Trade shows in the business world can bring tremendous value to a company, or be a colossal waste of resources and effort. For a company like Mosaic, attending and presenting at trade shows can help build brand equity, recognition and reputation.
But first, let me provide you with real statistics on the value of trade shows and exhibitions. Research conducted by The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) in 2012 found that 48 percent of trade show attendees believe face-to-face interactions at exhibits during exhibitions, conventions and annual meetings are more valuable today than two years ago, and nearly half said they believe trade shows will continue to be very valuable. When asked why trade shows were so valuable, the responses include:
• 92% to see new products
• 78% to keep up to date on industry trends/issues
• 75% to see many companies at one time for comparison purposes
• 67% to see existing suppliers
• 67% to see specific company(s) or product(s)
• 65% to network with colleagues and/or vendors
• 60% to build industry relationships
• 57% to see products in person that were reviewed online
The results reflect a high value on face-to-face interaction. Since Mosaic strongly believes that relationships are the key to new and continuing business, we’ve chosen to invest resources in strategic trade shows and conferences. The benefits include increased awareness of the Mosaic brand; identifying leads from new buyers and prospects; strengthening relationships with current clients in person; catching up on the industry trends while strengthening our networks; uncovering competitors; and supporting the industry as a whole.
This year, Mosaic will participate in events that emphasize solutions for technical training, ERP/EAM, and Customer Care & Billing for the oil & gas and utility industries.
A typical day starts around 7 a.m. with a conference networking breakfast for attendees. For most of the day, a variety of work sessions or tracks are offered to learn about specific business areas. After 5 p.m., there are often vendor nights or receptions for networking. The team then recaps the events of the day, and does it all over again the next day.
We don’t go to a show without a game plan, and each plan is scripted for each event. The plan includes sending targeted pre-event email campaigns and setting up one-on-one meetings with prospective clients. We also customize the messaging for the trade show booth, and pick marketing collateral that strategically focuses on topics of interest to the trade show.
I’m often asked, “What do you do all day at a trade show?” The truth is I talk to strangers and try to establish a quick rapport. I often answer the same questions multiple times a day, standing for extended periods of time on minimal sleep. I also get to see firsthand our branding traits on full display by the trade show teams. Our trade show teams work long hours—representing our hardworking branding traits. Inevitably something breaks or gets lost, and schedules change, so our teams have to be adaptable and resourceful. No one person can run an event on their own, so it is truly a collaborative effort. Often times a dozen or more Mosaic folks play some role in the process.
You can follow Mosaic’s efforts at trade shows via social media. Our marketing team provides pre-show posts, discusses events in real time, and posts after-show messaging, usually with photos. We’d love it if you follow us, or like our posts or retweet or repost on social media sites.
Trade shows can be the lifeblood for a company like Mosaic and many others. In the end, it’s all about people and relationship-building–that’s part of Mosaic’s DNA. We go to conferences to build relationships and meet new clients. We come away with a richer experience for it.