2020 brought about what was once thought of as a futuristic shift in our society in regards to where and how we work and learn.
Although the remote workforce has increased over the last decade, many companies were still not on board with remote working until they were forced into it earlier this year. Companies who have figured out how to maintain and strengthen their culture with their employees virtually have been thriving during COVID-19, have retained the most top-performing employees, and will be set up for success moving beyond the global pandemic.
Why? Because these companies understand what the future holds — an appropriate blend and usage of both physical and virtual environments.
This concept goes beyond working and learning and applies to marketing events as well. Brand marketing events are happening during an incredible moment in history right now. As we learn more and evolve in virtual marketing engagements, we’re also preparing to enter the future of live trade shows and events again.
This is exciting stuff! And it’s exactly why brand event managers need to evolve their trade show program and strategize in two key areas:
- Creating physical environments that allow for social distancing and public safety
- Incorporating a virtual component into trade show events
Face-to-face marketing opportunities found at live events and trade shows will always be a powerful way to connect with customers and prospects. But it’s clear that virtual marketing is having more than a moment. It’s here to stay, even when live events return in full swing.
Why Virtual Marketing Is Here to Stay
Right now, brands are successfully using virtual marketing techniques to stay connected to their audiences. In fact, studies have shown that even in the midst of quarantine and remote working, people want to have conversations with others. They want to hear from their favorite brand reps. They want to stay ahead of the latest news about the products and services that they use the most.
Investing in a virtual marketing environment has proven to have many benefits for brands. These benefits include:
- Easily and effectively reaching more people
- Amplifying brand awareness
- Increasing brand engagement
For trade shows specifically, a virtual environment can help brand event marketers enhance their pre-show, show and post- show marketing efforts.
Reach Your Audience, Wherever They Are
Connecting with your customers will always be a top priority — in any year, environment, or situation. Right now, there are more ways to connect than ever before.
To make the most of the options available, it’s important to understand that your audience is made up of individuals with different needs and motivations.
Some of your audience is eager to travel and return to the hustle and bustle of the expo hall, while others are still hesitant to do so. Still others have fully embraced virtual working and connecting and simply prefer virtual options.
Here’s the key takeaway: when live trade shows return again, there will still be a significant number of people staying put. And you don’t want to ignore those people.
Be Radically Helpful
In a recent article by Co-Founder & CEO Josh Dougherty of A Brave New, a digital marketing agency, Dougherty reflects on how technology has affected and enhanced human connection:
“In the thousands of hours I’ve spent building and executing marketing efforts for clients, and my own agency, I’ve learned two things that remain true no matter how much technology has evolved:
- Any effective marketing effort must build a human connection, speaking to the fundamental needs, wants, and desires of the real people that make up a target audience.
- The best approach to marketing is to be radically helpful so that those who really need your services fall in love with the work you do and can’t help but make the decision to hire you.
For the 2021 trade show season, the key to success will be finding ways to be radically helpful to your customers and prospects. That means showing up on a variety of platforms.
No matter where you meet — in your physical exhibit or in your virtual environment — keep the connections to your audience alive and nurtured.
Are you curious about how to effectively tie in a virtual marketing component to your physical environment? Schedule a call with our team to learn more!