Marketing is a contest for people’s attention.

Another incisive quote from marketing genius, Seth Godin, that applies directly to trade show marketing ideas.

How many sales would your company make if you completely shut down your sales team for two weeks? Better still; how do you think relying 100% on generating new business from the internet would make your competition feel?

Yes; the current zeitgeist is all about social marketing and online sales and service. But if your company isn’t in the black purely from marketing and selling online, then there are good reasons you still exhibit at trade shows. If marketing is a contest for people’s attention, doesn’t it make sense to use every tool at your disposal?

Ask yourself, how many of your current customers, especially the top 20%, bought from you because they saw an online photo, video, tweet or blog? Only a small fraction, right? It is the same reason we distinguish between Facebook friends and “real” friends. Facebook is not a relationship; and neither are customers who interact with you solely through internet or social network induced sales. They are nice to have, but are you willing to stop all other forms of sales and marketing? There are some companies out there ready to say “yes.” If you have a substantial trade show budget, I’m betting you are not one of them.

Trade Shows give you the opportunity to start or strengthen real, face to face relationships with hundreds or even thousands of potential customers. But only if they stop at your booth! So, if you are committed to exhibiting and initiating (or fostering) relationships via trade show marketing, why play it safe or go with half measures? Why play the same game all your competitors are playing? Why only use only traditional tools when the “big guys” at that trade show are going outspend you 200-300% or more on those tools?

Though it applies to far more than trade shows, Godin hit the nail on the head when he wrote, “In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.” Trade shows are both busy and crowded, stop trying to fit in and do something that will make you stand out. Call Mark Phillips and Thin Air Productions and steal the show from your competition.


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