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Screen Time vs Face Time

December 01, 2020

What Has The Highest Marketing Value? or 10 Reasons Face Time Beats Screen Time

With the very limited amount of face time that 2020 has afforded us, those of us in the marketing and exhibiting business have had to get very creative with our outreach and customer service. Now more than ever, we’ve utilized email, social media, “live” videos, and webinars to reach clients.

Maybe you’re even wondering if we’ll ever get back to exhibiting, and if we do, is it even worth it? After all, we’ve survived this year without it. What, really, is the value of the trade show and is it really worth all the time, energy, and effort that goes into it?

The answer is an absolute “YES!” and here’s why: live marketing allows you to do some things that digital marketing cannot do

Here are 10 compelling reasons to be a big fan of trade shows and exhibiting:

  1. You build relationships. With a face-to-face and a handshake and a warm conversation, you can establish much more trust with prospects than you can online. And they know this, too. Otherwise, they’d sit at home and source everything from there.
  2. You grow your audience. Events are the best way to create buzz on social media, which leads to follows and likes and shares. People who are impressed in your booth tend to follow you all year long, which keeps you in their periphery. Also, it goes without saying that trade shows are a great way to build your solid email audience because people have to opt in when they consent to being on your mailing list.
  3. You increase your brand exposure. Trade shows are one of the best ways to get your name out there, and for smaller or newer businesses that don’t have the resources to create a huge online presence, they are the most rewarding. At trade shows, businesses can set themselves apart from the flat sameness of the online world.
  4. You collect data from your industry peeps. Forward thinking marketers know that trade shows are prime time to conduct some informal market research on buyers and sellers in their industry. Surveys and interviews can be used to tweak your business strategy, develop a product, or inform your vision.
  5. You gain referrals. This is probably the most obvious reason people exhibit. They want to create a community and garner leads. However, referrals stretch beyond your business as any good networker knows. Making friends and acquaintances impacts your business for years.
  6. You get a peek at the competition. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re focused on your products and services. But let’s be honest, being in close proximity to other companies marketing to the same crowd is a bonus. It gives you a preview of what’s new and interesting in the marketplace, and just maybe sparks some new ideas for your business as well.
  7. You get press coverage. Good press is one of the least expensive ways to do PR and marketing. If you are featured or mentioned in a story or, fingers crossed, if you’re able to score an interview, lucky you! Sending out a well-crafted press release or even a softer “media alert” ahead of time can help you make the most out of the media attention at a trade event.
  8. You have an opportunity for potential partnerships. While the main function of trade shows are for you to get your product in front of an audience, they are also excellent places to meet other entrepreneurs who are producing complementary products and services to yours. A creative businessperson might see an opportunity for merging ideas to benefit both companies.
  9. AWARDS! {Enough said.}
  10. You gain momentum. Even if it weren’t 2020 and even if a global pandemic hadn’t slowed everyone’s motivation and drive to a grinding halt, a boost in energy and adrenaline for your company is always welcome. The excitement and anticipation of a trade show – the pressure, the deadlines, the product development, etc. – all boost productivity for your brand. It’s an incidental benefit of exhibiting.

Trade shows are still heavily attended, which is proof that they are beneficial. Perhaps the most compelling reason to exhibit is this: in an age of personality like 2020, trade shows are still the very best way to showcase your company’s personality in many faceted ways.

This article was inspired by "Screen Time vs. Face Time: What has the highest marketing value?" by Sofia Troutman and first appeared at skyline.com

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