I now receive Exhibitor magazine and usually I never have time to read it. However, this particular day it was almost time to go home so I began leafing through it. For some reason I thought the magazine simply consisted of ads for upcoming trade shows and articles about what people thought of previous shows. Well, I was happy to find out I was wrong. The latest issue featured 11 marketing executives who shared their thoughts on the future of trade show marketing and the marketing landscape in general.
The main thread that ran through all of the conversations was doing more with less and how the economy has affected marketing budgets. So here goes, I’m going to share with you my main takeaways from these industry gurus:
Tim Naeglin, trade show senior associate at Abbott Laboratories states that even though in the health care industry it is hard to use social media due to all kinds of regulations, the trend he is seeing is in, “…virtual trade shows…they seem to be quite successful in a variety of…industries. However, we’ll definitely keep our interactive and educational approach to exhibit marketing…”
Kathleen N. Theiss, CTSM, manager, trade shows and events at McKesson Corp. talks about exploring avenues other than exhibiting in large booths, “We’re creating a specific call to action with our internal sales and marketing teams on post-show follow-up…we will also continue to identify customers prior to the show and customize our lead-retrieval program…”
J. Archie Lyons, senior event producer at Caterpillar Inc. looks on the bright side of the economic downturn, “The downturn…encouraged a lot of marketers to look at everything we do, and to figure out a better way to do it…it also allowed us to look at and leverage new technologies and social media.”
Victor M. Torregroza, a program manger, corporate event marketing at Intel Corp. reflected on how Intel’s face-to-face marketing program had to get adjusted due to budget cuts, “…we focused our resources on simplifying our face-to-face marketing efforts, which allowed us to create more meaningful experiences for our customers and prospects.”
John Zeltin, manager, industry communications, emerging payments, American Express Global Network Operations on the other hand looks to the future, “…as a company, we’re going to focus on driving efficiencies and developing solid metrics to evaluate our program.”
And finally, Douglas Caldwell’s remarks really sum up everyone’s points:
Douglas Caldwell, vice president, senior global event marketing at JPMorgan Chase & Co. sums up his view on the industry with the following words, “…we adjusted our programs and rather than hosting a huge event…we parsed it down to our local markets. We went to our clients instead of trying to bring everyone to us…If the recession has taught us anything, it’s that quality far exceeds quantity…I think we’ll eventually strike the balance between face-to-face marketing and social-media.”
So what matters and is going to matter in the coming years? I say new technologies, communications, social media and marketing efforts that exude quality over quantity.
I hope these snipets into the future of event marketing has expanded your thoughts in the overall future of the industry.
What did you do today?