New marketing strategies come and go and of course we have also seen social media arrive on the scene too, but the tried and tested of face to face marketing is still as relevant as it has ever been.

As someone involved with event marketing at or a similar organization will tell you, provided you get your marketing strategy right, trade shows and events can be an excellent way of finding new customers and sealing deals.

The personal touch

The fundamental point about face-to-face marketing is that it gives you a unique opportunity to display a personal touch and stand out from the digital crowd.

You should never underestimate the benefit of being able to meet a prospect in person and make a human connection as opposed to connecting with them wirelessly over the internet.

The way we lead our lives may have changed considerably in recent times but our human characteristics remain the same and this means that meeting someone in person represents a great chance to experience that element of trust and reassurance that is so difficult to replicate by using a computer screen.

Lead generation

With the right conditions and approach a trade show or marketing event can quickly become a lead-generating hotspot.

Hundreds of potential customers of the future all in one place at the same time is not something that you can achieve with any other form of marketing. When you combine this scenario with the fact that you also get the chance to qualify these leads and engage in a meaningful and productive conversation, you can see why trade shows and marketing events are enduringly popular.

Friendly corporate espionage

Another point that sometimes get overlooked but can sometimes be quite valuable, is the chance to indulge in some friendly corporate espionage.

Getting the chance to check out the competition and see what they are offering their customer on a rival trade stand, can often give you a valuable insight into how their products or services are received and allow you to potentially spot a weakness or opportunity to see how you could improve what you do and win some more customers over.

Direct buying influence

As you will probably be aware when you have tried to market your business over the phone or via the internet or direct mail, getting through to the person who really matters is not always that easy to achieve.

Research carried out by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) reveal that three out of every five trade show attendees has direct buying influence within the company they represent.

Being able to meet so many people with such buying power on a face-to-face basis will quickly ensure that your cost per lead will look very attractive and offer you a good ROI on your exhibition costs.

Perfect your elevator pitch

It might be a regular cliché to talk about the need for an excellent elevator pitch but a trade show or marketing event is an environment that is tailor-made for this approach.

An effective pitch will often be more focused on your listener’s needs rather spending energy on trying to impress them. Practice your pitch until you manage to get all of your relevant information and create an interest to continue talking to you, within a brief but engaging few opening sentences.

First impressions count for a lot, and the reason it is called an elevator pitch is because it creates a scenario where you may only have a few floors to travel in which to convince someone that they should stick around and hear some more.

If you can manage to create a brief and engaging elevator pitch, it will make your conversion rate and lead-generation statistics at a trade show, look even more impressive.

Long-term relationships

If you generate an order from a customer on the internet, you get a chance to impress them with a quick response or delivery time but it is still hard to develop a long-term relationship without the personal interaction.

Face-to-face marketing and the chance to get to know your customer on a more personal basis, will often lead to a productive long-term relationship and that is certainly something that has real value.

Meetings, trade shows and marketing events are still extremely relevant in a digital age and if you can master the way you approach these opportunities, there is every chance that your business will flourish as a result of some loyal customers who feel reassured having met you.