In a recent survey by Marketing Sherpa, large B2B companies invested about 33% (one-third) of their entire marketing budget on trade shows in 2011. Ironically, virtual events ranked on the other end of the spectrum, coming in at a mere 8%.
Many predicted that the advent of online technologies and virtual events would eliminate the need for B2B sales professionals to meet prospects in person, turning business into an impersonal exchange. Fortunately, that proved to be a wildly exaggerated forecast.
Challenge: Because no two prospects in your booth are exactly the same, personalization of content is what makes sales and marketing messages fully resonate with a prospect. Therefore, the goal is to enable all audiences within your event space to view and experience content that is targeted and relevant to them as an individual.
Solution: New interactive marketing technologies have afforded us the ability to tailor and personalize a presentation in real-time by putting users in the “driver’s seat”, allowing them to select and explore the content that is of interest to them on iPads and touch appliances on the trade show floor. Additionally, many of these innovative tools can be re-used in a virtual show environment to supplement the trade show experience.
Results: The introduction of these marketing tools over the last few years has enhanced personalized communication within the booth and may very well be an influential factor in the perceived increase in trade show effectiveness. Marketing Sherpa’s survey found trade shows moved up from the seventh most effective tactic last year to the fourth position in 2011.