While we typically write about For Rent Media Solutions’ various products and/or initiatives, we tend to stick with what is ‘in’ right now. Search engine strategies, social media, videos, text messaging, etc. But there is an important area of traditional marketing that we have yet to expand on. It is actually very vital to the overall success of our brand imaging. And that is the trade shows that we attend and sponsor. For Rent Media Solutions has participated in trade shows for over twenty years! In fact, we’ve been represented at tradeshows sponsored by the National Apartment Association (NAA), America’s leading advocate for quality rental housing, for the past nineteen years.Trade shows are a successful tool used by companies to showcase, advertise, connect and grow. According to Forrester Consulting Services for America Business Media, 60.9% of marketers considered face-to-face exhibiting as the best means to effectively build brand image. And 62.9% also indicated that in-person events are considered to be the best tactic to generate qualified leads. That is exactly why For Rent Media Solutions exhibits/sponsors these events, to build our brand image, form relationships, network, and generate potential leads. However, our current economy has added some challenges.
It is no secret that face-to-face events are among the most expensive platforms to advertise. And given the fact that budgets are constantly being scrutinized, selecting trade shows that will provide the best ROI is the way companies will decide. We are not immune to the financial obstacles in this economy; therefore, we are forming a strategic plan to help us maximize our resources.
Erin Zarate, Marketing Manager with For Rent Media Solutions, executes all of our trade shows. One of her job functions when planning these events is to come up with creative solutions to keep us under budget. “Strategic spending is important at these events,” said Zarate. One of the ways her team has managed to do that is by having their inventory be repurposed for multiple shows. “It gives a consistent look and feel for our brand while also saving us money.” Another tactic she employs is to reevaluate our spending on products and/or client appreciation parties to see how we can get more ‘bang for our buck’, or partnering with other vendors.
As mentioned previously, generating leads is another key component of attending trade shows. Networking at a trade show allows you to meet people you might not have looked for or encountered otherwise. Which is why having a thorough follow up plan is necessary to track the return on investment for attending. For Rent Media Solutions exerts every effort post show to track new business opportunities.
Even in the digital world we live in, there is a nice added touch about a personal interaction with a company. It allows attendees to get a feel for the attitude of a company and the kind of people who work for it. Another focus For Rent Media Solutions has is to really reconnect with current clients. We all get caught up in responsibilities and sometimes aren’t able to make the time to properly invest in the current relationships we have. This also gives us an opportunity to educate our clients about what we’re doing as a company to better fit their needs.
Respondents from the previously discussed survey indicated that benefits from attending trade shows were building/expanding relationships (41%) and lead generation (42%). So while the current fiscal year may call for some innovative thinking, opting out of this valuable medium can potentially have a negative effect on your brand. Even though there are constraints, For Rent Media Solutions will continue to view trade shows as a necessary avenue to market ourselves as well as connect with our current & perspective clients.