Give the Customer What They Need – Not What They Want

February 10, 2017

Matt Coyne

Matt Coyne is a Technology Engagement Architect at GES EMEA. He has worked in the events and exhibitions industry for over 10 years and has extensive experience ranging from organizing and design to websites, registration and intelligent data services.

Big data, small data, box data, fish. Any ‘90s raver will tell you that this was the dance move of choice with students across the country. Well, close…but maybe this one’s the Silicon Valley dance trend of 2017?

At the end of every year, content either focuses on trends or a full-on Year In Review. What’s hot? What’s not? What’s coming next? Companies announce what’s "new" and the cycle continues.

On the topic of data, this year’s (and the last few years’) trend was big data and how it would revolutionize your business. Did it? Has it? If you know how to interpret what you’re looking for, it may well have done so, however, for most, it’s useful data that has revolutionized their approach. Capturing and using data that is useful saves time and money, increases revenues and improves experiences.

Every other media out there – radio, TV, broadsheet – has statistical proof as to where advertisers’ money will go and who it will reach. They have metrics that show roughly what your pound/euro/dollar/rupee/dirham will get in return.

As an example, when you’re looking at running a new Google AdWords campaign, before you even press the spend button, you know exactly who you’re going to target and how much it’s going to cost you.

Should exhibitions be any different? No, not really. Traditionally, events and exhibitions sell to exhibitors or sponsors around the subject of attendance and basic level demographic information.

But that’s changing.

Today, you can prove the value of each area of your space, what sort of visitor it attracts and where your customers can get the best return according to their needs.

The trend for 2017 isn’t a trend as such, but a paradigm shift in how sales teams sell. Exhibition sales will sell tailored space according to what their customer needs, not what they want.

Imagine that you’re selling space for a fashion event. Imagine telling your customer that by taking a smaller space in a specific area of the show, engaging with a speaking session, taking part in a catwalk and sponsoring an area of the show, they will receive a minimum number of leads from exactly the type of customer that they want to meet. Imagine how much easier that sale is going to be, and how much happier your customer will be, in the knowledge that they’ve not been oversold.

The result?

• Your customer is better engaged.

• Your customer attains better return on objectives.

• You retain your customer for longer.

• You generate additional revenues.

It’s a win-win.

Engaged sales teams are already asking their customers who they want to meet. What they want to get out of having a presence at your event. What they expect in return for parting with their hard-earned cash.

There are myriad tools out there to capture this measurement, such as Visit Connect or Poken, with which the organizer is able to measure interactions on any presence at the event for each exhibitor.

The more data points you have around an event, the more you can measure and the more you can prove value back to your customers.

The modern event can prove nearly every corner of their show real estate, with some pretty basic metrics. Dare I say it, the modern salesman can sell more intelligently, with more support from real information, than they have been previously able to do.

Make your event smarter. Engage better with your customers. Enjoy greater results.

This article originally appeared in Engage Magazine.

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