Face-to-Face Marketing is More Important Than Ever
May 7, 2020
Even before COVID-19 thrust itself onto the global stage, humans have been working towards a world that is connected on a global level–mostly due to advancing digital technology. In the early part of 2020 with the danger of COVID-19 looming, governments shut down tradeshows, conventions and other events to mitigate possible spread. Since we now have the ability to stay connected digitally, you might think that maintaining social distancing would be easy. However, this isn’t the case. Humans simply aren’t wired this way–we all need the face-to-face connection to thrive both on a personal level and in the business world.
Over the past few years, face-to-face marketing has been taken for granted. Because of all the digital advancements, in-person marketing is often looked at as being outdated. In addition, the return on investment for face-to-face marketing was often considered too high. This has led to some companies scaling back their event strategies, often at a cost to their overall brand recognition.
Current events have brought many things to light for businesses and organizations. One of the most obvious is that trade shows are still highly-relevant and serve a major role in the marketing strategy of firms across many industries. > “I truly believe that live events will far outlast any of us” said Mark Henneberger, Vice President of Event Solutions at Walmart in a 2019 Event Marketer interview.
Taking away the human experience which took evolution tens of thousands of years to create cannot be done overnight. Sometimes it takes losing something before we realize how important it is to us on a personal and business level.
“We’re always going to want to get together and be a part of something bigger than ourselves. No matter how good technology gets, it’s not the same as this. If we were doing a Zoom[video conference] right now, it just wouldn’t have the same feeling. And then multiply that by 14,000 people—it’s pretty special. It’s just something that human beings crave and I think they always will” Mr Henneberger said.
So, why are trade shows and other forms of human connection such an important part of today’s marketing strategy? Consider these reasons.
- You Can Read Reactions - Body language, handshakes, and eye contact are all important ways that you can get a good idea about what potential clients or business connections feel about your business or pitch.
- Build Trust - When people connect with you and your firm on a personal level, it builds a sense of trust that is hard to shape using only digital means.
- Express Personality and Company Culture - No matter how in-depth your digital content is, it is difficult to share the complete depth of your firm’s personality unless you can connect with your customers personally. Trade shows are a great way to do this.
- Creates Excitement - Live events create excitement around your company and brand. Working trade show booths will not only increase brand recognition among customers but it will build excitement among your staff too.
If there is one thing that we have learned, it has helped more and more people realize that digital interaction is not a substitute for human connection. As such, a strong trade show and event strategy are more important to your overall success than ever before. Even as social distancing is practiced in all aspects of life, trade shows will still have great importance in today’s business world.