonish and amaze. And provide that much-needed return on investment.
3. Nothing beats face-to-face networking
Even with the tech available to network remotely, you still can’t beat face-to-face interaction with potential suppliers and customers. And 95% of mid-to senior-level event marketers agree that live events provide attendees with a valuable opportunity to form in-person connections in an increasingly digital world.
When in the office, it can be difficult to make time to do anything outside of your usual duties without getting interrupted. So, the ability to interact with a potential supplier or customer, ‘kick the tyres’ of a product, attend seminars, and see what your competitors are up to on more than a superficial level is still best done face-to-face. Getting out of the office/car for a day or two in a different city, where you can catch up over a bite to eat and enjoy a change from the usual 9-5 can also have a massive impact on morale and productivity.
4. Exhibition stands are cost-effective
Once upon a time, when it came to exhibition stand design, your choices were pretty much limited to cheap and cheerful, or expensive and bespoke. But that’s no longer the case. At Apex, we offer modular, cost-effective solutions that are a long way from ‘off the peg’ designs that look like everyone else’s. Having developed innovative ways of using different media and reusable components, you can adapt and re-configure your stand for many different shows and hall spaces. So the total cost of ownership keeps going down.
5. Exhibition stands can help provide a level playing field for SMEs
While setting up social media profiles and building a website isn’t expensive, to stay ahead of the competition online takes significant ongoing investment. As such it can be difficult for smaller companies to get noticed when competing against big budget brands. But the same isn’t true for exhibitions.
Whether you are a locally owned start-up or a multinational business, everyone has access to the same attendees at a tradeshow. And with a clever exhibition stand design team behind you – and an awareness of what it takes to achieve a successful exhibition experience - it is possible to stand out, even without a huge budget. Even the smallest business can generate large numbers of sales leads.
Adding imagination and ingenuity like never before, at Apex we devise on-stand attractions and exciting features that will bring your target customers to your stand, and keep them coming back. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you maximise your exhibition presence over the next 12 months (and beyond!), contact us today for a no-obligation chat.