– BRETT MARRINER
One of the main reasons to exhibit at trade shows is to interact with potential customers and generate leads for follow up. Although a large percentage of event managers view lead generation as a top reason to attend trade shows, many discover the actual results can be far less effective than other tactics. Shows are the most impactful when focusing on engagement with the prospect and customer accounts you know you want to secure.
Let’s say your company makes hospital beds. A company like this would exhibit at a show by paying for a large booth space to showcase maybe four beds. Much of this cost (square footage, shipping, and drayage) is required just to get the product onto the show floor. This company would then pay to fly staff to the show to talk with customers and generate leads. When the show starts, a general stream of attendees walks by the booth but the challenge is to gain their attention, get them to stop and look at the products, let alone scan their badges. Trade shows still top the list for marketing budgets, but don’t always provide the best return on investment. That is not because trade shows are less effective, but because many marketers are not using experiential selling to its full potential.
Now if we take that same company and go to the show with only one hospital bed, a smaller booth size, the same sales staff, AND a Virtual Reality (VR) Experiential Selling area, they would be set up for success. The VR area is highly visible so attendees across the show hall see that something really different is happening. The user would put on a Virtual Reality headset inside the booth and be transported to a 3D hospital room that is completely immersive. The user would feel like they’re there interacting with the product by using all of their senses to learn its features and benefits. They would have intuitive controllers they’re holding in each hand that allow them to reach out and interact with the virtual hospital bed, moving it around in 3D space. Combining high-quality, educational content along with a Virtual Reality Experience that enhances the brand message will help you attract your potential customers and leave a lasting impression. Accomplishing those two goals will have a much more positive impact due to experiential selling.
The general concept of learning through experience has been around for a long time.
In 350 BC, Aristotle wrote “for the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them”. By taking the idea of experiential learning along with cutting-edge VR technology and combining this with your sales process, you’re creating a better-qualified lead.
CEI’s goal is to increase your quality of leads created at every trade show in which you exhibit. We would love to brainstorm with you about your product or service and how we can help you engage prospects at your next show and win leads.