Planning For Trade Shows

5 strategic adjustments for a cancelled Trade Show season

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For companies that rely on trade shows for their customer engagement, it’s time to turn challenges into opportunities and lemons into lemonade.

Industries that have traditionally relied on trade shows or conventions as the main opportunity to engage with customers have had to rethink how to strategize for the upcoming 2021 season.  None of us can rely on standard business as usual tactics that have gone on to bare fruit for past generations.  We have all been forced to adapt to the changing business world; however, there is good news if we choose to make the proper adjustments to how we approach things. If we take the appropriate steps and implement the right strategies, tools and tactics, we can come out of this stronger and more prepared to help our buyers like never before.

Five Considerations

1. Reallocate budgets to bolster customer engagement technology.

Capitalize on the fact that now more than ever customers are used to meeting virtually or at least more inclined to do so. And, those reps that are less than enthusiastic about learning technology, have finally overcome some of their fears by being forced to participate in online meetings in some shape or form. 

Now is the time to take all that time, money and effort spent on trade shows, and put it to work advancing your company’s mobile tech infrastructure. Take advantage by developing strategic tactics and implementing tools that technologically advances your company’s customer engagement efforts. Regardless of the current business climate, companies that do not invest in new tech will be left behind.  

2. Create your own virtual trade show environment, providing exclusive VIP invitations.

If you can’t rub elbows with your customers at a trade show next season, create a mobile solution. One where you can present your latest and greatest products in a virtual environment that is interactive and entertaining. Capitalize on the fact that now more than ever customers are used to meeting virtually or at least more inclined to do so. 

By using the right customer engagement platform like Command.App, sales reps and dealer partners can deliver high-impact, interactive experiences driven by each buyer’s specific needs. Dynamically display new products and services, while having your complete product line at the ready.  

Setup exclusive VIP virtual meeting experiences at the convenience of your customer no matter what time of year. Feature an environment that is visual and non-linear so reps can turn every presentation into a conversation as they bring up the right material at the right time, addressing every question or concern (specific to each customer) immediately. 

Now, we aren’t talking about making a website that has a bunch of cartoon people and your buyers come to visit your booth. We are talking about setting up meetings to actually interact and engage with buyers virtually, answering questions and moving sales forward. Creating a user experience that is both visually impressive and impressive. Maximize opportunities and make the complex clear like never before. 

3. Develop a strategic plan that takes into account flexible solutions.

Because we are all in a state of constant flux when it comes to the “new Business as usual”, it’s imperative that whatever investments we make in our approach to the market and customer engagement technology, we do so with flexibility in mind.

Customer engagement has come a long way in the past five years and so has the technology to support it.  So much time, energy and effort go into bringing products to the marketplace, and time and again companies fail to address the point of customer contact. Marketing creates countless materials designed to educate and engage customers, only to see these unused by reps when in front of customers either virtually or in personal interactions. Materials get lost in outdated constructs like files and folders, and are not easily accessible when dealing with the realities of customer interactions. 

To move forward in a strategic manner that accurately takes into account what’s best for today and the future when we get back to literal face-to-face meetings, companies need to find solutions that can be game changers under both realities. 

To invest time, effort and money into a solution that only is designed for one type of customer interaction is to bury your head in the sand and not look towards a future where anything is possible.  

To double down on websites, and tech with a non-interactive container only mentality is to dump money into the outdated way of doing business. It’s time to look at cutting-edge technology and plan for today while preparing for the future.

4. Up your digital content game.

I’m sure there are some pieces of content or product support materials that have been on the back burner for some time. Now may be the right time to make those a priority. 

As more and more customer engagement moves away from handing out the traditional paper brochure, companies need to make the transition to a completely digital solution. Besides the benefit of saving on printing costs and avoiding getting stuck with outdated materials, a proper executed digital content strategy can make your sales reps more effective if paired with the right customer engagement technology.   

To be effective digital content must speak directly to a customers specific need. It needs to be reflective of who they are, doing the work that they do, solving the exact problem they are experiencing. 90% of buyers want reps to share specific information. The pressure this fact puts onto an organization can be huge if you have a large product line that provides solutions to many different industries. But, this expectation of customers is not going away so now may be the best time to roll up your sleeves and get it done. Be creative and build dynamic media content including video and 3D animations that become digital assets. Also, look for effective tools to deploy those assets in the field so they can be easily controlled, easily presented and easily updated within a customer engagement mobile platform.

5. Prepare for updated trade show procedures to ensure a safe return.

Command App Self Serve Kiosk

It may be inevitable that trade shows and conventions will come back in full force when the pandemic gets under control and the world feels safe to engage with each other in a personal manner. If your company intends to ramp your booth back up, be sure to add some additional training around etiquette

Build in “contactless options” including some self-serve solutions such as interactive kiosks so attendees can do things on their own if preferred. Create a space where they can review, deep dive and send specific materials right out of a mobile solution.  Provide solutions that allow them the opportunity to explore on their own, and then engage with a rep when the time is right for them to do so in a manner in which they are comfortable.

To learn more about how Command.App can enhance your sales processes and efficiencies for remote selling and sales enablement, schedule a demo today.

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