Thursday, October 3, 2013

Should You Trade the Trade Show for Your Own Event?

This idea might be a wiener: hosting a solo exhibition or road show


We’re busy making final preparations for two big trade shows this month involving our clients. It’s exciting, because trade shows still offer a great marketing stage for manufacturing and other B2B companies.

However, advancements of the Digital Age present new opportunities to connect directly with customers at a fraction of the cost. It’s now more affordable than ever to drive the necessary publicity to host your own successful event.

Open houses, road shows and other self-styled exhibitions have distinct advantages:
  • Focus – Without the distractions, noise and competition of a typical trade show, you have the captive attention of your guests.
  • Depth – As the exclusive presenter, you have the floor, allowing for detailed presentations tailored to specific needs, rather than a quick, condensed overview at a trade show booth.
  • Diversity – Your company likely serves more than one market. Your event can appeal to all your customers – demonstrating the full array of products, services and expertise you offer.
Realizing these advantages, however, isn’t necessarily easy. Even more so than for a trade show, you must attract the audience to make it all worth your while. All the strategic planning, preshow promotional emails, landing pages, media kits, etc., become even more important.

For example, these events typically target a certain geographical area, making local newspapers a critical communication channel. To gain national attention, many companies have taken their shows on the road. Consider the classic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. Or General Electric Co.’s mobile truck, a great success when it launched the company’s new FlexEfficiency 60 power generation technology.

With the right preparation and publicity, starring in your own show can be a cost-effective and powerful way to interact with customers face-to-face and deliver an unforgettable brand experience.