Why You Need A Digital Strategy for In-Person Trade Shows - Concora


Why You Need A Digital Strategy for In-Person Trade Shows

A digital strategy isn’t an alternative to attending a trade show in person; it’s the addition that makes the visit worthwhile.

The marketing and networking benefits of in-person construction industry trade shows can’t be beat. However, if you don’t integrate a robust digital strategy into your marketing efforts, you’ll lose momentum and revenue. The vast majority of businesses and individuals search online for data they need to make purchasing decisions. You can’t rely on a friendly smile, a well-prepared script and flashy brochures to attract and convert leads.

Prosoco pictured at IIBEC in Orlando in March 2022..
Prosoco at IIBEC, an international convention and trade show, in Orlando.

Marketing building products involves sharing a lot of technical, detailed information that shows architects, designers and contractors how to use your products in

their projects. The International Builders Show, World of Concrete and other conventions are opportunities to get your brand in front of a lot of potential clients, but ultimately, your success will depend on your ability to lure clients to your website.

The Digital Side of Marketing Building Products

Trade shows offer opportunities you can’t find online. Face-to-face conversations, the brand reputation boost and a bird’s-eye view of the competition are all valuable. In a May 2021 survey, about 90% of exhibitors said they were hopeful or optimistic that trade shows are still an effective marketing medium — and that was during the height of the pandemic.

However, digital marketing provides additional benefits you and your building product customers need, including:

  • An in-depth, informative website with all technical product information
  • A strong presence on B2B directories and review sites
  • Opt-in email lists and newsletter marketing
  • Real-time or recorded Q&A sessions, industry podcasts or informational videos

With this approach, you’re giving your target audience what they need to make a decision. Accurate, complete, technical information will beat flashy ads every time.

Related: Make Sure Your Building Products Website is Easy to Use

Integrate Your Digital Strategy with Construction Industry Trade Shows

Determine your goal for every interaction you have with a visitor at your trade show booth. Do you want to build a professional relationship, make a sale or direct them online to gather more information? With the limited amount of time you have with each person, the last option makes the most sense. How do you do this?

Barrett Roofing exhibits at trade shows throughout the year to drive consideration and brand awareness for their building products.
Barrett Roofing prominently displays their website address on trade show displays to drive traffic to their building product library.

The most basic connection between your trade show booth and your company’s online presence is your URL. Print it on business cards, brochures and signage. Display it prominently, and make the benefit of an online visit obvious. Use digital interactive displays at your booth so interested parties can enter their contact information quickly and seamlessly. Use a tablet to show booth visitors exactly where on your site they can get the product or materials data they need. At every opportunity, push the benefits of transferring the trade show conversation to your online platform.

In-person construction industry trade shows remain an effective part of building brand recognition and attracting leads. However, if you only rely on a brochure and a handshake, you won’t be able to compete with firms that weave digital strategies into their approach.

The building materials sector requires in-depth technical data. It takes a lot to attract and maintain a client’s attention. Integrating a robust online presence with the more personal benefits of trade show appearances lays the strongest foundation for success.

Related: What Manufacturers Can Learn From Amazon (Webinar Recap)


Written By Candace Shackelford

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