Trade Shows are falling like bowling pins. Are you ready with plan B? 

Vendors who have (or will have) trade shows cancel in the coming months have expressed a range of emotions from reluctant relief to questionable optimism to extreme panic to aloof indifference as they try to figure out how to promote the products they’ve been prepping for release without a physical venue. We have clients who are in the throes of picking up the pieces for CEDIA Expo as we turn our sites toward anticipating the fate of ISE 2021, not to mention dozens of regional shows and other events. So, what do you do? Here are five major side effects of trade show cancellations as we see them and what you can do to prepare a plan B. 

1 – You Have Nowhere to Show Your Products

So now you have a handful of new products but no physical venue to show them off, yet you still must get the word out about them. It’s a no-brainer that you have to go virtual. But do you have a strategy? How will you find this extra bandwidth? How do you cut through the noise of every other vendor out there who is trying to make a splash? How do you make your webinars engaging and interesting? Is this a function of sales or marketing or both? Should you do video or live presos? 

KMB can help you create a strategy for your virtual demos, sales decks, videos, and more to make sure you have the right mix, not to mention the right promotion of that mix. We have a graphics team, a video department, plus PR, social media, content creation, and marketing chops that cover all virtual activities you need in a one-stop shop.

 

2 – You Are Suddenly Overwhelmed with Virtual ‘Opportunities’

Events are doing their best to create virtual experiences for exhibitors and ‘showgoers’. The problem is, there are so many of them. It’s impossible for marketing departments to know which ones to participate in, to keep track of them all, and to deliver the content needed by the deadline on top of everything else they are dealing with as they pivot to new messaging, new marketing plans, diminished and/or virtualized staff, and depleted budgets. Media outlets too are scrambling to make up lost revenue in show-related promotion, so there are opportunities galore with every digital and print publication out there. How do you know which ones to plan for? 

Media outlets too are scrambling to make up lost revenue in show-related promotion, so there are opportunities galore with every digital and print publication out there. How do you know which ones to plan for? 



KMB can help you sort through it all based on your budget, create a content calendar and deliverables, produce the content, and deliver it on-time. Let us handle this for you while you worry about your core marketing and business operations. 

 

3 – New Marketing Plans Call for New Messaging


Marketing departments everywhere are scrambling. First, it was all about creating the Covid pivot plan. Now, manufacturers are trying to figure out how to weather the storm as it relates to their product mix by either streamlining product lineups or in some cases, revolutionizing their offerings. 

Hamburger chain Fuddruckers addressed bread shortages by selling loaves directly to consumers. Liquor companies are producing hand sanitizer from distilled alcohol. While we all can’t magically begin making goods and services that serve the pandemic, manufacturers must look to what customers need now and adjust product lines and services accordingly. For example, KMB clients and home technology professionals Brilliant AV is focusing on service, and because that offering is virtualized the firm can move beyond local borders, providing service and support to customers around the country. 

New products that were on the bubble are now being put on hold or killed indefinitely if they aren’t part of a new plan that moves the needle significantly in terms of revenue. How do you message this shift to customers while still making it known that you are supporting them in every possible way? The answer: Carefully Crafted Messaging.

At KMB, our expertise is content and messaging in marketing, communications, and editorial capacities. We have skilled and seasoned writers intimately connected to the AV industry in charge of crafting and honing your message to hit the exact right notes, so you don’t have to hassle with rewrites. 

How do you message this shift to customers while still making it known that you are supporting them in every possible way? The answer: Carefully Crafted Messaging.




4 – Product Marketing Can Appear Insensitive

People have lost their jobs. People are sick. People are fighting for their rights in the battle against systemic racism. Next, there will be an election. How do you promote your products amid these intense moments in history? Carefully and instinctually. The world is changing day by day. The messages that are now being mocked (“in these trying, unprecedented, and troubling times…”) at one time were very relevant. Did you pivot on time, or were trite messages hanging out there, unintentionally hurting your relationships? Having your finger on the pulse of the industry and being involved in the community are extremely important to determine mass sentiment. KMB is connected into this pipeline and has the experience and instinctive knowledge to create a message that is timely, sensitive, industry-appropriate, and aware of the current state of the affairs.  

 

5 – There Is No Substitute for Face-to-Face Networking

Trade shows are incredibly valuable in creating relationships and forging them in the fire, year after year. There really is no substitute for this, but you must try! This is where humanizing your company comes into play. How are you communicating with customers? How close are you to them? Do you know what they need right now? What is your social strategy and are you participating in the conversation? This messaging and strategy affects your communications, not just marketing. We can help you find your voice, and our social media and PR teams can be your bullhorn, megaphone…heck we even know how to yodel. 

Contact us today to start planning your trades how plan B now, before you are caught without one.