When Jeremy Paxman was booked to appear at Infosecurity Europe 2017, I can only assume that this was before Theresa May had called the General Election to take place in the same week. If he was marveling at how busy he was, he was not the only one. When we attended the event, visitors were queuing up around the block in the rain, and the reception staff gave me a name badge of another Richard Cook, they were so overwhelmed. My namesake was a senior IT professional from a well-known brand, which meant that I was much more popular in the exhibition hall then I had a right to be. You should see the swag that I bagged!
I spoke to a lot of exhibitors at the event and my name badge (although not mine) was scanned at least 40 times. The common theme of conversation was how busy the event was. This lead to concerns about the challenge of converting all those Infosec leads into sales qualified business leads.
Each exhibitor I spoke to had met lots really interesting prospects that the sales teams were keen to get cracking on. It was also clear that the vast majority of exhibitors were not doing deals on the stand, as much as starting conversations.
A big challenge facing exhibitors at any trade show is how to convert conversations into business opportunities. We see inbound marketing as a key tool in this process that allows businesses to focus resources on the leads that want to buy, when they want to buy, and nurtures those leads that are not about to make a purchase.
Exhibition leads perish. Conversations go stale and opportunities lose value. It may be tempting to deploy the entire sales team after the database that has been collected, but the danger is that these get cherry picked and lots of meat gets left on the bones.
Expo marketing campaigns are designed to generate opportunities. They are expensive, time consuming strategies but in many cases, particularly for big data companies where the sales process is complex, they are the start of the process. Expo lead nurture programmes can be time consuming and hazardous. Automation can reduce costs of lead nurturing, increase the speed of generating ROI from marketing spend.