A VIBRANT AND MEMORABLE
TRADE SHOW EXPERIENCE
Peter Eberly, Director
Product and Vertical Marketing
It’s trade show season again and your team is wracking their brains for the best way to greet customers and prospects.
How about a blend (a mash up, if you will) of some of the hottest trends in marketing for the win?
Combining storytelling, conversation and influencer marketing will help build an authentic and unique experience for your customers and prospects.
Let’s look at each component:
- Storytelling: Storytelling is the process of using fact and narrative to create an emotional connection with your audience.
- Conversation: A one-to-one approach to listen, learn and interact with customers and prospects. Influencers: Someone who has the power to influence the perception of others or gets them to do something different. According to eMarketer, 84 percent of companies are working on influencer projects and 81 percent say influencer engagement has been effective.
For some companies, it’s a natural fit to blend these elements. They have beautiful, well-considered brand stories that are a natural fit for storytelling and conversation. Healthcare organizations have wonderfully emotional stories of being able to improve lives. Add an influencer into the mix — a medical rock star like Atul Gawande, MD, or celebrity doctor like Dr. Oz, and poof — an instant draw.
Crafting a compelling experience
If, however, you’re in an industry that’s not quite as emotional and don’t have the sway to get the top tier of influencers, there are other things you can do to craft a compelling experience.
- Take a thoughtful approach to telling your story. Do you have an elevator pitch? Dissect it and think about how you can use parts of it to make an emotional connection with your audience. The emotional connection doesn’t have to tug at the heartstrings. It can evoke relief or humor or pure joy. Use this information as you are thinking through how you will create your trade show booth or display.
- Talk to your customers well before heading to the trade show circuit. Really listen to what they need and consider how you can help them. Tailor your message to addressing the issues that weigh on them.
- Identify the influencers in your business circle. Who would influence your customers? Start a conversation on social media with that influencer or reach out directly to them and ask if they will be attending your trade show. Consider inviting them as guests. Or, consider partnering with them. Keep in mind this may involve a financial exchange and be sure to figure it into your trade show budget.
The key to successfully integrating all of these elements is to start working well in advance of your trade show or event. These are not typically components that can be executed on short notice. Planning, listening and budgeting are your best friends as you prepare for a wonderful trade show experience!