A great deal has been written over the past couple of years about the decline in trade show marketing, but at a recent AMADC event one of the top marketers in this space said if you prepare, implement and follow up, this is still a great way to grow your business.
Jason Askew, product marketing manager for Cvent spoke to AMADC on June 25th at its company headquarters in Tyson’s Corner about how to succeed at trade shows. He also provided a preview on what was going to be presented at the Cvent Connect conference held earlier in July in Las Vegas.
Trade shows had their beginnings more than 150 years ago at the Great London Exhibition. The “first” trade show was sponsored by the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Trade, and featured over 28,000 exhibitors from 36 countries. Since then they have become one of the primary ways that businesses connect with customers and prospects. Trade shows are still one of businesses most successful business-to-business media strategies that drive sales. In 2016, trade shows brought in more than 12.8 billion dollars in revenue between registrations and exhibit sales. It is clear that in person communication and sales are still one of the most important tactics for sales and marketing, leading 41% of marketers to believe events are the single most effective marketing strategy, even more so than digital, email, and content marketing.
Cvent made inroads into trade show marketing by specializing in trade show optimization, and helping to quantify leads, new business and revenue derived from trade shows. Askew provided the inside scoop on the best ways to make your trade show marketing deliver. Askew explained that the keys to success are:
- Getting the right decision makers to your booth
- Ensuring sales people are having the right conversations
- Capturing leads and insights in a meaningful way,
- Putting trade show leads into the business development system and tying the leads to return on investment.
Askew also discussed how the Cvent Connect Calendar uses technology to drive sales and budget allocations to marketing as the trade show is in progress. Information at the trade show goes directly to your cell phone as it is collected so strategies and tactics can be adjusted in real time. Features include personalized questionnaires, access to GDPR privacy regulations, and specialized one-on-one appointments scheduled throughout the trade show. Cvent is then able to maximize and personalize total sales when trade show marketing does not deliver.
One of the event highlights was the appearance of Reggie Aggarwal, the CEO and founder of Cvent who stopped by to give advice on navigating a changing marketing world and to answer questions about what it took to build his company from its start in 1999 touching upon how AMADC played a role!
Cvent provided a welcoming and personal environment with loads of marketing insight that was a unique opportunity to experience alongside members of the AMADC community. Overall, with the reminder of the importance of trade shows by Jason and the appearance by Cvent’s CEO, it was a one-of-a-kind and memorable experience.