Connecting virtually instead of face-to-face has become the new normal. From trade fairs to B2B meetings, everything is online nowadays. However, very few of us believe this will remain the routine for trade promotion. Traditional trade fairs will definitely make their comeback! Did you know that the majority of conference spaces in the European market are already sold out for 2022?
So, should you re-allocate your marketing budget then? Not really! We recommend using 2021 as a transition year. Use your marketing budget to optimize your online and hybrid promotion instruments. This will make you a frontrunner in short term, ready to seize opportunities in the temporary new and old normal.
1. Optimize your online visibility
You need to be well visible online, especially to buyers. Work on your website’s usability, make a lasting impression with your homepage, invest in great images, and upgrade your staff’s skills and knowledge on Search Engine Optimization. It will pay off!
2. Be where the buyers are
Adopt a multi-channel approach in order to optimize your presence on all relevant channels. Depending on your markets and customers, make sure your messages are well spread across relevant socials media. LinkedIn and YouTube are likely to be your preferred platforms for B2B communication. Whereas Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter should mainly be used as additional channels for B2C target audiences.
3. Invest in professional multimedia kits
Professional images make a difference. Online, onsite, and hybrid: make sure you stand out. Hire a professional to develop a kit of great images and videos. Also, when traveling is possible again, you will greatly benefit from this investment. Go for it!
4. Conduct online campaigns
Once your website, social channels, and content are optimized, why not pilot some online campaigns? Advertising through Google and social platforms offers you very specific targeting opportunities. In our experience it is good to do some trial and error first – to learn. Then when you feel comfortable accelerate. Don’t forget to analyze what works and optimize your campaigns accordingly.
5. Go hybrid and use online matchmaking tools
Even pre-COVID-19, some trade fairs already started offering online matchmaking services to make your trade fair visit most effective. The virtual era has accelerated such services. Most major trade shows offer them now. Use these tools, both in the new and old normal! Next to that, our 6-step guide on how to prepare for virtual trade fairs might come in handy.