Reallocate Your Trade Show Budget
In addition to family vacations, hotter days, and slightly cooler nights, (at least in New Jersey), the second half of summer typically marks the beginning of trade show season.
Not this summer, though. While the economy is finally starting to recover from an unprecedented global pandemic, the damage has been done when it comes to large-scale, in-person gatherings. As a result, virtually all major trade shows have been cancelled or switched to an online-only format this year.
This shift presents an obvious problem for sales and marketing teams who’ve come to rely on trade shows both as a major source of new business leads and as an annual opportunity to network and form relationships with vendors, peers, and industry leaders. Even when done well, an online event will never recapture the bustling excitement, walk-up interest, or chance encounters that are mainstays of a busy expo hall.
Furthermore, most of these sales and marketing teams already have substantial budget set aside for these shows in 2020, as they do every year. So what’s the best way to reallocate these funds?
While there’s no shortage of alternatives out there, one in particular can go a long way in helping you build up the same types of relationships and new business opportunities that you would at a trade show: the phone!
Here are four key benefits to reallocating your trade show budget into a telephone outreach program:
- The phone is reliable. No matter what degree of “open” they are, the ease of reaching your targets on the phone won’t be affected. In fact, you might find that it’s easier now than before; with almost everyone working remotely, most company leaders are more focused than ever on answering inbound calls.
- The phone gives you one-on-one access. Much like an in-person conversation at a trade show, the telephone allows you to have a direct, personal interaction with each contact. From there, it’s easy to have a well-focused discussion and design a partnership that will best suit your mutual needs.
- The phone is a great way to follow up with contacts from previous trade shows. It’s probably not hard to find a list of participants, vendors, speakers and industry leaders who attended last year’s show. For starters, you should already have the contact information of anyone who visited your booth, and this year’s cancellation provides the perfect pretext to call and check in! Anyone who was interested in speaking with you last year is likely to be receptive—after all, they’re missing out on a chance to walk the exhibition floor, too.
- There are plenty of partners out there who can help you custom design a phone outreach program that fits your needs. Best of all, you’re not alone when it comes to designing a calling campaign. There are specialized lead gen firms with the expertise to guide you through the process of building a program that can achieve both your short and long-term sales goals—and generate a significant ROI.
For these reasons (among others), reallocating some or all of your trade show budget into a telephone outreach campaign is one of the best ways to duplicate your desired results in a socially-distant marketplace.
VSA is already helping several of our clients do exactly that—and the early returns are promising. Rather than sitting out trade show season entirely, our clients’ sales teams are steadily refilling their pipelines and strengthening industry relationships. And though many miss the in-person experience of meeting up at an event, at least they aren’t missing out on the conversations themselves.
Don’t let the trade shows you don’t attend turn into the phone calls you don’t make! Just give us a call to learn how we can help.