Marketing at the Messe: Exhibitors Risk Missing Out

Messe - Marketing - Dexperty - Studie

Every spring, Prolight + Sound opens its gates to visitors from the light, sound, and events communities. The aim is always the same: to facilitate making new contacts, present and sell products, and interact with target groups. According to the Trade Fair Frankfurt’s latest Dexperty survey “Communicating Trade Fairs”, more than 80 percent of businesses regard online communications and online media as important for their own marketing activities. However, the reality is that modern marketing tools continue to see little use.

There’s a lot of catching up to do: in the fields of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+), search engine marketing (SEM), and video and mobile. For example, only 31 percent of exhibitors make use of social media, 18 percent SEM, and just 8 percent mobile advertising. Video, on the other hand, is seeing a steady increase: 25 percent produce corporate videos and 39 percent promotional product films. Yet only 8 percent of the companies involved with the Trade Fair Frankfurt actually make use of this material.

Messe-Kommunikation-StudieOnsite promotion during the trade fair was considered important by half of those interviewed, yet only a quarter actually carried any out, despite online offerings in particular being extremely effective at attracting customers far beyond the confines of the fair.

The companies exhibiting here need to ensure coverage of more and more different communications media, because their business is globalising,” said Kai Hattendorf, who runs Digital Business at Messe Frankfurt. In his opinion, that increasingly demands strategic marketing planning, something that has often been lacking up till now. “At the moment, printed trade media and classical mailing strategies still take first priority in the budget.” 70 to 80 percent of marketers questioned considered them important and employ them themselves.

“But digital marketing is now setting the pace. So it behoves those running the trade fairs to develop comprehensive digital marketing solutions to go alongside the classic onsite marketing offer, particularly on behalf of SMEs.”

The complete Dexperty study of  “Communicating Trade Fairs” (German language) can be found here. Kai Hattendorf has also produced a video in which he summarises the key findings of the study.


Picture source: Dexperty / Trade Fair Frankfurt

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