The power of exhibitions to engage in an 'always on' world

EEAAJoyce DiMascio
Joyce-DiMascio-new-resized.jpg

In a world that’s ‘always on’, the landscape has shifted for marketers.

 

Historically, the relationship between a brand and its customers was largely transactional. The lion’s share of the marketing budget went to advertising and the product with the catchiest tag line or most memorable jingle won the day – and ultimately market share. But this has all changed.

 

It’s no longer about who can stand out with the best advertising campaign; it’s who stands out as a brand worth starting a relationship with. Now, and in the future, true value for both brands and customers will come from engagement – a long-term and enduring relationship that benefits both parties.

 

We have never had more opportunities to connect. The internet and social media has helped to break down the barriers of time and distance and literally brought the world – and its people – to our fingertips.

 

While the digital age has been both celebrated and derided, like most things in life, it’s a balance between the positive and the negative. We decry the growing invasion of work into our personal lives, while at the same time revelling in our ability to converse and share our life’s moments in real-time with those who matter most to us.

 

Relationships that stand the test of time are based on trust and shared values. They are forged in our physical world and strengthened and enhanced by our digital world. Digital tools supplement, rather than replace, real personal connections. They enable us to maintain and nurture our relationships on an ongoing basis.

 

Our business relationships are no different. They too are built on trust and shared values, and are strongest when established in-person.

 

In this new world, trade and consumer expos and the exhibits, conferences and activations within them, stand out as ideal channels to establish such relationships. No other marketing channel engages all five senses at once.

 

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) recently found that 98 per cent of young exhibitors see a unique value in trade shows that cannot be fulfilled by other marketing channels. At a tradeshow, your customers can see, touch, hear, smell and taste what you have to offer.

 

They can speak with someone directly about their experience, ask questions, give you real-time feedback. And, best of all, exhibitions bring your most active prospects and customers to you! With an average dwell time of five to six hours, visitors to an exhibition have the intent (72 per cent) and the authority to purchase or influence purchasing (83 per cent). There really is no better place than an exhibition to engage with your target market.

 

Exhibitions are true marketplaces for businesses to thrive. They are one of the most truly cost-effective marketing channels around and yet, I believe, the most underutilised in core marketing strategy. Our research shows that trade events count for just nine per cent of marketing budgets, but return 23 per cent of business.

 

The power of exhibitions to drive trade, export and investment opportunities, economic development and employment is well understood. Governments are getting it to varying degrees. Industry gets it. It’s time exhibitions took their rightful place in the marketing mix.

 

On 8 June 2016, the world came together for the first-ever Global Exhibitions Day (#GED16) to celebrate the power of exhibitions and their valuable contributions to diverse sectors of the economy, business growth, national prosperity, and, of course, marketing strategy.

 

At the same time, on 8-9 June, the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) sent a strong message to the world, showcasing its support for the global campaign with a series of events, including its annual high-level business forum – the EEAA 2016 Leaders Forum.

 

Exhibitions are an ideal place to start a great business relationship and our digital world gives us the tools to sustain and nurture that relationship over time. If engagement is what you’re looking for in your marketing strategy, exhibitions should be a cornerstone of your marketing mix.

 

We’re ‘always on’. You can start the relationship anytime!

 

I’d love to hear from you. Join the conversation on social media using #GED16, #powerofexhibitions and @eeaaupdate and tell us your story about how exhibitions have helped to power your marketing success. Or visit The EEAA Website to find out more about the Power of Exhibitions.

 

Joyce Dimascio
Posted by Joyce Dimascio
PopularComments
Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Others on EN

Positive challenges ahead

Positive challenges ahead

Chris Criscione, ESSA board chair and managing director Equinox Design looks ahead to ESSA’s next decade.
Don't knock it

Don't knock it

New technologies always seem outlandish, until they don’t, says Simon Clayton, chief ideas officer at RefTech.
Good practice with data

Good practice with data

Simon Clayton, chief ideas officer at RefTech, on being open, transparent, and accurate about what you are doing with the data you handle.

CONFEX 2017 LIVE

Most Read Stories

Lourda Derry: Making the connection

Lourda Derry: Making the connection

Lourda Derry, director of Easyfairs UK addresses the science behind operations and the profile of our audiences.
Steve Monnington: The Dealmaker in March

Steve Monnington: The Dealmaker in March

Steve Monnington of Mayfield Media Strategies, runs the rule over the latest global exhibition deals.
Helen Lowe: Marketing déjà vu

Helen Lowe: Marketing déjà vu

Helen Lowe, events and marketing manager at Europa International, talks about the importance of keeping up with the creativity amidst the chaos.

Latest News

Less than a week until 2017 EN Awards!

Less than a week until 2017 EN Awards!

The 11th annual EN Awards are gearing up to be the biggest night of celebration in the exhibition industry calendar, as the clock counts down to Thursday 30 March.
Movers & Shakers 22/03/17

Movers & Shakers 22/03/17

People moves at ExCeL London, Blitz|GES and more
New network for young #eventprofs launches

New network for young #eventprofs launches

A new network aimed at young professionals in the business events industry has been launched, in the form of Meetings + Millennials.

Latest Features

2 Minutes With Emily Shaw

2 Minutes With Emily Shaw

The new strategy director at FreemanXP talks rigour, empathy and Sharpies in all the colours of the rainbow.
The Wheel Deal

The Wheel Deal

What do you get when you cross a Hollywood film studio with a UK event organiser? A £25m deal and the launch of Fast & Furious Live of course...
Always have a back-up

Always have a back-up

In EN’s monthly Crisis Management column, Manny Singh, managing director of The National Asian Wedding Show, advocates the importance of having back-up systems in place.

Latest Galleries

London Book Fair 2017

London Book Fair 2017

From 14 to 16 March, more than 25,000 visitors from over 130 countries visited Olympia London for the 46th edition of The London Book Fair. A year of celebration, highlights included a tribute to The Wizard of Oz’s yellow brick road, the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter, 70 years of Indian independence and much more.
LondonEdge celebrates 35th show

LondonEdge celebrates 35th show

Alternative fashion show LondonEdge returned to the Business Design Centre on 12-13 February, celebrating its 35th edition.
Crufts 2017

Crufts 2017

Pedigree dog show, Crufts, once again celebrated all that is great about dogs when it returned to the NEC on 9-12 March. The show attracts around 22,000 dogs annually from around the world, competing for a place in the prestigious Best in Show final.