History will record many lessons from the 2016 presidential election—and we’ll leave it to history to decide which are good and bad. But one trend struck us as we watched the candidates meeting and rallying with voters over the past several months: Face-to-face marketing is a powerful tool that works.
In the business of event marketing, we see it all the time. A good convention experience with the right strategy for filling the booth can touch hundreds of members of your target audience at once. And while you might argue that ads reach a heck of a lot more, what kind of engagement are those ads really generating?
A professional presentation or hands-on demo can be much more memorable, while providing that human connection people crave.
Which brings us back to the election. Both candidates clearly knew the power of personal connections as they traveled to strategic states for all-important face time with voters. Social media, the cousin of face to face marketing, provided another way for them to engage directly with people. Both candidates spent less than their 2014 predecessors, with some of their most impactful moments happening at live events.
Companies must decide where to spend their marketing dollars, just like campaigns do. If you’re considering whether conventions and other events are a good investment, then consider how valuable it is to share your story with people who have traveled and invested their own resources precisely to connect with people who offer what you do.
Notice the emphasis on the word “people” in that last sentence? It’s often the missing key to success for companies when they do invest in conventions and trade shows. Face-to-face marketing is what these events are all about, yet we see far too many booths lined with touchscreens that no one touches.
People can interact with screens at the bank or the grocery store. No matter how cool your game or touchscreen experience is, it’s unlikely to generate real engagement unless you pair it with people who can draw in visitors and build connections with them.
Clearly, MPG believes in live presentations – it’s in our name, after all. But we see the power of face-to-face marketing at every show we attend.
It’s the difference between a booth packed from opening to close each day and one that sits empty while the reps watch prospective clients walk by.
It’s relationships that are started with a smile, cemented by compelling information paired with conversation that leads to new business or recommendations.
It’s knowing your complete message was delivered to as many attendees as possible in a way that they’ll remember.
This is something both presidential candidates clearly understood. If 2016 taught us nothing else, it’s that face-to-face is still one of the most effective ways to connect with people. As you think about how to spend your marketing dollars in 2017, give face-to-face another look, then call us to chat about how we can help.