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Business to business – or B2B – exhibitions still have a wide appeal.

This is despite their cost, with exhibitors in the UK expected to pay between £3000.00 and £5000.00 for shell space.

This isn’t the only cost, you also have to figure the cost of designing and printing all your marketing materials, and having at least 2 sales people to hold the stand.

Is shell space really worth this much?

After all, in order for your display to succeed, then it needs to rely on a number of external factors.

Such as:

> A large crowd – that consists of the right people and prospective buyers – attending the exhibition.

> The ability of your product or service to attract customers away from your competition. Please bare in mind that your competition will be standing right next to you.

> And being able to successfully use a ‘push marketing’ strategy in a modern marketing environment that’s used to working with ‘pull marketing’

People no longer want to have products or services messages forced onto them.

And though attendees of the exhibition have attended it out of interest, they are not going to find the print and banners of your stall as informative as your website.

Why web space is better than shell space

Your company already has a website. If it doesn’t, then make sure your calendar lists the year as being 2012.

Your website is your shop window. If it looks good and can be easily found, then it means you have your own online exhibition stall.

24 hours a day, 7 days a week – and at the fraction of the cost of exhibition shell space.

Most businesses realise this, as can be seen in recent statistics from Marketing Sherpa that found that investment from B2B marketers in social media rises by 69% every year.

And, though trade show investment also increases on an annual basis, it’s only by 22% of the marketing budget.

So – with regards to budget allocation – online marketing dwarves B2B exhibition and tradeshow marketing.

One huge factor is the ROI, Hubspot found that inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing.

With a tradeshow, commonly you will have quite a high cost per lead – so this is something to consider when setting out and allocating your marketing budget.

Online marketing – the extras

With a website, you can use:

> Banners

> Sounds

> Graphics

> Interactivity

> And web video.

And you can also make use of the social media channels available – so that people can contact you and interact with your brand in a number of ways – which ever suits your customer best.

All of these can help keep your visitor interested in your product or service.

And – as they’ve found you – you don’t have to push your marketing message onto them.

They can view it at their leisure, this is what the modern day consumer or buyer wants.

Imagine investing £5000 on your website, what would you make better?

Click here for more on web marketing and web video.

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