Exhibiting at a trade show this year? Here?s how we made the very best of our recent ?Expo Experience? at the B2B Marketing Expo 2017.
Last week we attended the B2B Marketing Expo at London?s ExCeL centre, armed with our brand new ?Digital Marketing Implementation Services? Stand and laden with leaflets, business cards and badges decorated with our shiny new logo. It was a nerve-wracking but exciting event. Although all of our team had worked trade shows before, it was our first as ?DMIS?, and we were exhibiting alongside some much larger and long-established household names, like Adroll and the IDM.
Our core implementation team (James, Michelle and me – Gemma) were joined by three of our freelance consultants, Jonathan Debansu and Andy Letting, who gave a very informative talk on Programmatic in the IDM?s theatre to round up Day one of the show.
It was clearly apparent, from the very start of Day 1, that we are all very different salespeople – from the sleek and sharp sales pitches of team members Michelle and Debansu, to the passionate and personal pitches of Jonathan and James, and me? Well? I?m a copywriter, frequently found alone in a dark room and frantically typing, surrounded by paperwork (and empty coffee cups!). My skills lie firmly in the written word. Thankfully, Social Media platforms, particularly Facebook and Twitter, were heavily promoted at the event for virtual networking with attendees and fellow exhibitors. In fact, the use of the twitter hashtag ?#B2BUK? was publicised so well by the event organisers and exhibitors that by the end of day one at the show (which was attended by around 15000 people over the two days), was trending in the number one spot on Twitter! As a lover of statistics, I am quite impressed by that!
So where did I fit in at the show? As well as being able to enthusiastically* talk to customers about our products (aided by multiple, large Caramel Latte?s ? a sugar and caffeine injection that helped to bring me out of my introverted shell), I had the opportunity to meet a number of the other exhibitors, and experience their wares first hand. Highlights, for me, included the innovative and exciting photography agency who were based opposite us, offering free LinkedIn profile pictures, and the PR Software business with their fabulous and fashion-forward Robot. There was also a VR experience (wing-walking, made even more realistic by the enthusiastic use of a hand fan by their dedicated team), and free ice-creams in a central relaxation area ? plus, my personal favourite, the dedicated fancy-dress wearing team in the Sales and Innovation Expo, the Superheroes of promotions!
During the event, I also had the opportunity to take pictures and post Social Media content live from the event, from set-up to take-down (and the journey home). Because of this, I can safely say that the tweets of numerous exhibitors (as well as the B2B Marketing Expo promotional team themselves) really helped to build an online ?buzz? about the event that made it an exciting place to be for a few days ? far different to the darkened cupboard that I usually wedge myself in on a daily basis.
So, if you are going to an Expo or Trade Show this year, don?t forget to take a member of your Marketing Team! It is likely that you have paid out a significant amount of money in order to appear at the event, so make the most of it ? not just whilst you are there, but in the weeks following the event with content, images and marketing material created whilst you are there. And enjoy the positive, professional relationships that you have the opportunity to build with your fellow exhibitors, even those you may consider ?competitors? ? as it?s great to have the opportunity to support fellow SME?s (and even large corporations), and build positive collaborations, as we move into the strange post-Brexit world of UK Business Life.
*read ? lots of gesturing.