Successful trade show marketing professionals see attendees as more than just passive receivers of marketing information, but active participants in the evolution of the company they are promoting. Engagement marketing attempts to connect attendees more directly with a company and its products by encouraging active participation, honest feedback, and real dialogue. The idea is that potential customers can’t communicate with the brands themselves, they must communicate with the people associated with those brands. Gone are the days when “keeping your brand in front of the customer” was critical to your exhibiting success, since “keeping your customers engaged with real people” has proven itself to be the more successful approach by any reasonable metric.
With the advent of social media, customers are able to connect companies with the people who represent them more easily than ever before. Potential customers want to trust human beings, cooperate with human beings, and build rapport with human beings, but those desires can be leveraged to generate positive brand association and brand loyalty. Social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn allow customers to engage directly with real people at your company, which works to build trust and rapport. Contrasted with other marketing methods such as email marketing, these social media giants allow information to flow in two directions, providing more opportunity for positive experiences on both sides.
A well designed trade show display is only one part of a successful exhibiting program. Engaging your customers and encouraging them to interact directly will (hopefully) lead them to have positive experiences with your company, which will leave a much more lasting impression than one way communication.