The last 18 months have completely changed the shape of trade fairs. There has been a very strong shift towards digital and now a partial return to face-to-face events, while some of them have adopted a hybrid format, at least for now.
Towards Q4 2021
Many are now wondering how the market will look like in the next four or five months. The whole fall season is ahead: how to use the current environment to help businesses grow? Get the right number of high-quality prospects and generate a consistent and growing volume of business?
Here are 5 tips for planning effectively for the coming season.
- Define objectives and goals
Best practice number one: set goals and milestones; this is something that should be done on a quarterly basis.
If you have no idea where to start, you should experiment and then continue to refine hypothesis. Certainly, these objectives should then change based on what has been achieved in the first half of the year.
- Choose events and plan ahead
Best practice number two is to choose events carefully and plan your seasonal calendar. We are in a very dynamic situation: some events are going back to face-to-face, some virtual, some are going hybrid, and some right out of schedule.
There is always something new going on in the market, and everything is about defining what the current landscape is and how we can most efficiently generate that flow of potential customers.
The results may not even look anything like previous years, it could be a completely different set of events.
- Effective organization
Best practice number three: flawless planning!
Present yourself at your best with prospects, but since the environment has become much more dynamic, always keep in mind that there are different techniques that you must use when events are virtual, others when events are hybrid, and others, again, when you are face-to-face.
What really matters to achieve these goals is how the people of your company are prepared, how your offer is structured for the event and, of course, the type of buyer that will be there.
Do you have a relevant message that can attract and convert him into a client? Always make sure you understand the target of the event and the audience you are addressing.
- Measurable KPIs
To make the most out of new technologies, always try to have one or two metrics as key indicators of ROI. It is always necessary to know within a few weeks from the event what kind of return on investment you have (or have not) obtained.
It is a much more consistent and effective way to get a sense of how well our seasonal calendar goals are being (or not being) met. This allows us to compare not only this event with others we have attended recently, but also with the same event from the previous year, or the year before in a variety of different ways.
Last but not least, and perhaps the most difficult to pursue, is flexibility. That is to have an agile mentality, exploit the current market, have a careful eye on potential evolutions and the future: there are already planned events, and you want to be sure that there will be time and resources available when new opportunities arise.
Bill Kenney, B2B market professional, in his video on how to best face the last quarter of the year: