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Customers at the B2B coal face

February 14, 2014 |

Face to face “I had six honest serving men. They taught me all I knew. Their names were: What, Why, When, How, Where and Who. ” Kipling’s quote is a good reminder of the principles of exhibiting strategy basics which are aimed at nailing:

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • Why do you need to be at the show?
  • When should your exhibiting campaign begin and end?
  • How you are going to get your message across?
  • Where should I be positioned in the hall?
  • Who are you targeting?

When it comes to exhibiting, it might be a jungle out there, but Facetime has conducted a strong piece of research to help event novices tackle, in particular, the last ‘who’ question. The team looked at more than 30 b2b shows held in 2013 and analysed the delegate lists. Some key insights emerged from the 250,000 profiles. The full infographic can be seen here.

1. Think big

In the UK 10.1 percent of professionals have board level positions. But of the audience at b2b exhibitions 23 percent of visitors hold this position. A quarter of people attending represent businesses with more than 100 employees and 48 percent of visitors come from companies which have a turnover of at least L250,000.

2. Think powerful female

Female board members (or lack of) is a much-debated issue, but where they do break the glass ceiling, they go to exhibitions. Of the board level visitors, 27 percent are women.

3. Think global

Foreign visitors account for 18.6 percent of all visitors.

A key message from all the research is the reminder that b2b is still all about people. In the main, visitors might represent big businesses but ultimately people buy from people, so ensure your branding and messaging matches your target audience, and that they are likely to appeal to those at the event. It also highlights the importance of gathering data – when and where else are your marketing messages likely to reach such decision makers? When and where else are you exposed to a captive audience? When and where else are you able to have a face to face dialogue with influencers, decision makers and prospective buyers?

Visitors at an exhibition expect to be sold to, so make sure you get your messaging right, your position right and your exhibiting stand right. In other words, sound good, pick your spot and look great! To look great you’ll probably need our help with your stand so contact us for our free speculative design service. We’re sure to challenge you Kipling style!

These are all lessons that we’ll be putting in practice ourselves next month when we head to International Confex in March (12-13). They’ve already put a sample audience list of the 9,600 expected delegates for us to absorb, and we’ll report in our next blog how our plans are coming along. If you want to book an informal chat to see our new showroom and meet the team, you can do so here.

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