For a lot of companies, trade shows are a big part of EU marketing strategies. Our own research indicates that 75% of North American B2B companies find it important to attend or exhibit at European trade shows. As one of the respondents nicely put it: "The beauty of a trade show is that you can share your product or service with a pre-selected audience while learning about the competition and building relationships with new customers".
Although we are seeing some positive signs in Germany, the big question remains: will there be any trade shows to visit in the remainder of 2020 at all?
Exhibiting at a trade show requires quite the budget – starting at around € 25,000 all in for a small booth space. With trade shows being cancelled, you’re going to save a lot of money. That's the plus side. But down the line, you will run into substantial problems as well. For instance:
- You will have a loss of exposure. You’ll not be able to connect with current clients, and pitching your story to that pre-selected audience of prospects is not going to happen.
- Where you normally use a trade show to build a sales pipeline for the next period of time, you will now be faced with a dip in your pipeline in the start of 2021.
- Ultimately it results in lower brand awareness and a decrease in sales.
So what to do? Wait another year to get your pipeline up to date?
Or will you look for alternatives to create exposure for your company?
Create exposure and generate leads using online channels
The other place where you will be able to connect with a pre-selected audience is online. With a European website and platforms like Google, Facebook and LinkedIn (and all the data that they gather), you will be able to carefully craft your message and pitch it to exactly the people you want. This way you’ll be relevant for a specific target audience, and ultimately get the best bang for your buck. And that’s not all.
Advantages of online marketing vs. traditional marketing
It’s more than reaching out to the right people at the right time. What else is good about digital marketing:
- You’re able to measure everything. What are people searching for when they land on your website? Which advertisements generate the best results?
- You’re in charge of every dollar (or euro) you spend. For instance, you can pause your online advertisements every second of every day.
Ultimately you can use all these insights to optimize your message and maximize your Return in Investment (ROI). To get a good understanding of the results of digital marketing, you can download a case study on our page on digital B2B marketing. What you’ll notice is that even small budgets can provide substantial results. So let’s take 20% of your trade show budget, and start doing digital marketing.
Go for gold: create a combo
Events like trade shows are unequaled when it comes to relationship building. It is a labor intensive practice, however. By adding digital marketing to the mix – alongside the other activities that you had already planned, you will create a multi-channel, multi-touch approach. Your specific target audience will encounter you multiple times on different channels. And that is how you interest someone for your product, and turn them into a viable sales lead.
More on European digital marketing
Would you like to know more about the opportunities for digital marketing in Europe, and how we can help you? Let’s get in touch!