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Attending CeBIT 2018 – Is Physical Presence Enough?

Being there is just half the battle. It's time to make the most of tradeshows.

BUZZ Quote: “Trade show leads are like milk – they have a short shelf life, so don’t waste valuable time” Marlys Arnold

Tradeshows and conferences are great because they bring people together (they always will). Whether you are looking for knowledge, ideas or suppliers, it’s all there! I love CeBIT because it’s experiential and informative. Yes, I was transported to Newcastle to walk around and if I was brave enough, I could have even done a sky dive, right from the tradeshow floor!

A rare opportunity to meet CEO’s and leaders of businesses face-to-face and engage on the same level. A great way to find out about products / services we didn’t know about and walk away with new ideas to consider or implement.

What struck me though, is that with all this future talk, why are some people still doing the same thing? Why do the booths have walls and most exhibitors have a big desk or obstruction between them and us? In our advisory work, we are all about allowing space for connections and conversations. Last year when I helped design a FinTech expo, we had collaborative spaces with no walls – it was so much more engaging.

Having barriers creates an ‘us’ and ‘them’ feel. My colleague Amanda and I stood in front of one stand for several minutes being ignored by the 4 staff all talking to each other inside.

A question I asked Exhibitors was how is the show going for you? One company admitted that they are only there because it would be obvious if they weren’t.

Ok so you've committed to being there people you have on each stand. Do they know how to engage well? I went by every stand and spoke to many people – do you know not one person introduced themselves to me by their name! When I found myself in a situation where there was a business opportunity and potential to explore, it was always me that would extend my hand and say, I’m Julia by the way.

I don’t see the point of scanning my pass if you don’t know who I am to follow up directly with? I know you meet so many people in the 3 days, so it pays to have techniques to personalise this experience, so people feel valued.

So far, it is the week after and I have received one generic email newsletter, I wonder how many more email lists I will be added to with no further contact? This is so common from the tradeshows I have been to over the years.

So much time and money go into this form of marketing and it is about time we looked at the entire process a bit better. A physical presence isn’t going to cut it. Nor is treating it like a chore. Tradeshows are such an important opportunity to engage with prospects, suppliers and learn from all industry stakeholders.

Did you know, in the U.S., a trade show still remains one of the most profitable business-to-business (B2B) media strategy with trade shows generating more than 12.8 billion U.S. dollars in revenue in 2016 alone (and that’s more that the 2015 figures).

Developing teams to network and relate better is a great starting place. If you would like to discuss your upcoming marketing plans with us, we would love to work with you to help you leverage opportunities and get better results.

Happy Netships



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