How would you approach industry trade shows differently to consumer trade shows?

How do I approach a consumer show v’s a Business show

 

Let’s have a brief look at the differences between the two probably obvious to you but let’s get it out of the way)

 

  1. B2C events normally have more visitors than B2B events and in most cases have more exhibitors
  2. B2C events have less seminars than B2B events
  3. B2C events do not normally have the electronic leads trackers (in fact I have never seen them at consumer shows)
  4. B2C while attracting more people also have more tire kickers

 

  1. Attracting people to your stand is the same, you emotionally connect and engage with people (business person or consumer react in the same way as a human)

 

  1. As a result of B2B events having more seminars- a stand needs to inject more energy because the seminars are boring as sin and and visitors are sitting down- I have seen people sleeping in the seminars- that effects mindset when they walk around the exhibit

 

More info:
B2C events normally have more visitors than B2B events and in most cases have more exhibitors
When there are more people sales people need to quicken their qualifying process- if they do not they can spend 5 minutes talking to a non customer and 20 people walk past which is obviously bad, once a customer is established they need to go through the lead form faster as well- or rather take the time but don’t waste time doing it

 

B2C events have less seminars than B2B events
Seminars are the bane of the exhibitor, you have customers in seminar and not walking around the exhibition, B2B events are normally dull especially if all the exhibitors just stand there waiting for customers. Now I don’t want to go all spiritual on you- but humans respond to the high energy of others- when the energy is low the “who cares” attitude is strong when the energy is high- people get attracted to this. Live demonstrations are key at B2B events and also B2C events

 

B2C events do not normally have the electronic leads trackers (in fact I have never seen them at consumer shows)

The electronic scanners are useful in speeding up the lead generating process and for just getting a database of your customers- however in order to generate leads you need to know how to use the scanner which 99% of people do not- all they do is scan and that’s in- not realising that you can actually record important data about the customer within it. So you going to have to take time to get customers to fill out forms more so than B2B events. You get them to write their email address and contact details because it takes too long, in a B2B event visitors normally have business cards so that you can simply staple them to the lead form (if you are not scanning)- I have a video on this on the site

 

B2C while attracting more people also have more tire kickers

Anyone on their day off goes to consumer shows which is a problem- you need to clearly communicate exactly what your business does, your promotion must be specific to your business- sure you can give away a ipad but that attracts everyone and everyone is not your customer (in most cases) (although in your case a higher percentage is) but these business card promotions require you to sell after the event, they require you to sell via, email, post card or phoning afterwards. In many cases competitions are entered by people who have no idea or care what the product is, better off having a comp to win your product- that way it will attract your customers, you will get fewer entry’s  but a higher quality

 

Sales people need to qualify quickly and learn how to nicely get rid of tire kickers especially when it is busy (there are times when it is not so busy)

 

Attracting people to your stand is the same, you emotionally connect and engage with people (business person or consumer react in the same way as a human)

The actual things that attract people are the same in B2B events and B2C events, most companies have no energy and compete on a purely visual level (a banner for example)

 

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A STUDY WAS CONDUCTED
According to the CEIR there were 6 factors identified in
influencing a prospect to go to a stand

graph

 

  1. 2% the sheer size of a stand is not as important as you think
  2. 12% Invitations to current customers
  3. 13% Stand design (Banners, signage & staff) this is what 90% of companies do
  4. 22% Customer recommendations- Getting your customers to recommend to others
  5. 23% stand location
  6. 28% is live demonstrations attract the largest number- more than double a pretty stand or inviting customers

You need to be able to demonstrate your solutions and implant the emotional feeling of what happens when they don’t use your solution in a live entertaining demonstration (that’s what I get paid for)

 

As a result of B2B events having more seminars- a stand needs to inject more energy because the seminars are boring as sin and and visitors are sitting down- I have seen people sleeping in the seminars- that effects mindset when they walk around the exhibit.

The biggest mistake people make is not realising that real people are physically walking past their stand and will respond to high energy and things that make them happy.
We are emotional creatures and in any marketing if you can tap into the emotion you are 80% there (you also have to have a good product and an effective strategy to collect the leads). Most people set their stands like a website and they stand there waiting for some web surfer to like the look of their banners and enquire, people also set up their stand like they are the only person in the hall.

customers from B2B and B2C shows are bombarded with information and sales messaging- in the year 2001 I read a study that says that in a single day we are hit with over 1500 of visual advertising per day- it has gone up in the 12 years since that study and at tradeshows it is even higher- you need to dumb down your messaging so that they look once and understand exactly what you do- make it so a child could understand it. As humans we do not have personal systems to take in more information we develop systems to tune it all out so when exhibiting in either event type competing on a purely visual level gets you no where fast.

 

If you could provide a photo of your stand that could help me understand exactly what potential problems you have with your stand is (which without a demonstration is the single reason why most companies fail) also if you have a copy of the lead generation forms I may be able to find a way to simplify and speed up this process.

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