5 Tradeshow Trends Every CMO Should Know

LinkedIn recently published an ePaper entitled, “5 Trends Every CMO Should Know.”  The content was drawn from trusted industry sources, and each trend was accompanied by an inset detailing how CMOs can use LinkedIn to take advantage of each.

This blog will do the same, but with a different focus; each Trend will be accompanied by ways CMOs can use tradeshows and events to take advantage of each.

Trend 1: Measurement is becoming more sophisticated.

According to a recent Content Marketing Institute study, only 57% of Marketers can prove their
marketing leads to sales. CEOs, however, continue their demands for hard ROI data.

The methods for acquiring ROI metrics are myriad, but carefully planned and executed
engagement programs in a tradeshow exhibit generate tons of qualified, sales-ready leads.
This enables the sales force to maximize follow-up and avoid wasting time on 100s of simple
badge scans. The result: cost-per-lead goes down, data-driven ROI goes up.

Trend 2: Account Based Marketing (ABM) enables precision targeting at scale.

Everyone knows it’s important to personalize marketing efforts, and nothing is more personal
than a face-to-face client meeting to explore existing needs and desires.

Tradeshows are the ideal time and place to hold these meetings. Marketers can create
personalized VIP exhibit experiences that guide them through specific solutions; you can
schedule personal, off-site dinners; and on a higher scale, your in-booth experience can be
crafted to build maximum “buzz” to reinforce positive perception of your brand.

Trend 3: Influencer marketing extends reach.

People believe their peers, and tradeshows offer the perfect place for trusted influencers to
enhance your brand. When clients or prospects on the show floor see respected industry
influencers delivering quality content in your exhibit, your credibility soars.

And since influencer marketing is the fastest-growing online method of connecting with your
target audience, capturing these in-booth interactions on video enables companies to extend
their reach globally. More about this in Trend 5.

Trend 4: Native advertising drives engagement.

Native Advertising is an offshoot of Content Marketing, and savvy marketers know that
successful programs deliver relevant, educational information prospects can use.

This is never truer, or more effective, than on the tradeshow floor. Face-to-face in-booth
engagement programs that educate attendees about important industry topics position
exhibitors as thought-leaders, and as a trusted source for solutions.

Trend 5: Video is the New Content King.

This one may evoke an ironic chuckle. This “trend” has faithfully reappeared every year since
Internet bandwidth supported streaming video, which has been … for a long time ago. But the
irony is offset by an important fact; tradeshows are arguably the most cost-effective place to
create quality video content for your brand.

Consider: everyone and everything is one place at one time … employees, product demos,
customers, prospects, industry influencers, the press, etc. A well-planned and executed
tradeshow video creation program generates tons of interesting and relevant video assets that
can be leveraged online for months or years to come. Furthermore, the activity surrounding
video content generation can be designed to enhance the overall booth experience.

As 2018 continues, CMOs can choose to sit back and monitor how these trends play out. Or,
they can seize the day and evolve their tradeshow and event programs to leverage them.