International industry trade fairs or specialized fairs are still the most widely used marketing channels in the B2B area. The online world with all its options hasn’t change this, because the human factor of personal contact with business partners and live demonstration of exhibits are irreplaceable.
However, the Internet is playing an increasingly important role in the success of trade fair participation. Online marketing measures can significantly increase the effect of costly and time-intensive trade fair investments. That’s why online marketing services are now firmly anchored in the portfolios of leading trade fair organizers. Messe Frankfurt has even created its own brand, Dexperty, for this purpose. These range from entries in virtual trade fair catalogues to banners and AdWords and the use of modern technologies such as iBeacon.
Despite the effectiveness of these tools and their impact far beyond the duration of the trade fair, exhibitors should perform basic measures throughout the year on their own. As always in marketing, strategy is of the utmost importance.
Important strategic considerations:
- Which marketing tools are appropriate for the particular industry or trade fair and can be best used to address a specific target group? Various target groups can differ widely with regard to internet affinity and the way they obtain information.
- What is the best way to make sure your company is on the must-see list? Completely different strategies can be pursued depending on the type of trade fair.
- For consumer goods and industry trade fairs such as Ambiente or ISH, at which visitors with diverse interests can be expected, a theme and product related approach should be applied to the greatest extent possible. Those trade visitors that potentially have the greatest interest in your offering can thus be guided to your stand from among the huge mixture of visitors.
- For some specialist trade fairs, it makes sense to create a climatic dramaturgy in which you continually gain the attention of trade visitors for the fair as a whole and then motivate them to visit the stand. This should consist of an increasingly fast-paced and concrete sequence of online marketing measures leading up to the fair, which use videos on Youtube or news in online press portals to address specialized topics, arouse curiosity by generating suspense and then motivate the target group to visit the trade fair.
- Which basic measures have already been performed and which ones are essential? These can include:
- a web site or special landing pages, which visitors can use not only to obtain all the important facts pertaining to trade fair participation, but also make an appointment for the trade fair
- entries in virtual exhibitor catalogues
- online match-making services provided by trade fair organizers, which bring suppliers (exhibitors) and buyers(trade visitors) together even before the trade fair
- supporting SEA campaigns
Successful online marketing for trade fairs not only has a quantitative effect on the flow of visitors, but also increases the quality of leads. Therefore measurement of success has to include a particularly meticulous selection of the assessment criteria.