Just as modern technology has influenced everyday consumer lives – from mobile phones, to augmented reality, to self-driving cars – it’s also had a major impact on the trade show industry.
In the old days (you know, like way back in 2014), the industry used a more linear approach to planning for trade shows that went something like this:
Attract: Identify a list of prospects and send an invitation to visit booth.
Engage & Connect: Use some form of cool, new technology to generate awareness, engage, and (attempt to) capture their data.
Complete: Execute a magnificent show and move onto the next task.
Ladies and gentlemen: the times, well, they have officially changed.
In just a few short years, the world has changed. Dramatically. And so has the need to modify the way we think about trade show marketing plans – before, during, and after the show. In today’s world, we can no longer think so linearly about the trade show experience; and we certainly can’t forget about the plethora of post-show opportunities all that data collection provides. Rather, we must develop holistic experiences that attract, engage, and connect with prospects and customers across the entire show journey, and use it to create loyal customers who advocate on our behalf.
This new way of thinking led us to reevaluate our approach earlier this year. Our e-path process has long been a valuable tool that has helped our clients create successful experiences. But now, as evidenced in our updated model below, we take that a step farther by helping our clients identify the right strategic engagements that will attract, engage, and connect fluidly across each phase of the entire journey. And we deliver those engagements by using the right tools, with the right audiences, at the times when they’re most receptive. The result is stronger, long-lasting relationships with key prospects.
Finally, our new model places increased emphasis on post-show relationship building, one of the most important opportunities and the phase most often overlooked. By creating linkage with our engagements across the show, we set ourselves up for more data collection points that can be used to further enhance relationships in the future. And, once the show concludes, we have already started the legwork of turning data into the insights, which will help convert prospects to clients, and ultimately turn loyal customers into vocal advocates on our clients’ behalf.
Are you reaching customers and prospects across the show journey in the most effective ways? If not, let’s chat! We’d be happy to put your plans through our e-path model to help improve your connection with your current and future customers.