How Can I Drive Demand at a Tradeshow Without Being There?

By Heather Quitos

How Can I Drive Demand at a Tradeshow Without Being There

In an increasingly digital world, investment in tradeshows may seem like less of a priority for marketing teams. But for many businesses, tradeshows are still a lucrative opportunity. In the B2B world, the show may be the only opportunity to get some face-to-face time with key prospects and reach out to valued customers. Many attendees also use industry tradeshows as a way to complete continuing education and certification credits.

Although it may seem outdated, the tradeshow market is still a huge sector and brings in $80 billion annually in the U.S. Clearly, these large-scale events still make an impact on businesses and marketers.

For smaller companies, tradeshows can seem like daunting endeavors. Although your target markets may be attending the shows, there are many upfront costs—registration, exhibition, marketing, employee travel—balanced against an unknown return on the investment. For many marketers, attending or exhibiting at a tradeshow is just too high of a budget risk.

The good news is, times have changed. With the power of social media, you can leverage the online conversations happening around a show or event without being there in person. With careful planning, content creation, and social monitoring, you can stay in your office while building your brand, developing relationships, and generating leads through the tradeshow.

Start with Planning

Even though you’re not attending the tradeshow in person, you should still take time to plan your marketing strategy. If you’ve done your buyer persona research, you may already know which associations or events are important. Talk to your current customers and prospects to figure out which shows and events are high priorities for them.

Once you have a show in mind, do your research: What topics covered are relevant to your business? What is the show-specific hashtag? Are there any particular journalists or influencers of that industry that you should be following?

Then, it’s important to set goals similar to those you would set if you were attending: Do you want to create awareness for your company? Generate leads for your sales team? Conduct market research based on the conversations happening?

Create Content Tailored to the Show

After researching the topics that will be discussed at the show and the pain points of your buyer personas in attendance, you can create branded content to specifically address your personas’ needs.

You can create landing pages and blog posts with messaging that speaks to the attendees’ motivations for going to the show. If you’re unsure of what priorities the attendees have, your sales team should have a good pulse on trending topics and discussions. They can be a great resource for developing relevant messaging.

Some other considerations when you’re creating content:

  • For blog posts, share how your business relates to the topics covered in the keynote speeches or show theme.
  • With landing pages, offer a free consultation for attendees of the show if you’re able.
  • If you know that the tradeshow is a marquee event for many of your prospects, consider developing a long-form premium content offer, such as a guide or checklist for those attending the show or event.
  • Visual content …read more

    Read more here:: B2CMarketingInsider

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