Why Tradeshows and Events?

Tradeshows & Event Marketing: Love ’em | Hate ’em!

Conflicted Attitudes

A friend came back from HIMSS 2016 (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society 2016) complaining about the event. How expensive it is to exhibit. How much work it was to have a presence.

And almost in the same breath, he commented – with considerable enthusiasm -how much he enjoyed the show. Seeing colleagues, connecting with prospects, talking with customers. And of course, nice dinners and nice hotels.

Is that typical of your tradeshow/event experience? Conflicted? A love-hate relationship?

Why Do We Do Event Marketing?

Events are “not cool”: all the buzz is on Social Media. With Social Media, we leverage our time and funds through the Internet. Events are huge drains on budget, time and staff resources. So why do we go?

Reason #1: Personal, in the moment, one-on-one human contact. Pure and simple.

I remember, when Social Media was brand new, that many foretold the end of Event Marketing. For the reasons above and more. And some did disappear. But many survived.

Yet many survived. All because people want to be in the moment with people.

This may change over the coming years as cultural tones shift, but for now, event marketing, for all its pain points, is real.

Why Do We Do Event Marketing – Tactically

A simple answer, but often the question is not asked.

  • Find new Leads
  • Connect with Customers in person
  • Promote Brand
  • Research Competition
  • Research Industry Trends
  • Momentum

Momentum: The Deep Dark Sin of Event Marketing

I have fought this more times than I care to admit with clients. While they don’t want to go to a given show and will pay lip service to not attend, most organizations are terrified not to participate in a show they’ve been at previously. They fear the possibility of backlash: they are scared that it will be seen, by their competitors, customers, and prospects as an admission of weakness. “Did you hear XYZ Inc. didn’t attend? Their numbers for this year must be bad!”

Reason #2: Optics

It’s about optics. Rumours might fly. We can’t ignore our customers. Our competitors will use this against us!

So we complain about going to shows that we don’t want to attend….but personally enjoy? Something very wrong with this.

Yes, very conflicted. Sigh!