Despite the large investment in money and time, exhibiting at trade shows is a most cost-effective “face-to-face” marketing strategy. Trade shows allow an exhibitor to meet with hundreds of qualified, motivated customers over just a few days.
Personal selling is important to demonstrate commitment, develop relationships and build trust. This is especially true in global markets.
Show selection should be guided by the marketing plan, targeting specific industries or countries. Broad-interest shows are not always the most effective. Dynex does not exhibit at hydraulics shows, instead participating in specific events where their target customers are exhibiting, such as tunneling, aerospace, and oil & gas exhibitions.
Show objectives includes marketing the company’s brand, generating leads and meeting with customers. In the 1990’s, Dynex regularly exhibited at Hannover Fair, Germany. The event was an opportunity to learn about European customer needs. Luncheons are a venue to discuss opportunities with Dynex sales representatives.
Trade shows offer the perfect opportunity for market research. Competitive products, promotions and strategies can be researched by walking the show. Industry trends and innovative exhibit ideas can be studied.
New product launches can be timed to take advantage of the large, captive audience provided by a large industry exhibition. This is an opportunity to promote products with unique designs or new technology that offers an inherent competitive advantage.
Dynex promoted its new pump with corrosion-resistant stainless steel at Oil & Gas shows around the world. New product displays with graphics, single-fluid pump demonstrations and a dynamic animated pump video were used to attract attraction.
Trade show promotion is especially effective combining traditional media with online advertising, email, and social media. Inexpensive product publicity that promotes new products can target industry trade publications and show newspapers. Content marketing can engage visitors with compelling messages to motivate them to attend the event.
An inexpensive promotional handout, related to a product benefit, can add to an exhibit’s memorability. At Oil & Gas shows, Dynex distributes free Dynex-branded lime soda, which promotes its pumps for use with green water-glycol fluid used in the industry. Direct mail packages, with soda and pint glasses with the Dynex logo, are sent to key contacts made at the show. Sales representatives following up with visitors carry a six-pack of soda with them as a reminder of the positive exhibit experience.