Recently when preparing to expand our office space, we found some old binders with photos of tradeshow exhibits we had done in the 50’s and 60’s. This led us to reflect on how much has changed in this business. For instance, leads used to be collected on paper forms and then too often abandoned in shoe boxes. Today, they’re collected digitally (and still too often neglected in CRM systems). More important, social media and other digital communications technologies have turned attendees from visitors to active participants, and forever altered the ways we all communicate and gather information.
But while many things are different, we were also struck by how many things remain the same. First, despite all the new ways to communicate, face-to-face marketing, in all its forms, still and will continue to offer the most effective way to make a meaningful connection with another human being. Second, most of the fundamentals of a successful event are exactly the same. For instance:
• A compelling brand image and a great product story
• Making your target audience want to come
• Being creative in everything you do – before, during and after an event
• Telling attendees why what you sell will make their lives better
• Taking full advantage of the fact that someone is standing right in front of you to begin an on-going relationship
• Monetizing the value of what you create at an event by sharing it with audiences who could not come
• Following up afterwards
• Learning and getting better for next time
Sure, how we do these things and the tools available to us have changed dramatically, and will continue to change, but what we use them for remains pretty much the same. And we think that’s an important, and maybe even comforting reminder.