Exhibition stands that go the extra mile
Here at EMS we’re big advocates of meeting customers face to face at tradeshows, so I read with interest new research by FaceTime that looked at the profile of the average visitor to B2B exhibitions.
It’s a pretty hefty piece of research; profiling 250,000 visitors to B2B exhibitions here in the UK, across 30 shows in 2012 and 2013. As well as company size and turnover it looked at job titles and gender of those attending as well as the distance they had travelled, among other characteristics.
The findings are insightful and help us to understand the types of people attending tradeshows in this country – an enormous help to us marketers when it comes to campaign planning.
Broadly it found that attendees tend to work for large businesses (more than 100 staff) with high turnovers (£250k+). They were also senior people with purchasing power, which brings me to my first point – don’t forget the power of the influencers.
The big tradeshows are an annual ‘must’ for most companies courting a B2B audience.
But while providing an opportunity to meet and greet senior folk from large corporates, they don’t always open doors to those you know will have a significant influence on the final decision when it comes to your particular offering – such as those working behind the scenes in a lab or IT role.
By using a truck to exhibit at tradeshows it enables your investment to go the extra mile, offering an opportunity to target the people that make up the whole decision-making chain. A ‘stand on wheels’ means that when the show is over you can take to the road, taking products or services right to the doorstep of those you want to engage.
Another benefit of being mobile is that it reduces some of the risks that come with exhibiting. The research showed that just 55% of those who had registered to attend a show actually turned up – by taking your proposition directly to customers there’s no reason not to expect 100% turnout and it reduces any time spent standing around waiting for people to come to you.
One of my long standing technology clients is a great advocate of this approach, using multi-vehicle campaigns to engage B2B audiences on their own turf. It has taken up to five trucks on the road at any one time, touring the UK, Europe, Middle East, Russia and South Africa. Not only are their roadshow trucks used to exhibit at major tradeshows such as Broadband World Forum and SMAU, but they are also used to engage customers with products on their own sites so they get the best of both worlds.
One of the major benefits of being mobile is the convenience it brings your customers.
We know that those attending exhibitions are prepared to put in the miles. The research supports this view reporting that international visitors represent 18.6% of attendees and visitors travel on average 58.7 miles. But is this a good thing?
Work pressure, far-reaching eco targets and ever-mounting pressure to be more cost efficient is driving organisations to think twice about the miles their people travel. As a result we’ve found that one of the reasons many companies choose to take their campaign mobile is so they can take their products/services/campaigns to those that count rather than expecting customers and prospects to travel to them. Put quite simply, it is a chore to travel.
If you turn up on your customers’ doorsteps they will thank you for it – for the VIP experience you are offering as well as the opportunity to educate and inform a large number of their staff without costing them the earth or wasting man hours.