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Trade Shows, Exhibitions and Conferences

Trade shows, expositions, scientific/technical conferences, conventions. The name may vary
but the basic function of the activity represents a major industry marketing event. They are
events that bring together, in a single location, a group of suppliers who set up physical
exhibits of their products and services from a given industry or discipline (Black, 1986).
(Herbig, OHara and Palumbo, 1998)

Trade Shows, Exhibitions and Conferences

Why trade shows?

Generate new customer contacts (leads)

Build relationships / partnerships with key accounts
Build corporate identity
Demonstrate relevance to target segments
Release new products, services or applications
Demonstrate products
customers to experience the products or discuss service requirements
Deliver information to an interested and specific audience.
The customers and potential customers have chosen to be there so they are
already interested.
Create contact lists and make first contact with potential customers.
Goodwill by being accessible and visible in the market as represented by the
audience at the trade show.

Who attends trade shows and conferences

Over 80% of people attending trade shows

make or influence buying decisions and
selection decisions ( Herbig et al, 1998)
Find solutions
Decide on vendor selection (steps 4/5 of
the buying process)
Gather information on market trends and
technology developments

Which trade shows or exhibitions?

Aim for smaller targeted trade shows or conferences
High quality interaction with current and potential customers
Develop run up advertising in trade journals and on-line
Create interactive events during and after the trade show
Follow up all contacts after the event (do you have an event planned?

Trade shows; from booths to virtual experience

(Bello & Barcak 1990; Hellman 2005; Geigenmuller 2010)

Well designed trade show events

Provide staff with opportunities to reach and interact with customers
Build relationships
Customers have trial / test opportunities that lead to sales
Develop solutions
Promote the company

Well designed trade show events

Have clear and specific objectives
Product development, test or launch
Engage and research target markets
Build relationships
Initiate and support sales
Provide staff with opportunities to reach and interact with customers
Customers have trial / test opportunities

Trade shows; from Booths to Virtual Experience

(Bello & Barcak 1990; Hellman 2005; Geigenmuller 2010)

Virtual marketing

ON24 study shows virtual events are an effective marketing tool

San FranciscoEighty-four percent of virtual event attendees have taken
action as a result of attending a virtual event, according to a study released
by webcasting company ON24. (BtoB Online 16 Aug 2011)

Trade Shows

Integrate with Social Media

Develop a 3 phase plan Contact, Interact, Follow up

Interactive Media

Online presence creates ongoing and interactive communication

Develop specific contact channels
Existing customers
New customers
Other stakeholders


Customer Experience Journey

Engagement &
information &
Awareness of
value offer

contact and
added value

customer stays

about your
value offer

and create a

opportunities for
members to act
as WOM

Making Interactive Media Work

The new voice of corporations
Effective blogs provide a personal face to
Use to inform NOT to sell (CONTENT)
Linked In posts can be a form of mini-blog
Make sure they are relevant and
This is a form of CONTENT marketing
Inform and Engage
What do we say?
How do we say it?
When do say it?
Where do we say it?


Direct marketing
A tailored, targeted communication direct from the selling company to a contact in a potential buying
Targets individuals within organizations
Personalise messages
It must be useful and informative
Aim to build relationship
Used together with personal selling, trade shows
and events
Poor targeting creates poor reputation
Poor databases leads to missed targets
DO NOT use for cold calling
Most companies have spam, junk and phishing filters to remove unwanted or unsolicited
Text messages do not work
For Emails
Fast / Targeted / Cost efficient
Requires excellent follow-up processes (See page 309)
Against emails
Inaccurate mailing lists can lead to SPAM & damage the Brand
Low response rates less than 1%

Public Relations

Contributes to reputation by sharing good

information through:
Community events
Low cost but no control over use of sharing of
Press releases
Case studies (eg websites)
Community events

Generating Content C.O.P.E.

Create Once, Publish Everywhere
Based on your research to date, develop a list of content topics.
Then plan when and where they should be used.
How can you use the same content in different ways for each channel

Is King

What is the resource capability?

Size of the Marketing Budget

>65% of B2B firms have less than 5 staff and

less than $500k for marketing

Greenhat: B2B Marketing Outlook 2014

Community Events

Networked with
Planet Ark &
Schools &

Television & Radio

Is the most expensive option
Can be used to reach large market
Eg Telcos small business customers or
CGU SME business insurance
Must be very specific placements of adverts
Eg in business programs
Radio has better regional coverage
Can be used to reach customers on the way to
work or listen to the radio during the day (eg
auto service workshops)

Press releases
Case studies or news stories
Stand alone or part of integrated campaign
Cross promotions
Joint online and print
Brochures and spec sheets
Has longest shelf-life

Wide reach
Very current and read daily
Useful for corporate announcements
Focus on benefits for customers
Compare the business section of a newspaper
Less adverts and different types of adverts
Problems? Very expensive and requires repeat ads to gain recall. Does not stimulate
or motivate purchase.

Create great content - upload content that is useful, relevant and interesting.
B2B marketers should share videos such as:
Product demonstrations
How to & expert advice
Case studies
Thought leadership

Online Media

Solution based stories

Industry information

Communicating with business customers

Inform, provide product or service information, updates,
new releases, improve awareness, collaborate, listen,
exchange, support.
Buying cycle, specific events and functions, launches,
relationship support.
Channel? Media options? Targeted, mass or specific?
Multichannel - Use the right channel for the target
customer and the communication goals.
All communications are consistent in quality, message and
B2B Campaign Awards

Why Customers May Not Respond (Hellman, 2005)

Time poor leads to inertia
Buying cycle; there is no urgency or forecast need
Perceived value
Benefits </= costs
No increase in perceived value for customer so why change?
Features and benefits do not match customer needs or criteria.
You are competing on future value
Industry knowledge suggests that a better option with more perceived value will be
available soon.
You are overselling or over shooting the market.
Customer cannot see how to use or obtain value from product or service.
Funds not currently available.
Buying cycle and /or external economic conditions.

A Marcoms Plan Example

Measuring your Marcoms Plan

An example

B2B Communications A Wrap-up

Traditional Channels

Digital Channels
Website / e-Commerce
Social Media Platforms
- Linkedin
- Twitter
- Youtube
- Facebook
- Industry Blogs

E-Direct mail
Online content amplification / syndication
Online communities
Online Video
Online Display Advertising
Mobile App marketing

A customers buying process
A suppliers communications / sales process
Corporate Objectives
Relationship Strategy
Marketing Objectives
Generating Leads
Nurturing / Progressing Leads
Growing Reputation & Brand Awareness
Reach / Targeting / Cut-Through
Targeted vs Mass Communications
Thought Leadership

Public Relations
In-person events
Personal Selling
Surveys / Research
Direct Mail
Sales Promotions
Word of Mouth

Cost / ROI (Measuring this)

Integrating Marketing with Sales
Creative / Graphics
Content Development / Curation
Market Research
Marketing Automation
Event Management
Customising messages for different stakeholders
Internal vs External communications
COPE Create Once Publish Everywhere
Delivery channels vs Comms Channels
(Structure / Climate / Power)
Comms Strategy Frequency / Direction / Mode

Tradeshows / Conferences
Print Advertising
CSR / Community Events
Print advertising
White papers
Business Reports
Trade Press

Informative vs Sales Pitch

Demonstrating Products /
Providing a human face
Case Studies
Expert Advice
Cultural issues
Customer Response


Karl Hellman (2005) Strategy-driven B2B promotions. Journal of Business & Industrial
Marketing Volume: 20 Issue: 1 2005.
Anja Geigenmller (2010) The role of virtual trade fairs in relationship value creation (pp.
284 - 292) Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing Volume: 25 Issue: 4; Keywords:
Channel relationships, Trade fairs, Value added.
Singh T., Veron-Jackson, L. and J. Cullinane (2008). Blogging: A new play in your marketing
game plan. Business Horizons. 51 (281-292)
BtoB magazine online
How B2B Marketers Use Social Media April 2012
Lead Generation Cheat Sheet, BtoBonline, October 2013
Social Media PowerPlays for your Events BtoBonline, October 2013
Capturing business value with social technologies, Bughin, Chui and Manyika, McKinsey
Quarterly, November 2012
Greenhat B2B Marketing Report 2015.