THE TRADE SHOW OR
Peter Eberly, Director
Product and Vertical Marketing
We all know that to build deep and meaningful relationships, customers need to feel connected to your business. The first and best step toward building that relationship is to know who your customers are.
But once you know who your customers are, what can you do to connect with them — to make them feel as though you care about them?
Look at your data
We are in an unprecedented age of data accumulation. Everywhere you turn, people are asking for your name, your email, your phone number, your favorite food, your favorite color. You get the picture. The differentiator for businesses is what they do with that information.
Highly successful businesses take the data they have gathered about their customers and they translate it into marketing materials that speak directly to their customers. These companies are able to take personalization to the next level providing a deeper understanding of customer preference to influence consumer behavior.
McKinsey & Company put a different spin on personalization in their report, Marketing’s Holy Grail: Digital Personalization at Scale. They wrote, “Done right, personalization enhances customers’ lives and increases engagement and loyalty by delivering messages that are tuned to and even anticipate what customers really want.”
Translating personalization to events and trade shows
This is not an easy request. Trade shows and events can be mammoth with potentially thousands of people swarming around. Planning with these tips in mind can help:
- The internet is king. Before shows, attendees typically spend time scouting out everything about the show: Sessions, location, places to eat and stay and travel arrangements. Think about what you can do to create a buzz around your participation. Is sponsoring an event or talk an option or perhaps participating in a panel or delivering content? If it is, spend considerable time thinking about how you will attract your audience. It’s true what they say about first impressions. If your session description isn’t interesting, you’ll be hard pressed to get people in the door.
- Create an experience that stands out and connects: What can you do to make an impression at the show or event? Is there an innovative demo of your product or technology you can incorporate or a show-stopping booth design? The key to creating a personalized experience is having the opportunity to actually learn about people. It often is helpful to bring in experts here to consult about booth design or other ways to connect with attendees.
- Go beyond a standard invitation to visit the booth or attend the event. Give away something meaningful. At one recent trade show, our team offered customized phone cases. Using pre-show lists and data, connect with customers and prospects and offer them the opportunity to customize a product. To receive the special product, they have to visit your booth or attend the event. Win-win!
- Use social to your advantage. Conference attendees use social to connect with others. Make sure you’re reaching out to customers and prospects before, during and after the show or event.
Personalization is everywhere today so it’s no surprise that trade show and event attendees expect it as well. Creating a personalized trade show or event experience will delight your customers and prospects and will make them feel valued and appreciated.