In 2020, the world entered unprecedented times limiting large group activities including trade shows and conferences. In this two part series, you will learn to uncover virtual selling techniques and tools to replicate the trade show experience to generate more sales. This is part one of a two article series, No Trade Show, No Problem. Check back on April 1, 2021 for part 2.
In-person trade shows and conferences might have come to an end, but that does not mean the sales and marketing for your team needs to come to an end, too. In fact, they should not even have to slow down with the newest technology platforms enabling your sales and marketing teams to virtually sell.
According to CEIR: The Changing Environment of Exhibitions, 99% of marketers ѕаіd thеу found unique value from trаdе show еxhіbіts that they didn’t gеt from оthеr mаrkеtіng mеdіumѕ. Creating a well-branded digital presence and enhancing engagement with prospects and clients is now more important than ever. In this article we will walk you through the lifecycle of a trade show attendee along with the sales and marketing tools that can replicate the trade show experience, virtually.
Pre Pandemic Value of a Trade Show
Before we deep dive into the lifecycle of a trade show attendee, let’s uncover the value that in-person trade shows and conferences once provided for sales and marketing teams. For starters, determining the revenue potential is one main objective prior to attending a trade show. If you have steep goals as a company, a 10 to 1 return on investment is a great place to start. To consider this value, understand the opportunity in the room, your sales close rates, as well as the investment you are putting into the trade show. Of course, a huge value of the trade show is the total recurring revenue you walk out the door with at the end, but that is not the only value.
Face-to-face interaction was once a trade show tactic that was not given enough credit. Now, living in an unprecedented pandemic, sales and marketing teams are missing the face-to-face interaction a trade show once provided. These interactions allowed the trade show attendee to have more personalized conversations, grow a trusted relationship quicker, as well as be more engaged. To put it simply, it is much easier to sell a product or service in person than it is virtually.
Lastly, in-person trade shows gave enterprise companies the opportunity to meet their customers in person. Instead of monthly review calls and the basic research of their account manager on Linkedin, customers were able to meet their client success managers in person to grow a stickier bond.
In short, trade shows provide large ROI, grow prospect relationships, help sell a product or service, and increase retention rates. Let’s deep dive into how marketing and sales presentation tools can help replicate the trade show experience in a virtual world.
Stage 1: Pre Show Communications
The attendee has registered for the event, and you, the enterprise company, have received the registration list including attendee emails, Linkedin accounts, mailing address, job title, and the company they are with. First, you start by segmenting the list and determining the personalized content you want to communicate to help secure an onsite meeting, or at minimum, begin with the brand awareness that your company will be exhibiting at the trade show. Your goal should be to create a storytelling, branded message so that the attendee recognizes your exhibit in the trade show hall.
Segmenting the list might entail account based marketing, or it could be based on job role, location, industry, or placement in the marketing funnel. Through our partnership, we’ve made it easy to blend personalized information from Salesforce to create custom Digideck presentations that are more flexible, more engaging, and require less time to prepare.
Nurturing the virtual attendees through the marketing funnel is crucial to help close the deal. When treating a virtual prospect as a as a trade show attendee, they fall between demand generation and lead generation. Once they have committed to a trade show meeting or demo, then they are entering the sales pipeline.
Digideck makes it easy for your sales and marketing teams to engage attendees virtually before the event with interactive presentations personalized to what they find valuable. If you are targeting a list of attendees that have already had a product demo, you might want to hit them with a special promotional offer that entices them to sign when they open your presentation. You can target the right audience with the right messaging to capture their attention without having to meet them in person.
Stage 2: Exhibit Hall
When attending an in-person event as an enterprise company or an attendee, it is all about the experience and real-time communication that is not scheduled through a zoom meeting. This timing is more on the attendees watch than yours. Enabling the virtual attendee to view the presentation on their own time provides more natural comfort than a forced Google Calendar invite. Replicating this virtually may sound impossible, but that is where Digideck Live is here to help.
Digideck Live offers multiple tools to engage with prospects on their time. If you’ve shared a presentation through a unique URL with a prospect and have Digideck Live enabled, you can receive real-time notifications when the prospect is active in the presentation. This gives you the exhibit booth feel, virtually.
Live engagement is so important at an exhibit booth, bring that to your virtual presentation with video conferencing, chat feature, co-browsing, and recorded meetings.
Check back on April 1st for Part 2 of No Trade Show, No Problem. We will discuss best practices around personalized presentations and enhancing virtual engagement.